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Newsletter 5 October 2018

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This Week's Conversation


“I had chicken pox in the 1st Grade and when I came back, my class had learned to subtract. I swear I never caught up. I copied and coped. No one knew. I repeated Grade nine maths”

Occasionally we are approached by parents to allow them to take their sons out of school for a few days, often for family holidays. These requests are not encouraged and teachers strongly discourage this. So you may be thinking that your son is little. It is only Grade R, 1 ,2 or 3 not Matric!! You may even compromise and request that the worksheets be sent home so that you can complete them while you are away.

Absenteeism is a problem. Attention should be paid to the rules about unnecessary absenteeism because attendance matters for academic success. Consider the child, will he be anxious or overwhelmed when he returns to school only to discover that his peers have learnt concepts which he has not? Or will he feel a bit isolated because he may have missed interactions and social events that have lead to more cohesion between his peers?  Absenteeism has a negative effect on reading and maths ability. The foundations of proficient readers are laid in the Junior Prep years. The child’s proficiency in reading at the age of nine is an indicator of future academic success.The No Child Left Behind (NCLB 2001) Act introduced in the USA mandated that only fully qualified teachers be employed in schools. This speaks to their recognition of the value that teachers add to education. Only passionate, well-qualified teachers can ensure effective learning. No one can replace the expertise of a child’s teacher.

The display board in the foyer gives you an idea of what we do at the Junior Prep. The messy clothing that comes home tells a story. Through well-thought out, well-informed activities are laying the foundations of a successful academic path. Yes, to an outsider it seems that we cut and paste, run around and play endless games, but these are the very important first steps that cannot be missed. The worksheet in the book is only the end product of a long production line after we have engaged with the concept in many different ways. 

Understandably boys do fall ill and on these occasions the teachers will take the time to assist but if you are considering planned absenteeism consider the quote at the beginning of this newsletter article. 




I have journeyed this year with a group of matric boys through my weekly RE lessons. Inevitably our lessons would end with a short discussion on God’s presence in our lives. We would share our stories and me, being an avid movie goer, would share lessons learnt from one or other movie that I have watched. The one movie that really touched my heart this year is the painful true story behind the MercyMe Singer Bart Millard. The movie is based on his popular song of the same name, I Can Only Imagine, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNDEyxEMNp0. The reminder that we are surrounded by God’s grace reassures me that it is through Him, and with Him, and in Him that we are able to share His truth and by His inspiration that we are able to live meaningful lives.

It is in Sunday’s readings, Hebrews 2:9-10, that we are reminded that Jesus walked the earth, sharing in the joys and pains of humanity: “…but we do see Jesus, who was for a short while made less than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because he submitted to death; so that by God's grace his experience of death should benefit all humanity. It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should, in bringing many sons to glory, make perfect through suffering the leader of their salvation.” 

This gentle reminder by St Paul in his letter to the Hebrews is a sobering truth. Jesus’ journey on earth was predetermined by His Father. He submerged himself completely and allowed His Father’s will to be done. He knew that glory will come from the pain and the suffering He had to endure. 

I can only imagine the perfect love between Father and Son and can only pray that we experience that same love in our relationship with God. It is by God’s grace that we are able to fully open ourselves to receive His unconditional love and acceptance and it is by His grace that we are able to make His presence known to the world. 

Eternal Father, we humbly offer Thee our poor presence, and that of the whole of humanity, from the beginning to the end of the world at all the Masses that ever have or ever will be prayed. We offer Thee all the pains, sufferings, prayers, sacrifices, joys, and relaxations of our lives, in union with those of our Lord Jesus here on earth. May the Most Precious Blood of Christ, all His Blood, Wounds, and Agony save us, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.


We had a very blessed retreat for the First Holy Communicants at Schoenstadt, with Mr Hanouch, Mrs Braum and Deacon Richard Stonier (who used to be a teacher at St Benedicts) joining us throughout the morning to speak on the Sacraments.  The other  Grade 3 group had a wonderful prayer walk through the school during this time, stopping at various statues and signs of God’s presence for reflection. It was a day filled with peace, culminating in a Mass for all Grade 3’s in the chapel.
The First Holy Communion will be on Sunday 14 October at 9am at St Therese Catholic Church in Edenvale.  Please keep the boys in your prayers as they prepare for this special Sacrament.
Next week the First Holy Holy Communion boys will be going to the church during school time on Tuesday and Thursday for a rehearsal in preparation for Sunday.
Pauline’s Bookshop is a Catholic bookshop and will have a table set up in the foyer on Wednesday 10 October to Friday 12 October from 8am till after school.  Should you be looking for a gift for First Holy Communicants, a prayer book for your home or a Rosary, please come and have a look at what they have to offer.

Fr Thabo will be joining us for his chat with the Grade R boys on Tuesday morning, it is always a delight to have Fr Thabo spend time with us.



Our School community is heartbroken as we mourn the loss of our dear brothers Darren and Darwyn Monorwei, who died tragically in a car accident. They will be remembered with great fondness as being true Bennies Boys, and we pray that their souls may rest in eternal peace. The family have expressed their deep gratitude for the outpouring of love and support from Bennies staff and parents during this difficult time. We ask that you continue to keep the family in your prayers and pray for the full recovery of the boys’ sister Hadassah. Go well Darryn and Darwyn, we will never forget you.




What a successful, fun and ACTIVE day of learning at our Grade 2 Poetry Picnic on the 26th September. To quote the boys it was the "Best day ever!!"



On Monday 1 October, all the JP ensembles participated in the NEA Eisteddfod. The JP Choir started off the session with their singing. They performed beautifully and entertained the audience. They received a Gold for their performance, a wonderful result celebrating their hard work. 

The Gr 1, 2 and 3 percussion groups performed and kept the audience tapping their feet. All three groups received a Gold for their respective performances. 
Congratulations to all the ensembles, their hard work throughout the year culminated in this wonderful result. Performing always provides the boys with the opportunity to show all the skills they have learnt throughout the year. We are very proud of their achievements. 


On Tuesday 2 October, the school held a performance evening including selected soloists as well as ensembles throughout the school. The JP Choir and the Grade 3 Percussion boys performed. The evening offered the boys the opportunity to watch other ensembles as well as various soloists performing on different instruments ranging from Electric Guitar to the Violin. 

The highlight of the evening was the College Choir and the Matrics last performance for the year. They performed a medley of songs they had learnt from the time they were in the Prep Choir, until their final performance as part of the College Choir. It was an emotional performance that showed the boys how being a part of a music ensemble builds teamwork and provides them with an all round skill base. 

We wish the Matrics of 2018 well and hope that many of our JP Choir boys will continue to be a part of the choir throughout their Prep School years well into their College years.



Vision without action is a dream.
Action without vision is a nightmare. - Kerr, James. Legacy 

When our boys are faced with an obstacle or challenge in Physical Education or sport, it is important for us (parents, coaches and educators) to continually speak life over them and encourage them so that they can envision themselves eventually achieving their skill or task. 

Without vision comes no progress. Vision is the very ‘engine’ that causes a car to move forward in the right direction.


Gr R-1: Basketball skills - evasion skills, dribbling, passing, shooting, game-play, teamwork. Swimming: Learn to Swim and stroke correction.

Gr 2: Field hockey skills - introduction to the sport and basic skills - gripping the stick, dribbling the ball, stopping and passing.
Swimming: Learn to Swim and stroke correction

Swimming for Grades R- 2 in Physical Education has commenced this week. Please ensure that your son has his swimming kit for his P.E. session: Navy Speedo, cycling shorts, or sunsuit to be packed in the school drawstring bag.

Click here for more information.

GRADE 3 SPORT We wish the Grade 3 boys all the best for their upcoming hockey matches against St. John’s Preparatory this Saturday! May you have lots of fun boys and enjoy the process of healthy competition!



A reminder that payment for 2019 Stationery is due by 5 November. This is for all boys entering Grades 1 - 3 in 2019. Please refer to the email sent to you for payment options. 


We have a large collection of unmarked clothing still in excellent condition which we will be donating to the second hand shop. Rather be sure that your sons' clothing is clearly marked as it will then be returned to him should he misplace it.

Dates to Diarise

Tuesday 9 Oct  Gr R Chaplain's Chat 
Tuesday 9 Oct  FHC Practice at St Therese
Tues - Fri 9 - 12 Oct  Paulene's Bookshop Display 
Thurs 11 Oct  FHC Practice 
Saturday 13 Oct  60th Anniversary Dinner & Dance 
Sunday 14 Oct  First Holy Communion 
Thursday 18 Oct  School Close at 11:45 for MIDTERM 
Fri - Mon 19 - 22 Oct MIDTERM 
Please see our Website calendar for future dates.


VINCENZA KORRAS obtained his Purple Belt in Karate.
CONGRATULATIONS to all our boys who participated in the NEA Eisteddfod.
CONGRATULATIONS to all our boys who participated in the Assumptions School Chess Tournament.


1A Christopher Nyariangwe Improved fluency in reading.
  Savva Zacharias Trying to be responsible and listening to instructions.
1B  Moses Nengwani A good effort in the classroom activities.
  Colt Crick A valuable contribution to our minibeast theme.
1C Ryan Money Excellent fluency and comprehension in reading.
  Tima Fokwa Tsafack A conscientious effort to work neatly and quietly.
1D Jayden Blake Diligence in class and good behaviour.
  Nikolas Mavrodaris Good behaviour and always doing his best in class.
2E Panayioti Savides Super problem-solving skills.
  Alex Mazzocco Valid and interesting contributions to discussions.
2F  Callum Sherratt Writing a really rad tongue twister.
  Lucca Angelucci Amazing problem-solving skills.
2G Bokang Dikole Always showing love and care to his classmates.
  Morgan Mare Demonstrating perseverance when completing word problems.
2H  Cruz Erasmus Excellent understanding in repeated addition.
  Ye Li Excellent problem-solving.
3I Ben Riccardi Impressive bonds and tables.
  Bradley Anderson Outstanding data handling.
3J Sean Nance-Kivell Striving to do his best in all tasks.
  Daniel Macneil Presenting an entertaining interview on the Great Fire of London.
3K Jasper Pang Writing excellent verledetyd sentences.
  Themba Vilakazi Making a concerted effort to finish his work on time.
3L Rylie Morrison Catching up all the work he missed while he was ill.
  Jordan Day Reverent responses during our Prayer Walk. 


Bradley Anderson
  Aidan Sherratt
3J Mohnish Chunilal
  Carter Thurlow
3K Kyle Sullivan
  Diego Damilano
3L Dale Esterhuizen
  Daniel De Dominicis


1B Moses Nengwani 2H Mitchell Rodrigues
2H Juliano Velho 1A Savva Zacharias
1D Leandro Pereira 2G Letlotlo Menu
2F Tatenda Mundangepfupfu  2F Ivan Schrittwieser 
2E John Hu  2E  Matthew Stanier 
1C Jordan Au  2E Ruben Koegelenberg 
1C Matthew Sherwood  1C  Nicholas Van Niekerk 
1C  Godwin Kaputu  1C  Tima Fokwa Tsafack 
2H Aidan Carter  2E  Slade Van Wyngaardt 
2E  Zhi-Ming Zhu  2E  Rylee Hiepner 
2E  Tiago Ricchiuti  2E  Panayioti Savides 
1A Jason Simes  1C Ryan Money 
2G Mario Rodrigues  2G  Jonathan Deetlefs 
2G  Kupa Gara  1B  Sebastian Oliveira 


2F Khaya Gxoyiya 2E Brandon Findlay
2H Favour Ikegwuonu 1A Diego Da Costa
1A Leandro Afonso     


Grade R: Dinosaur Roarrrrr....

    Grade 1: We love to shop. 

Grade 2: Enjoying Wordshark game which supplements
our THRASS sounds.
 Grade 3: We are learning about Instruments of the Orchestra.

Final Word from the Head

We wish our First Holy Communicants God’s richest Blessings as they receive Communion for the first time on 14 October at St Therese. May they always stay close to Jesus and know the Peace and  Light of His Love.




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