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Newsletter 12 April 2017

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This Week's Conversation


School traditions are such a powerful way to help our  boys, their families and staff feel a sense of belonging and valued members of a community, and it is our hope that Bennies is that welcoming place and familiar ground to you.  To achieve this, we strive to build traditions that bind us together by celebrating our common interests and finding opportunities to share memories and special times together. Our School traditions are not built on isolated events but a series of shared activities that make us feel proudly Bennies. As we come to the end of the term it worth taking a moment to look back on some of our end of term events which connect us in a unique way, and I thank our innovative teachers and supportive parents who have worked hard to make them meaningful. This last week has been filled with a great variety of interactive experiences with opportunities for growth of Mind, Body, Soul and Heart:

Last Friday was a significant day in the history of South Africa, and for our boys it was an opportunity to connect with something greater than themselves. It was a day of prayer and also celebration, as we focused on building a sense of  hope, pride and positive ways to support our nation.
* This term we installed our new House Board and for the first time boys are developing a strong sense of loyalty and spirit for their House with lots of healthy competition resulting from the  variety of inter-house events planned throughout the year.
Our inter-house gala was another first, and an exciting way to kick start our strategy to build house spirit. In keeping with our sporting philosophy the emphasis was on fun and participation with every boy contributing points for his house.
* First Friday Mass has become an important spiritual tradition bringing our Bennies community together in prayer. We also celebrated a special Mass for Parents of our First Holy Communicants.
Experiment Day for Grade 2 Scientists, was another opportunity to incorporate our Bennies ACTIVE curriculum in a boy-friendly event, incorporating Authentic learning, Collaboration, Inquiry, Visible Thinking and lots of Fun. The teachers added an extra touch with their lab coat and goggles.
Our Easter Parade has become one of our favourite end of term traditions and a way to conclude the term with a sense of togetherness and celebration. This year the challenge was to create an Easter mask, and once again we were so impressed with the very imaginative creations. The event ended on a real high with the boys learning dance moves to their favorite songs.
Outreach forms an integral part our value system focusing on compassion and caring for others, as boys need to experience ‘giving back’ and improving the lives of others without expecting anything in return. Thank you for the generous contributions to our appeal for toys, Easter eggs, Lenten and charity collections.
The Grade R’s enjoyed a visit from a puppet theatre where they experienced story-telling-telling though drama while learning about their emotions.
Hooked on Books was another highlight providing boys with a visual and very dramatic preview of books, leaving the story at a nail biting cliff-hanger enticing the boys to rush to the library to get the book and to find out how the story ends.
 The Grade 1's celebrated earning their first Reading book after many weeks of foundation work and we wish them a life-time of happy reading experiences.
* The Informal Music Evening has become another special tradition celebrating the hard work and talent of our musicians and their dedicated teachers, and providing an opportunity to perform, and it was a very appreciative audience.
Character dress-up-day was an exciting way fro the Grade 3's to bring books alive, and they entered into the spirit of this event by sharing their favorite books and involving themselves in their team activities.
The spiritual walk along the Way of the Cross helped boys understand the real meaning of Easter as they paused at each station for quiet meditation and prayer.
* The Traveling Book Shop was another opportunity to foster a love of Reading and it was inspiring to see so many boys loosing themselves in the magic of books as they browsed through the display. Thank you to the many parents who purchased books to enhance our own library. The boys’ names will be placed in these books to pay forward their love of reading.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank and pay tribute to our very talented and hard-working teachers who go above and beyond to provide these exciting opportunities, ensuring that learning is always fun, creative and relevant. We extend our thanks to our parents too as it is their involvement and support of the life of the school that makes all the difference.

 South African Day  Inter-house Gala  Experiment Day

 Easter Parade  Informal Music Evening  Puppet Show

 Hooked on Books  Dress up Day  Spiritual Walk



An Extract from Matthew Kelly’s ‘Rediscover Catholicism’.

Imagine this.
You're driving home from work next Monday after a long day. You turn on your radio and you hear a brief report about a small village in India where some people have suddenly died, strangely, of a flu that has never been seen before. It's not influenza, but four people are dead, so the Centers for Disease Control is sending some doctors to India to investigate.

You don't think too much about it — people die every day — but coming home from church the following Sunday you hear another report on the radio, only now they say it's not four people who have died, but thirty thousand, in the back hills of India. Whole villages have been wiped out and experts confirm this flu is a strain that has never been seen before.

By the time you get up Monday morning, it's the lead story. The disease is spreading. It's not just India that is affected. Now it has spread to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and northern Africa, but it still seems far away. Before you know it, you're hearing this story everywhere. The media have now coined it "the mystery flu." The President has announced that he and his family are praying for the victims and their families, and are hoping for the situation to be resolved quickly. But everyone is wondering how we are ever going to contain it.

That's when the President of France makes an announcement that shocks Europe: He is closing the French borders. No one can enter the country, and that's why that night you're watching a little bit of CNN before going to bed. Your jaw hits your chest when a weeping woman's words are translated into English from a French news program: There's a man lying in a hospital in Paris dying of the mystery flu. It has come to Europe.

Panic strikes. As best they can tell, after contracting the disease, you have it for a week before you even know it, then you have four days of unbelievable symptoms, and then you die.

The British close their borders, but it's too late. The disease breaks out in Southampton, Liverpool, and London, and on Tuesday morning the President of the United States makes the following announcement: "Due to a national security risk, all flights to and from the United States have been canceled. If your loved ones are overseas, I'm sorry. They cannot come home until we find a cure for this horrific disease."

Within four days, America is plunged into an unbelievable fear. People are wondering, What if it comes to this country? Preachers on television are saying it's the scourge of God. Then on Tuesday night you are at church for Bible study, when somebody runs in from the parking lot and yells, "Turn on a radio!" And while everyone listens to a small radio, the announcement is made: Two women are lying in a hospital in New York City dying of the mystery flu. It has come to America.
Within hours the disease envelops the country. People are working around the clock, trying to find an antidote, but nothing is working. The disease breaks out in California, Oregon, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts. It's as though it's just sweeping in from the borders.

Then suddenly the news comes out: The code has been broken. A cure has been found. A vaccine can be made. But it's going to take the blood of somebody who hasn't been infected. So you and I are asked to do just one thing: Go to the nearest hospital and have our blood tested. When we hear the sirens go off in our neighborhood, we are to make our way quickly, quietly, and safely to the hospital.

Sure enough, by the time you and your family get to the hospital it's late Friday night. There are long lines of people and a constant rush of doctors and nurses taking blood and putting labels on it. Finally, it is your turn. You go first, then your spouse and children follow, and once the doctors have taken your blood they say to you, "Wait here in the parking lot for your name to be called." You stand around with your family and neighbors, scared, waiting, wondering. Wondering quietly to yourself, What on earth is going on here? Is this the end of the world? How did it ever come to this?

Nobody seems to have had their name called; the doctors just keep taking people's blood. But then suddenly a young man comes running out of the hospital, screaming. He's yelling a name and waving a clipboard. You don't hear him at first. "What's he saying?" someone asks. The young man screams the name again as he and a team of medical staff run in your direction, but again you cannot hear him. But then your son tugs on your jacket and says, "Daddy, that's me. That's my name they're calling." Before you know it, they have grabbed your boy. "Wait a minute. Hold on!" you say, running after them. "That's my son."
"It's okay," they reply. "We think he has the right blood type. We just need to check one more time to make sure he doesn't have the disease."
Five tense minutes later, out come the doctors and nurses, crying and hugging each another; some of them are even laughing. It's the first time you have seen anybody laugh in a week. An old doctor walks up to you and your spouse and says, "Thank you. Your son's blood is perfect. It's clean, it's pure, he doesn't have the disease, and we can use it to make the vaccine."

As the news begins to spread across the parking lot, people scream and pray and laugh and cry. You can hear the crowd erupting in the background as the gray-haired doctor pulls you and your spouse aside to say, "I need to talk to you. We didn't realize that the donor would be a minor and we . . . we need you to sign a consent form."
The doctor presents the form and you quickly begin to sign it, but then your eye catches something. The box for the number of pints of blood to be taken is empty.
"How many pints?" you ask. That is when the old doctor's smile fades, and he says, "We had no idea it would be a child. We weren't prepared for that."
You ask him again, "How many pints?" The old doctor looks away and says regretfully, "We are going to need it all!"
"But I don't understand. What do you mean you need it all? He's my only son!"
The doctor grabs you by the shoulders, pulls you close, looks you straight in the eyes, and says, "We are talking about the whole world here. Do you understand? The whole world. Please, sign the form. We need to hurry!"
"But can't you give him a transfusion?" you plead.
"If we had clean blood we would, but we don't. Please, will you sign the form?"
I have spent hundreds of hours reflecting on where we are in our journey as a Church, and one thing that has become startlingly clear is that we have forgotten our story.

What would you do?
In numb silence you sign the form because you know it's the only thing to do. Then the doctor says to you, "Would you like to have a moment with your son before we get started?"

Could you walk into that hospital room where your son sits on a table saying, "Daddy? Mommy? What's going on?" Could you tell your son you love him? And when the doctors and nurses come back in and say, "I'm sorry, we've got to get started now; people all over the world are dying," could you leave? Could you walk out while your son is crying out to you, "Mom? Dad? What's going on? Where are you going? Why are you leaving? Why have you abandoned me?"
The following week, they hold a ceremony to honor your son for his phenomenal contribution to humanity … but some people sleep through it, others don't even bother to come because they have better things to do, and some people come with a pretentious smile and pretend to care, while others sit around and say, "This is boring!" Wouldn't you want to stand up and say, "Excuse me! I'm not sure if you are aware of it or not, but the amazing life you have, my son died so that you could have that life. My son died so that you could live. He died for you. Does it mean nothing to you?"
Perhaps that is what God wants to say.

Father, seeing it from your eyes should break our hearts. Maybe now we can begin to comprehend the great love you have for us.


A very sincere thank you for your generous contributions to our Easter egg drive, Lenten appeal and toy collection. The various charitable organisations so appreciate our input in making a difference in the lives of those who are suffering. May God bless you all this Easter season.

Dearest St. Benedicts JP and Prep School Parents

A sincere thank you for the Easter Egg donations.
The Easter Egg Drive was a huge success and we are very pleased to announce that 10 443 eggs were collected as a combined effort (4 188 were collected by the JP school, and 6255 were collected by the Prep School). Those receiving these eggs will have a brighter Easter because of you!

These eggs will be donated to Father Tony’s Parish in Malvern- The Blessed Sacrament, and the WE CARE organisation (who distribute them to a variety of charities).
Your generosity is much appreciated. 


Please click on the link for our Mass schedule for Easter Holy Week Easter 1 - Holy Week Timetable.




Over the course of this term's newsletters you have read about our ACTIVE curriculum. The last letter in the acronym is E which stands for the Entrepreneurial element of the curriculum.  Entrepreneurial is described as the ability to take risks in order to make profit. When trying to foster an entrepreneurial spirit in our boys we do not measure this purely on profit. We encourage the process of identifying a problem or need, and coming up with innovative ways to solve it. Boys also need to develop an awareness of economics. What is money? Where does it come from? How can I make my own money? As parents we can teach our boys about basic budgeting and saving through their pocket money routines. At school the Junior Prep boys learn the very basics about money and have opportunities to participate in markets day; either as the buyer or the seller. Charity initiatives create an awareness of privilege and the plight of others who may not be as fortunate as themselves.

This concludes the series of newsletter articles about our ACTIVE curriculum. I trust that you have found them informative and that you have a better idea of the academic journey which we aim to create for the boys.


GR 1, 2 & 3 SPORT

Last week saw our very first house points activity take place with our fun swims. The boys, dressed in their house colours, and proudly cheered their team mates on, as they swam their races. Boys of all swimming abilities were given the opportunity to demonstrate their swimming skills. Mazenod came first in the fun swim and were awarded 25 points, Erasme came second with 20 points, O’Leary third with 15 points and fourth place was Allard with 10 points. We look forward to next term when the boys will have more fun in our inter house competitions.

Please refer to the Sports Newsletter which appears on our Junior Prep main page website under the under the heading 'Latest News'


Please see links for information on Coaching Clinic & Holiday Tournament



The Grade three fundraising committee would like to thank every boy who sold Easter raffle tickets and to the parents who donated goodies for the lovely hampers. Congratulations to the following winners of the hampers:
3rd Prize: Jose Oliveira (Sheet sold by Gabriel Oliveira Gr 3J)
2nd Prize: Lizelle du Preez (Sheet sold by Liam Neto Gr 1C)
1st Prize: Mrs Haji (Sheet sold by Chun Shing Mak Gr 3K)


We extend our very best wishes to Alexis and Dean Du Toit as they look forward to the birth of their daughter during the holidays.
We welcome Dena Sprules  back to Bennies as she takes over Grade 3K for Term 2.

Dates to Diarise

Wednesday 3 May Term 2 Starts 
Friday 5 May  1st Friday Mass 

5 May  Reach For A Dream speaker 
Monday 8 May  Extra Murals Starts 
Thursday 11 May Mothers Day Mass 
Friday  10 May  Slippers Day 
Tuesday 17 May  Let The Children Sing
Friday 19 May  Founders Day Mass 
  19 May  School close at 12:00 
Sunday  21 May  Catholic Schools Sunday 
Mon - Sat  22 - 27 May  Catholic Schools Week 
Thursday  25 May  Ascension Thursday Mass 
Tuesday  30 May  Grade R visit to HRS 
Wednesday  31 May  Teacher Appreciating Day 

Please see our Website calendar for future dates.


RAFAEL DOS SANTOS, BASIA MAKHOTLA, REDIRILE MAKGORO & CHRISTIANO CORREIRA who played in the Olympia U/8 indoor Soccer League and came 1st in the league with a 9 point win.
RAFAEL DOS DANTOS, REECE BOTHA, REDIRILE MAKGORO & CHRISTIANO CORREIRA played the Olympia U/8 indoor Soccer Leagur and won the cup for their area.


1A  Aaron Magua Taking pride in all his work.
1B  Nicolas Read Fantastic effort in everything he does.
1C Tatanda Mandangepfupfu Working consistently and trying his best to behave well.
1D Daniel Mai Quick and accurate calculations.
2E Joshua Paravano Well-written story about Jesse the Water Drop.
2F  Deacon Marshall Gorgeous work in all his books.
2G Luke Corbett Always trying his best in Mathematics
2H  Diego Mendonca Excellent spray sums.
3I Liam Oaks Outstanding work with subtraction with borrowing.
3J Tristan England Supporting his house; Allard enthusiastically even though he was unable to participate during the Fun Gala
3K Michele Patrizi Consistently obeying classroom and school rules.
3L Tatenda Chasumba Excellent listening skills.


Bahlebonke Mazibuko
3J Zhi Han Xiang
3K Brock Yapp
3L Asher Dobrowsky

Final Word from the Head

On behalf of the Bennies Staff we wish you all a Blessed Easter. It is a wonderful time to reflect on gratitude and renewal, and create your own family traditions. These are so important, as doing things together as a family builds a sense of belonging and an emotional anchor for your children. This holiday is a perfect time to build Easter traditions creating a bond, unique to your family, and something your children will look forward to each year, creating happy and secure childhood memories.

Have you noticed our Quick Calendar for easy reference on the JP web page ? 

Twitter handle: @BenniesJP  and visit our Facebook page   



Dante Volo



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