"To be free is to be capable of thinking one's own thoughts -
not the thoughts merely of the body, or of society,
but thoughts generated by one's deepest, most original,
most essential and spiritual self, one's individuality.”
Please note that the AGM will no longer be taking place on Thursday, 25 August. A new date will be announced as soon as possible. More information will be provided in the next "Community Note" from the Trustees and College.
As my time at the school is coming to a close, here are my reflections on the past two years...
I started at Michael Oak in July 2020 in the midst of the pandemic; we were all wearing masks, sanitising and keeping our distance from one another. What a time to enter a new community!
Yet, behind the masks, I felt the smiles and beyond the distance, I felt the warmth.
At the school, I found friends, lifelong ones, and colleagues that I am so proud to be working with. Teachers who are deeply dedicated to our children, every single day - relentlessly and passionately. I have learnt from them in so many ways that gratitude cannot be expressed in words.
What a privilege to have met every single one of the beautiful children who come to aftercare! Every day, from the children, I get gifts of joy, love, compassion, wisdom, and laughter… I will miss and carry each one of them in my heart. One of the beautiful things about working in aftercare is that I get to care for children across all the Primary School classes and I love observing and guiding the interactions between the different ages.
My intention, for the aftercare space, was to create a home-like environment for the children. A loving, creative and caring space where the children feel safe and where we could all have some fun! I feel that I have laid the foundations for this intention of mine and I am sure that the new aftercare teacher will continue to build and take the aftercare to new heights.
Last, but definitely not least, to my amazing parents. Thank you for trusting me with your children. Even when we could only communicate via WhatsApp, I felt your support and what a pleasure it was to, eventually, see your faces, to get to know you in person and even hug you. I have no doubt that you will continue to build and care for this wonderful school community.
As I prepare to re-embrace my native country, I sadly - in a way - but joyfully and definitely gratefully, pack away the memories that I have created at Michael Oak.
A very big thank you to all the parents, children and staff who put so much love into the Primary School gardens last term! The children and teachers were delighted to see how the gardens were transformed - and we look forward to seeing how it will all fill out in the spring. A special thank you to Melisa and Helen for your enthusiasm and getting everyone together and to all the parents who generously donated plants, skills and time.
Table Tennis Coach, Theo Cogill (3rd from left), represented South Africa at the Commonwealth Games World Championships in Birmingham UK over the last two weeks. Here is what he had to say about the experience:
“It was an honour representing my country and attend my 4th Commonwealth Games, which I never thought was possible. Birmingham was a great experience as the Games keep getting better and better. It was amazing to feel the support of the athletes and spectators from all over the world at this special event which only takes place every 4 years. This particular one was special to me because qualifying for this event is extremely difficult but I managed to qualify while being a Paralympic athlete and qualified as an able body. I also managed to beat highly ranked players in the team event. I finished in the last 16 in Doubles from a draw of 128. My world ranking also moved up which helped me become the first South African with the highest ranking there. I am proud of my hard work and the experience I've had at this global event while getting to interact with the best players in the world. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to pass my knowledge to the next generation.”
The next garden work party will be on the morning of Saturday, 3 September. Our focus will be on the High School area. The work party is a wonderful way to help beautify our school grounds while also getting to know new parents. Come get your hands dirty.
With so much going on at school, we wish to capture these special moments in order to create short video clips that we can share on our website and social media channels. To support this effort, we are looking for any parents with skills in Videography, Photography & Editing. If you are able to help us, please contact Claire on email@example.com.
Are you a member of the Michael Oak community who might be interested in joining the womens’ facilitation team for the Class 10 Roots, Hearts and Wings Camp, which will take place from Thursday, 25 to Sunday, 28 August 2022. Facilitation skills are desirable, but training is also available. If you have any questions or might be interested, please email Claire on firstname.lastname@example.org
When your "other room" gets too full, please fill a bag or two with books you can spare and send them to school for the bookstall at the Fair. Please drop them off in the Library or Reception.
Thank you to all who have already donated books this year. Much appreciated!
Fair Prize Donations - Well Done Class 3 !!
Congratulations to Class 3 for collecting the most prizes in July. We hope you enjoyed the cupcakes!
Time for an early spring cleaning? The school Fair committee is looking for prizes. Please use this as an opportunity to clean out your cupboards, toy boxes and garage. Donate your gently used, non-plastic items. (see instructions in poster below) Fill your class box in reception (Primary School) or classroom (High School) and your class could win the prize for September!
Local Medical Practice seeks new premises in Kenilworth. A collection of Psychologists, Social Workers, an Arts Therapist, Psychiatrist, Physio and Chiropractor are looking for a house to rent in the area. Please contact Lesley on 082 828 5917.
Michael Oak 18 year old student, Blessing Chatama, who's finishing off school, is looking for a room close to school due to a challenging studying environment which includes almost no network where she lives and difficulties travelling to school at times. She is willing to house sit, walk dogs, babysit, and take on other small au pair duties in exchange for a room. Please contact Maurita Weissenberg on 0834426967 or email@example.com for more information and for a reference.
Gardener seeks work
Lot, our Malawian gardener - son of Chatama - is looking for extra days. Reliable, hardworking and experienced. Contact Ilana on 0763967977 for details.
Domestic worker available
Patricia - wife of our long-term gardener of 20 years - is looking for domestic work. Contact Ilana 0763967977.
We are looking for Matric Examination Invigilators
Are you looking for a part-time job with flexible hours? Come be a part of a team of invigilators (exam supervisor) at Michael Oak who will ensure exams are carried out according to the WCED regulations. The Matric end of year examinations take place in the November-December period. You will need to be available during the exam period and attend an annual training session.
1) Assisting in the setting up of the examination room.
2) Helping in the opening and distribution of question papers and other authorised materials to students.
3) Supervising the orderly entry of students into the exam room and ensuring that they are correctly seated according to the seating plan.
4) Dealing with late-comers.
5) Starting examinations according to the regulations and ensuring that the examination regulations are observed throughout the exam.
6) Maintaining active invigilation throughout the examination to ensure that no cheating occurs.
7) Taking responsibility for a group of students when in the exam room.
8) Ending exams in accordance with the regulations.
9) Collecting exam scripts.
10) Returning all exam scripts, unused papers, registers and other materials to the Matric Office immediately after the end of the exam.
11) Maintaining security and confidentiality.
12) Assisting in other activities as may be required by the school from time to time.
Organisation, reliability, punctuality, responsibility, use of initiative and strong communication skills.
After a 6-month Sabbatical, we are returning to give extramural art at Michael Oak, this term every second Friday plus the 16th September. A new idea not communicated is that instead of coming for an hour, pupils from Class 1 up (and kindergarten if it works for that child) can come for 1.5hrs for the five lessons (R930), which is the same in terms of actual art time as eight lessons of one hour. From next term, the classes will be weekly on Friday for all the different age groups as they have been before, with a Saturday morning class as well.
We are using the Class 11 room, a downstairs room a short hop away from the Primary School (especially classes 1,2 and 3). It is also opposite the matric art room and the garden passage leading to the High School garden where there are tables we can work in good weather. Children can come to the classroom for art straight after school, and wait under guidance (eat their lunch, read or draw), or join the art class.
Projects on a variety of themes for the 3rd term will a choice from:
painting our fired clay sculptural pottery/any unfinished canvasses, with new pupils painting artworks on the same themes;
top-down view drawings from nature (as seen in the MO garden or elsewhere, supported by photos);
artworks based on suitable current exhibitions at Norval Foundation Art Museum (including an interesting experimental one);
chalk pastel techniques;
mixed media collaged pictures;
artworks on personal themes (see accompanying photos).
Some projects will be carried over to the 4th term. There will be depth in the introductions for the projects, and artworks shown. Projects are age appropriate with differentiation as to what the younger and older pupils do. The emphasis is on fostering creativity, self-esteem and enjoyment of art, while learning techniques and a sense of aesthetics. On offer are a variety of media, themes and 2-D as well as 3-D projects, including those about the natural environment, and inspired by South African, African and other artists, as well as current exhibitions. Do remember you can put in requests.
Days, times and dates, 3rd term's art classes (1 session every second week to start, 5 weeks, Class 11 room)
Fridays: 29th July, 12th August, 26th August, 9th September, 16th September. Children may join in the second lesson, or later (pro-rata fees), and catch up missed lessons. Children may come to the classroom straight after school.
Friday 1pm – 1.55pm or 1pm to 2.30pm (Kindergarten, Classes 1 and 2)
Friday 2pm – 3pm or 3.30pm (Classes 3 and 4 mainly; Kindergarten, Classes 1 and 2)
Friday 2.30pm - 3.30pm or 4pm (Classes 5, 6 and 7 mainly or higher; Classes 3 and 4)
Friday 3.00pm – 4.00pm (Classes as above)
Also in Constantia (off Brommersvlei Road) for all age groups on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (8-week programme).
Fees are R620 for 1-hour lessons or R930 for 1.5 hour lessons this term, including materials and firing. Pro rata fees for late joiners. Visitors or ‘try-out’ pupils are welcome at R130 a lesson. Detailed newsletters and flyers can be emailed on request. For more information, contact Sue [MPhil in Education (Teaching) UCT and trained Waldorf teacher], art and environmental educationalist.
Adverts will be published a maximum of 3 times per school term.
Posters should be 560px wide with text large enough to read on a mobile device.
Please send community notices and display adverts to: firstname.lastname@example.org
All advertisers are expected to make a contribution to our Bursary Fund.
Minimum donation of R50 for community notices and R100 for display adverts.
Please use these bank details for EFT transfers:
Standard Bank / Branch: 02510900 / Acc. No.: 071885382
Acc Name: Michael Oak School Fundraising / Ref: ‘Leaflet-Ad’