We continue to receive complaints about cars being parked in the Drop & Go Zone and on the opposite side of the school on Marlow Street during pick up and drop off times. This is inconsiderate and dangerous. If you need a longer stop, find a spot in one of the neighbouring side streets. When doing so, please do not block any of our neighbours' driveways.
Parents who wish to apply for fee assistance for the 2023 school year must email Pam Schneider, Bursar, at email@example.com and request a form. The forms need to be completed in full and returned with supporting documentation by close of business on Monday 29 August 2022.
Please note that it is the expectation of the Board of Trustees that parents who receive assistance “give back” to the school by actively participating in a working group and/or other activities at Michael Oak. Participation in and around the school is taken very seriously when considering applications. It is our intention to have the selection process completed by the end of Term 3.
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.
CLASS 9 is proud to present:
Monday 29 August thru Saturday 3 September at 7:00 PM Saturday 3 September at 2:30 PM Sunday 4 September at 3:00 PM
This year’s production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona is highly entertaining – full of drama, romance, humour and slapstick. The Class 9s are putting in fantastic effort and commitment, ensuring a high quality piece of work. A performance not to be missed!
Tickets available at the door for only R30 each.
Please note: Parental Guidance for sensitive viewers (one violent scene)
I am so honoured to have joined Michael Oak and be a part of this wonderful school. I have taken over from Mr Van Blerk and am now teaching Class 4. I would like to share with you my experience of transitioning into this role as the Class 4’s new teacher and how having the knowledge and background of being a Waldorf teacher has supported me.
Firstly, it is such a huge task taking over a class, bang in the middle of their primary years. The children have built such a beautiful relationship, trust and bond with their previous class teacher and most have known him since they were 7 years old. When I decided to take on this role, I prepared myself for many different reactions from the children; some of them being rebellion, reluctance to listen, over-eagerness or even disrespect. I had to find a way to fill the shoes of a person I only knew for a very short time - and a male presence at that, which brings a whole other atmosphere into the room.
I put on my brave cloak and went at it with patience, care, prayer and love. I realised that each one of these children have been put in my path for a reason, a special challenge and task. As much as they will be learning from me, through teaching the curriculum, I too will be learning from them. We will mirror each other, face difficulties, share laughs, cries, excitement and even anger.
I constantly remind myself of my complex role as an educator to young children. I am here to carry these beautiful beings, and hold their space as they enter a new chapter of their childhood as they cross the rubicon: the crossover from being one with nature/the world to discovering their own ego/I and relationship or place in the world. I am here to be their leader - even general at times - but also to let them lead when needed. I am here to repeat myself over and over again without becoming frustrated; instead with the knowledge that it will sink into these young fascinating minds. I am here to be a warm, soft blanket when these children are having trouble landing or arriving from home. I am here to make this classroom feel like a home where the children feel they can open up, trust and ease into learning.
When I reflect on my task as a Waldorf Teacher, my heart and soul smile and I feel happy and ready for the journey ahead. In closing, I would like to share a verse that really speaks to the essence of my role as a teacher:
“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that created the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess the tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration; I can humiliate or humour, hurt or heal. In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person humanised or de-humanised. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they can be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”
Our team was hard at work on Wednesday making sandwiches for the adults and children at the "I Can Academy", an underprivileged informal school in Parkwood Estate that we are supporting. We collected many sandwiches, as well as bread and ingredients from the school. This produced a large box of sandwiches for donation and we are grateful to those in the primary and high school who contributed. Last week, as well as our sandwiches, we also donated the school's unclaimed lost property items to the children. This included lunchboxes, shoes and clothing.
We manage to feed approximately 50 children with donated foods and up to 200 adults with a daily cup of soup.
We are looking for gas cylinders, cooker tops and large pots.
We urge our school community to continue bringing an extra sandwich to school every Wednesday because it makes a difference to those in need.
We are in the process of building an Outreach Donation Booth where all manner of donations can be received, e.g. food, clothing, toys, stationery etc. We are arranging a system for cash donations with the school -- watch this space.
By Zadie Prince, High School Outreach Team
Class 10 Roots, Hearts & Wings Adventure Camp
Michael Oak embarked on an exciting initiative that was conceived at the Visioning Day with parents and staff in May 2003. The idea was to create an opportunity as a school community to consciously mark the crossing of the threshold from childhood to young adulthood. It was to take place in their last year at Michael Oak (at the time Class 10 was the last year in our high school). A working group of teachers and parents were mandated to develop and coordinate this opportunity and in 2004 the first camp was put in place.
It was decided that Class 10 was the ideal time for a camp where the young people could participate in a standstill time, or moratorium period, to reflect on their past, where they’re at now, and how they envisage moving into their future. While it is felt to be important at this stage for the students to participate in separate groups for the young men and women, to reflect on what it is to grow into adulthood, the camps are not about prescribing what kind of adult they might become, nor about reinforcing stereotypes. After the camp there is an opportunity for the young men and women to get together and share their experiences and insights with each other.
The intention is for the school to acknowledge these young people in a special way, and that this process in no way replaces or competes with any other cultural or religious ceremony or ritual to which parents are committed.
This initiative is now in its 19th year and has become an integral part of the Michael Oak curriculum. It is facilitated by representatives from the High School Faculty and Michael Oak parents. We are grateful for the parent participation, which is absolutely critical to the success of this process.
We wish the young men and young women well on their journey next week!
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.
The school Fair committee is looking for prizes. Please take this opportunity to clean out your cupboards, garage, drawers and toy boxes. Donate your gently used, non-plastic items. (see instructions below) Fill your class box in reception (Primary School) or classroom (High School) and your class could win the prize for September!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
After the sudden resignation of our gym teacher and sports coordinator, Michael Oak is now looking for someone to take over the role of Sports & Extramural Coordinator in an interim position while we search for a permanent replacement. This is a part-time position, primarily in the afternoons, during the school terms. Skills required: administration, responsibility, enthusiasm and strong communication skills. If you are interested or know someone who might be, please contact George Gabriel on email@example.com.
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’