Tuesday, April 26, 2011

CBHS Newsletter 4 - Apr '11

Dear Parents

What a long long-weekend this Easter break turned out to be. The Second Term continues with four weeks until the exams start.

Thank you for your great support for our book drive. We have not counted the books yet, but have piles already. They will be collected this week, so there is still time to send in your unwanted books. They will be used along with the books from the Preparatory and Primary Schools’ collections, to start libraries in schools that don’t have libraries.

During the holidays the pupils and teachers going on the Bali Surf Trip put in some practice time with a weekend camp. The Dancers also came in for a workshop in the holidays. All the Inter-House Play groups spent the holidays at school practicing for this weeks performances.

All parents and pupils are welcome to attend the Inter-house Plays this week. On Thursday 5th May – Red, Orange and Yellow house will perform and on Friday 6th May – Purple, Blue Green will perform. The plays will start at 19h00.


On Saturday 7th May we hold our annual Derby against Westerford High School. This year we are the hosts and so all the matches are at home. Food will be on sale from the tuck shop and from the Grade 12 Business Studies students as part of their entrepreneurs’ project. I would encourage you to make a point of coming to the school at some time during the morning to watch a game.

The day programme is as follows:

Friday afternoon:
3:15 pm: u14 girls hockey
4:00 pm: u14 boys hockey
4:45 pm: u16b girls hockey


8:30 u14
9:30 u15
10:30 u19b
11:30 u19a

8:00 u19 boys
9:00 u19 girls
10:00 u16 boys
11:00 u16a girls

8:00 u14b 8:45 u14a
9:30 u19b 10:15 u19A
10:45 u16b 11:30 u16A

Trinity College London
Congratulations to Alex McGregor for obtaining the highest award for the Advanced Level Graded examination in Speech and Drama. She was awarded the silver medal with a distinction of 93%, the highest in the Western Cape. Well done Alex!

Battle of the Bands Competition at Herzlia High School:
In the school rock band competition, Forefront, performed at the Herzlia Battle of the Bands. They went up against stiff competition such as NoGapsBetween and The Last Descent and managed to win the competition. Forefront are recording two songs with the legendary Richard Black later in the month. The band would like to thanks Ms Martens and the school for their valuable support!
Forefront's members are:
Taylor Jackson – guitar and vocals
Nick Andrews – guitar and vocals
Nicholas Rous – bass guitar
Jason Dionysopoulos - Drums

Debating Society
The debating season so far has been an incredibly successful and busy one. Our senior team, in the form of Nicholas Rous, Taylor Jackson, Megan Davies and Nicky Andrews, has performed superbly. They have debated against Herzlia, Reddam Tokai and El Shaddai, winning two of the three debates so far. Best speaker awards have been won twice by Megan Davies and once by Nicky Andrews.
Our junior team, consisting of Maxine Beimel, Hannah Fagan, Cassidy Nicholson, Sarah Schuman and Hannah Kaniki, has won all three of their debates so far. This unbeaten team is new to the game, making their achievements all the more outstanding. The best speaker award has been given to Hannah Fagan twice.
Debating this year has really taken off and is being given much more exposure. More and more learners are interested in participating, resulting in an oversupply of volunteers. We have a growing support base with each debate being supported by more and more spectators. The spirit and sense of camaraderie is evident in the many hours of preparation, the attendance of workshops hosted by UCT and training workshops hosted by our expert debating coach Ms Le Chat, on weekends and in the afternoons.
Our debaters are truly appreciate of this invaluable coaching and the time and effort given by Mr. Cunliffe and Ms. Edgecumbe in managing such a dedicated band of debaters, whose mantra has become: “Winning is not everything, it is the only thing.”Well done team! We are very proud of you!


Congratulations to Oscar Armstrong and Dylan Adriaens for the excellent performance in 2010/2011 South African Kite boarding Tour (SAKT). The tour consisted of five events held at four venues country wide over the 2010/2011 season. The events are run strictly according to international rules, and are divided into three disciplines, Course racing, Freestyle and Wave riding. This is the second season the event has been run and has been the benchmark for how National colours are going to be earned starting next season (2011/2112).
Both Oscar and Dylan opted not to enter the Novice class, but rather the Men’s Pro class (there was no Junior class) as by doing that they would receive a country wide Rating.
In this class they finished 6th (Oscar) ,and 9th (Dylan) overall. In the final rankings there were 32 competitors, however at all the events there were well over 50 riders who took part.


There was a time when it was thought that parents merely looked after children till they were old enough to go to school and start their education. Today we know that parents are the primary educators of their children. Research done in American schools indicates that the vocabulary a child has on day one at school determines their relative success or failure at formal schooling. Children from homes where the parents talk to them and read to them a lot, do far better at school, compared with children from homes where they have not enjoyed this language rich experience. Nutrition also plays a big part in the ability of a child to learn, and correct nourishment from birth ensures higher achievements later in life. So parent, you have a significant role to play in educating your child before they enter a formal school.

I would further argue that your role in their education continues through their school years. One way that you can impact their learning is through their homework. Homework is work that a teacher sets for the child to do after the formal lesson. It can be done anywhere, from the school library to your dining room table, and at any time in your child’s and your families’ busy daily schedule.

The start of the homework cycle is when the work is set by the teacher. Here each child needs a homework diary in which to record exactly what is required and by when. Many parents have heard their child phoning around to classmates trying to find out exactly what the homework is, after they hadn’t written anything down in class.

The next part of the homework cycle it to have a time to do it. It is good to do it early in the afternoon rather than late at night. Each family will have their own schedule, and a time for doing homework needs to be part of this daily family routine.

Next there should ideally be a location for the child to work. This can be the kitchen table, their bedroom, a local library or even the backseat of the car. At the time they are doing their homework they should be able to have a relatively quiet time with few disturbances. It is not good to try and work with the TV on, but many children seem able to work well with background music.

While homework is being done it helps a lot to have parental support. This can range from actually sitting with the child going through their work, to answering the occasional questions, through to merely adding words of encouragement. Saying things like, ‘how is your homework going’, ‘can I help you with anything’ etc. Parents are often scared to offer any help, as they fear their children will ask questions that they can’t answer. Most parents will break into a cold sweat if their Grade 12 child asks a maths question like, ‘Dad can you help me differentiate this third degree polynomial?’ Fortunately most of the questions asked are much easier, and a parent can quickly help their child who in turn is then able to continue with the homework tasks.

Another area where a parent can help is in planning. Homework is often to do a project or research that involves work over more than one day. Here pupils may need to have their parents get them to start early enough to get the work done on time. It will help to agree on a work programme long before the deadline is looming and everyone reverts to crisis mode. The last thing a parent wants to hear on a Sunday evening, is Oh no, I have a science project due tomorrow, Dad do you have some cardboard, 3 bulbs, some wire, and batteries in the garage?’

Homework should not take hours and hours to do. For a high school pupils it can take up to 2½ hours a day, with more time being required for large projects or assignments. However there will also be times when there is very little work to do at home, and Homework may take only 30 minutes.

Finally, the purpose of homework is to allow practice of skills or techniques learned in class, or to cover material that follows on work done in class. The purpose is always to learn something, or prepare for the learning of something.

Parents have a vital role to play in the life-long learning of their children. Helping with their homework is yet another way that they can be of help in this learning journey.
All the best.

Yours sincerely


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