1 June 2016


Latest Prep School Newsletter
1 June 2016

View this email in your browser

Dear ParentsThe recent fatal tragedy which occurred next to the Astroturf has not left me. To bear witness to what transpired has left me somewhat shaken. Trauma runs deep and it can leave scars which can take a long time to heal. This tragedy has led to much introspection on my behalf and I cannot get away from the fact that life is indeed so fragile and so short.As a result of this introspection, I cannot but help wonder if I am using my time wisely to benefit others and to add value to a broken society. I cannot help but wonder if I am getting too caught up in the trivial issues of the day. Surely, my focus should be on spending quality time with family and friends, sharing experiences and having fun.Life is so short and we need to make the most of every interaction. We need to enjoy ourselves and others. We need to build each other up. I encourage us all to decisively make a point of choosing positivity over negativity. Imagine the difference it will make to your world and the world of others. Perhaps we can be quite narrow minded in thinking of just our little world. Surely we, as parents, need to be thinking way beyond our personal borders and challenging our children to follow suit. We need to be the leaders to constantly challenge and shift our children’s thinking away from the self and more onto the needs of others. To me, that is what is at the heart of education – to add value and support in a humanistic way. To love others as God loves us.

With this in mind, I have now initiated conversations around our Community Engagement and what it means to be socially responsible. I maintain that it is imperative for us as a school to forge new pathways and connections into our immediate surrounds. We need to build bridges and partnerships with schools and communities around us. We cannot simply think and exist inwardly. We need to co-exist and give freely of our time, skills and resources.

Currently, we run a Social Responsibility Programme whereby every grade has termly opportunities to meet the needs of others and donate or drive initiatives. I cannot help but think of how powerful the moment is when we can raise close to R15000 for the baby rhino, Osita, as well as collect 10000 nappies for Heartlands. And all this in such a short space of time. The collective energy and support of these initiatives has been quite phenomenal and inspirational!

We need to build on the power of giving and grow our mindsets accordingly. Our country is in desperate need of servant leadership. Our school has now caught some glimpses of servant leadership. This must be the start of something that we as a school can build on and sustain. I have been having some wonderful conversations with our Grade 6 and 7 classes around this very topic. Being a leader means many things but it also means saying no. It means standing up to what is wrong. It means sticking to saying “No, that is not right.” Our country needs these leaders and our school needs these leaders.

Bullying has sadly reared its ugly head in the Prep School and I will not stand for bullying behaviour. It does not belong in our school and it does not belong in our society. I would like EVERY single family to have conversations around the dinner table about this very topic. It has to be rooted out of our beautiful school and I invite children and parents to come forward to discuss this topic should you deem it necessary. EVERY single child has the right to come to school to learn, to grow and develop. This can only happen in a safe and secure environment.

On the staffing front, as the Grade 1 parents are already aware, we are sad to be losing Mrs Emma Bresler who has tendered her resignation due to health concerns. Mrs Bresler will be leaving us at the end of the term. That said, Mrs Bresler will certainly be called upon to come in and assist us when necessary!  As of Term 3, Mrs Taryn Frost will be the new Head of Grade 1 until the end of the year. I am delighted to have appointed Mrs Jeanne Potgieter to Grade 1. Mrs Potgieter joins us from Melkbosstrand Private School and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a PGCE in Foundation Phase and Early Childhood Development which she obtained with distinction.
Ron Rutland was our guest speaker at our recent Prep Breakfast Talk. Ron shared an amazing story about his epic adventure through Africa and Europe en route to the Rugby World Cup in the UK in 2015. His message described many life stories around facing fears and challenges, making decisions and the resultant liberation and confidence of embracing his fears. And all this whilst sitting on a bicycle! It was a story of hope.
Best wishes to our Grade 5-7 children as they embark upon their Test Week. I did speak to the Grade 5-7 children after Assembly on Monday. My message to them was to use their time wisely this week in preparation for next week. I also reminded them to ask questions in class as this is where learning takes place.  Please look after your children during this busy time. Encourage them to be well prepared and to simply give of their best. We don’t need anything more.

Enjoy this beautiful autumn weather!

Mr Craig Verdal-Austin
Head of the Preparatory School



Sometimes It Is Good To Be Bored

The concept of boredom is something that we try and negate at all costs in our modern society. Our children are constantly being “entertained”; be it as they sit in front of the television, iPad or computer. There are so many devices out there which offer this entertainment and it all comes in the form of some or other screen. I am finding more and more that this generation of children do not know how to be bored; or they are not afforded the opportunity to experience the sensation of boredom. We, as parents, tend to be too eager to structure our children’s lives, going from one organised activity to the next. This allows precious little time for free play. Children often seem to perceive boredom as a punishment or something to be endured. It should however be quite the opposite – an opportunity. Most of our modern entertainment does not require too much in the way of brain activation; it tends to be passive. Boredom, on the other hand, forces us to think of different ways of doing things and in children, it allows for much more creative play. I look at my own children and often marvel at the games they come up with. The solutions to simple problems are often ill-fated, but through trial and error, they develop new thought patterns. It is so tempting to just solve the problems for them, but then we rob them of the opportunity to learn for themselves.

One of the main focuses of education these days is to develop critical thinking; the ability to create new, original ideas. So often, we are all conditioned to think in a similar way. Boredom – or even just the time to sit and think about things differently – is an opportunity we seldom afford our children or even ourselves.
As a science teacher, I endeavour to spark curiosity wherever possible. I love it when children go home and do their own experiments and investigations. This experimentation is only possible with the support of parents in allowing the free time to explore. The children’s learning and understanding is so much deeper as a result.
During the Grade 7 Experience, we have built in an eight hour solo time. Here the children have the opportunity to become bored and to reflect on the year and their aspirations for Senior School. It is something that a few of them dread, as it is not like anything they have done before. They cannot just pick up their phones and Instagram a selfie or post something on Snapchat.

They have to reflect and just be. At the end of the solo, so many of the children say it was a unique and rewarding experience. However, I wonder if they have been able to do anything similar since then…
Let us not then consider boredom to be a “swear word”, but rather an opportunity that needs to be embraced and encouraged.

Mr John Herman
Head of Natural Science & Outdoor Education


Grade 00 – Land Art Spirals

We are so fortunate to attend a school situated on a farm. In Grade 00, we make full use of our beautiful and spacious surroundings. The children have a large area to play in which includes a wonderful steep hill, long slides and large sand pits.We regularly go on nature walks that take us over the bridge, under leafy trees, around the vineyards and across large grass fields. We walk to explore the environment, to search for insects, birds, frogs, leaves and so on. Sometimes we just walk, look, feel, smell and listen to our environment. Sometimes we actively collect large armfuls of acorns, leaves and bark, and bring our treasures back to our playground for further investigation and play.

These photographs show the children using pine cones and other items to create what is known as land art. It was wonderful to see how they thoroughly enjoyed this creative experience and applied their imaginations whilst making these nature spirals.Not only does this activity stimulate the creative side of children, but it also encourages them to work together, share, take turns and discuss options.Land art involves making art in nature, using materials found in nature. Our world is full of wonderful natural places and land art helps children to discover nature whilst expressing themselves and stimulating their minds in creative ways. It also offers opportunities to create larger pictures of art, exposing the artists to fresh air and some exercise. This is something to bear in mind when on holiday, whether it be in the snow, on the beach or in a garden so that they are able to “discover art through nature and nature through art” – Jan-Erik Sorenstuen.
Mrs Tracy Gebers & Mrs Tracy Pederson
Grade 00 Class Teachers


Somerset College Parents’ Prayer Group

Somerset College has an active prayer group which meets regularly during term time, ably run by Jenny Cunningham (who has children in both the Prep and Senior schools). All are welcome to join the group, either by email, or by joining other parents to pray.

Mission Statement
Our goal is to be an effective prayer-based group of parents and staff who commit to pray for any needs that arise at Somerset College – whether we are a part of the Friday meetings and/or as part of a prayer chain network. We desire to reach out to those around us in love, with hope and light, and to be a supportive part of the spiritual growth of our school. In doing so, we hope to encourage a community that glorifies God in our school, that supports and cares for our Somerset College family and that trusts our Father God for answered prayer. We ask God for His blessing over our school and for all who govern it, teach in it and belong to it.
The Somerset College prayer group is a group of Christian people who pray for the needs of our school. We meet in St Matthew’s Chapel every second Friday at 1pm, alternating with 7.40am at the Pavilion the following Friday during term time. We are also part of a prayer chain network that supports, prays for and encourages those related to our school who need it.We invite you to join us in praying for our school, either by coming to our weekly prayer times on Fridays and/or by being on our mailing list to receive weekly prayer requests and information on what we have been praying for. Please send your email address to Jenny Cunningham (083 460 7174) at cunning@icon.co.za to be placed on our prayer chain list. We would love to have you as a part of our prayer support team!
“The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil.4:6-7
We invite parents of children of all ages to join the prayer group. Please contact Jenny or myself for further details.

Mr Patrick Cordery


By 2011 we were still in the small, cramped classroom upstairs with donated furniture. The book collection was growing and due to lack of shelf space, books were placed in coloured crates. We landed up with 95 crates spread around the library. The photographs attest to how cramped we were. But guess what? We were reading and the library was always full of children…even at break.

They were really good. There were so many talented actors to choose from.
These students are in Matric this year.

The 21st century library is not always a quiet reading room. It is not always tidy! When the sewing machines are out while we sew costumes, it can get chaotic. So too, when the children spread themselves throughout the library researching and putting their projects together.
I believe in 21st  skills and these have always been encouraged in the library.
Own your learning
Work together, learn together
Untangle the web
Think deep, think different
Create solutions

To be continued ………Mrs Dianne de Villiers



Trinity Singing Exam Results

The following singing students did extremely well in their exam and I am very proud of all of them:

  • Merit:  76% – 86%
  • Distinction: 87%

Thank you for all of your hard work. You deserve these excellent results!

Grade 1 Trinity
Caroline Morris:  with distinction
Alyssa Pretorius: with distinction
Helené Goosen: with distinction
Erin Cunningham: with distinction
Taryn Richardson: with distinction
Emma van Schalkwyk: with merit

Grade 2 Trinity
Helene von der Heyden: with distinction
Mohamed Khalfey: with distinction
Siobhan Kennedy: with distinction
Isabella Phillips: with merit
Lily Gowen: with merit
Daniele Francis: with merit
Angela Scott: with merit
Sadie Geard: with merit

Grade 4 Trinity
Mira Smuts: with distinction
Michay Winter: with merit
Michelle Juncker: with merit

Grade 5 Trinity
Georgina Wraith: with merit

Mrs Ronel Viljoen
Music Teacher



In week 5 we were lerning about recipes and about Walt Disney. We had to make a fancy Walt Disney party snack at school. I made a delish choclate pizza and I shared with some of my friends and Nina F made popping popcorn and Erin made Star Wars shaped pancakes. it was Yoda and R2d2. it was funny because before she started she said “May the force be with you”. For my choclate pizza I sprad Nutella on my pizza and marshmellows with some grated choclate and mini chocolate balls. I was quit nervus before I went then it was done and felt way better. We got to eat our party snacks at our party.
Zaria Naidoo, Grade 3

On Friday 6 May the Grade 3s celabrated learning about Walt Disney by having a Walt Disney theamed party where we also got to eat our yummy part snacks. It was AMAZING!  Part of it was that we got to dress up. I went as Crualla Devil. Some of us went as Minnie Mouse, Aroora, Flounder the fish, Ray from Star Wars, and many more awsome people. Evan the teachers dressed up! Thay went as Minni Mouse and they looked Minni-licious. It was a bit windy so we had it by the Grade 1 and 2s play area. We played games and ate sweets. The boys really enjoyed it because they got to have a lightsaver battel. It was the best day ever
Shayna McNamara, Grade 3
Last week the Grade 3s went on an outing and we were all so excited! At 08:00 we got on the bus with our buddies and soon we got there. We went into a little room and sat at the tables. There were two fish on a tray. Three people had to share a fish. A lady came in and told us all about the fish. We got to look at the gills of our fish. We also got to open our fishes mouth. Then they let us put our fingers in their mouth and threw there gills. It was discusting but I still did it. Not a lot of people were brave enough! Then we went outside and ate our delicious food.We then were put into groups. In my class the boys went with Mr Hagaman and the girls went with Mrs Erasmus. We got to see lots of fish in different fish tanks. There were lots of eals and some of them looked like snakes so I was frightened! There was small jelly fish. Then we able to touch coral and seaweed. We also got to look at lots of penguins but the room realy smelt badly. Then we went into a room were we could play games like water games on a screen and electricity games. We also saw divers diving with fish and sharks. During this time we had a piece of paper and we had to find five living and five non-living things and list them on the paper. I liked doing that!I really enjoyed this outing because I learnt things I never knew.
Nina Benson, Grade 3

Miss Nabila Abdulla
Head of Grade 3


Preparatory School Jersey Drive


The Rotary Ann’s Organisation has distributed jerseys to Little Angels, Bright Lights, the United Church Project for Single Mothers, Jubilee Haven at Mountain View Baptist Church, Bethesda Church, Rusthof, Pearl Project, Chilanga Riding School for the Disabled, Various crèches in Llwandle, Nomzamo Anglican Church, Strand, Heartlands, Choices, the Night Shelter, the Soup Kitchen, the Ark and many others.We will be collecting unwanted warm goodies for Rotary Ann’s to distribute: jerseys, blankets, socks, gloves, scarves, beanies, pyjamas and gownsThe collection will run until Friday 3 June.Please place donations in the bins outside Mrs Whyman’s office. Thank you for helping to keep someone else warm this winter!

Mrs Tarryn Rose-Innes
Head of Grade 4



General enquiries and sick notes for sport – prepsport@somcol.co.za
Physical Education for girls please e-mail Kirsty de Kock – k.dekock@somcol.co.za
Physical Education for boys please e-mail Hilton Toro – h.toro@somcol.co.za

Please follow the correct lines of communication with regard to Physical Education (PE) and Sport if your child is sick and needs to be excused. For PE, you should email k.dekock@somcol.co.za for the girls and h.toro@somcol.co.za for the boys. Please send these emails by 08:00 in order for Mrs de Kock and Mr Toro to deal with them before they have to attend to PE lessons. Please do not email prepsport@somcol.co.za regarding Physical Education. Physical Education is an academic subject and is separate from Sport.

For Sport, please email prepsport@somcol.co.za. Mrs Heidi Hudson-Bennett deals with these emails and informs the relevant Heads of Sport/coaches.

The U11A boys enjoyed a narrow win, winning 10-5, and the U11Bs played a tightly contested match, losing 17-7. The U13B boys narrowly lost 17-15. This was a great match to watch as it came down to the last minute of the game. The boys learnt good life lessons; that it isn’t over until it’s over and that they must never give up. The U13A boys played some good rugby, particularly in their defence. It was a joy to watch their match as they dominated ball position and won the match 22-5. We look forward to the upcoming rugby fixtures.
18 May. Despite some very challenging matches, the boys managed to persevere and played some excellent rugby. It was not an easy day of rugby for all of our junior teams, but the boys can be incredibly proud of the way in which they played and conducted themselves.Well done to all the boys who participated in rugby matches against Danie Ackerman on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s rugby fixture against Raithby proved to be a challenging game for our boys. The Grade 1s were out of their comfort zone as it was their first away match. Despite the challenging rugby matches, our boys continued to try their best and persevere. There were many lessons to be learnt from the match, including a reminder of the enjoyment of playing rugby  – despite not always winning.All of the senior teams have enjoyed a great season so far. They have played their hearts out, committed themselves and, most importantly, supported one another in every game. Win or lose, playing the game of rugby has been top priority for the boys. They have come up against stiff opposition, but have held their own. Sticking to the school motto of Pietas – “Do what is right” will continue to be in the hearts and minds of our rugby boys.

Mr Hilton Toro
Head of Rugby

The hosting of Lochnerhof and Reddam on Thursday 19 May took a very sad turn following the sudden and untimely passing of a father from Lochnerhof in the car park. Our condolences to the family he leaves behind and best wishes to the entire Lochnerhof community.We enjoyed another busy afternoon of hockey as we hosted about 660 players in 41 matches across all age groups. Thank you for all of the support that the players receive and well done to the coaches and managers for ensuring a good flow to the day. On Tuesday 24 May, a number of our teams played in age-group festivals hosted at various school venues in the basin. It was a successful afternoon for our teams. We hosted the U12s from our neighbouring schools at Somerset College, with most of the matches taking place on the astro.
The talking point of the last couple of weeks, especially amongst the older children, has been the U13B boys’ and girls’ tour to Hermanus – which was a great success. We arrived at Curro Hermanus on Friday 20 May and played good, attacking hockey to win both matches comfortably. This set us up well for the tournament hosted by Hermanus Primary on the Saturday.Our tour group stayed at Wortelgat Camp Site, enjoyed good food and team-building activities before turning in and having to wake up very early the next morning, ready to play a tournament.Playing in the B-league tournament, our teams did very well. After their five matches, the girls narrowly missed a semi-final position on goal difference. The boys reached the final again, as they did in 2015. This time, they unfortunately lost to Beaumont on penalty flicks. The final match was a cracker. We took the lead in the 7th minute through Fade Adio-Moses. However, Beaumont equalised with a few minutes to go and forced the game to penalty flicks. Well done to both teams on their achievements, but more so on the way in which they played the game on the day. Tournament format is always exciting.The U13A boys also took part in the tournament. The team played well, but could not clinch some of their pool matches. Despite winning by a large margin in their last pool game, they did not do enough and missed a semi-final berth on goal difference.The league matches for the term have ended as most schools are now involved in exams. There is, however, the Rhenish Festival for our U7A, 8A and 9A boys’ and girls’ teams on Saturday 11 June.

Mr Quentin du Toit
Head of Preparatory Hockey

Somerset College is proud to announce the launch of their new Cricket Academy. The cricket Academy will be situated in the state of the art indoor centre and run by the newly appointed Rudolph Buys.


For the past two years I was the Head Coach at Paul Roos Gymnasium. I have been involved in Boland Provincial coaching since 2010 and have been the Boland U18 Coke Coach during 2014 and 2015. In 2015 and 2016 I have been an assistant coach at the U19 Cubs Week for the Cobra U19 Cubs side.
I am a dedicated cricket coach who has experience at Primary School, High School and Club level. I am adept at counselling younger players on sportsmanship, developing a winning attitude and developing players to get in shape before a season.  I specialise in one-on-one and group training sessions.


  • The Somerset College Cricket Academy will provide private coaching for individual cricketers, teams and coaches of various ages and experiences levels.
  • Rudolph Buys’ vision is to develop a high performance cricket academy situated at a state-of-the-art facility on the sports grounds of Somerset College.
  • The academy aims to improve cricket at Somerset College and in the Helderberg region.

The main focus will be to develop cricket and give the players intense and focused coaching in one-on-one as well as group sessions and to provide young aspiring cricketers with the necessary skills to constantly improve their game and be more confident in their own ability.

•          Private coaching
•          One-on-one coaching sessions
•          Group sessions
•          Clinics for players and holiday programmes
•          Hiring of facility to cricket clubs / touring sides.

For any enquiries please contact Rudolph on 072 342 3616 or email at r.buys@somcol.co.za

Thank you to all of you who use your MySchool card regularly.
In May the College raised R22 912.00 which has gone
into the Chapel fund.
If you don’t have a card please complete the online application form.
If you do have a card please check that Somerset College
is your nominated beneficiary.

Copyright © *2016* *Somerset College*, All rights reserved.Our mailing address is:
prep@somcol.co.zaWant to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list



This email was sent to *|EMAIL|*why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences*|LIST:ADDRESSLINE|**|REWARDS|*