15 June 2016


Latest Prep School Newsletter
15 June 2016

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Dear Parents


The Grade 6s recently completed and exhibited beautiful “biome-in-a-box” projects in their Social Science lessons.  It was one of those moments in my teaching career where one stands back in awe of the work that the children have done and revel in the complete pride and joy that

the children experienced showcasing their work for their younger peers and, more importantly, for their parents and other family members.

It was clear that each child was extremely proud of what they had made and were incredibly eager to share their learning, as well as their construction stories.  The attention to detail was exceptional and the creativity that grew as their projects unfolded definitely taught them new skills. They admired each other’s ideas as they worked and this served o stimulate even bigger and better ideas

which they then used in their own designs.  The hours of thorough research in IT and Library as well as at home had all culminated in a beautiful small habitat-in-a-box containing the animals, plants and atmosphere of their given biome.

This learning model is known as project-based learning and had me thinking as to what the benefits are of children being involved in the design and construction of such projects.
  • It generates student interest in the topic and requires a ‘hands- on’ approach.
  • It necessitates active learning and higher-level thinking.
  • It provides the teacher with various assessment opportunities.
  • It allows the child to demonstrate their capabilities while working independently or in groups.
  • It shows the child’s ability to apply desired skills while carrying out research.
  • It develops the child’s ability to work with their peers.
  • It allows the teacher the opportunity to learn more about the child as a person.
  • It boosts confidence and pride in what they have managed to produce.
Children love being creatively and actively involved in building, fixing and making things and it reminded me once again of the importance of involving our children in practical activities at home.  Taking a broken toaster or calculator apart, or helping mom or dad paint a room, or learning to sew the button back onto their school shirts are all very important skills that our children need to learn.Is your child able to cover their own school books?  Can they start a fire for the braai or make the salad?  Do they know how to use spray paint correctly?  It is important that we expose our children to as many skills as possible so that they learn and grow.The Grade 6s had the following to say about their experience making their biome-in-a-box projects:

The biome-in-a-box was one of the most exhilarating projects I have ever done!  James Davies

We enjoyed working in partners because we both had different ideas and we put them together.  We created something extraordinary.  Jemma Falkenberg, Michelle Juncker

I learnt a lot and would love to do it again.  It was quite fun to see everyone express their ideas differently.  Julia Visser

I thought the biomes were fun to make.  Although it took a lot of effort, it didn’t seem like work.  Lucas Crowe

The biome-in-a-box was a great way to make us dive straight into learning about biomes.  It was extremely fun.  Alexx Thomson

I loved how every person’s project was unique.  Laura Mabin

I enjoyed telling everyone facts about my biome, as I learnt even more.  Hannah Gibson

It was fun to let my creative juices flowTiago Marques

I loved the biome-in-a-box project!  I think it is a wonderful way of learning for people like meMira Smuts

Biomes are very large ecological areas on the Earth’s surface, with fauna and flora (animals and plants) adapting to their environment. Biomes are often defined by abiotic factors such as climate, relief, geology, soils and vegetation.

Well done to all the Grade 6s on a very informative display!

Mrs Ruth Evans

Head of Grade 6



Reports will be available on the Portal on Friday 24 June at 16.00.  A copy will also be e-mailed to parents.Online bookings for the Parent Teacher Meetings will open on Monday 20 June. A letter with all the instructions as well as the link to make a booking, will be mailed to you on Monday.Please make use of this opportunity to make a booking to see your child’s teachers even though you would not yet have received their report. This is an important meeting that allows teachers to discuss your child’s progress as well as an opportunity to celebrate their successes, discuss ways that they can be supported and to share any concerns they might have.

Mrs Debbie Kitching
Deputy Head: Academics



Somerset College has two major projects planned for the coming holidays. The first project is to pave the parking area at the Simon Daniels as well as the road leading to this area. Secondly, road widening at the Prep parking area leading down to the Squash Court will take place. With this in mind, some of the major access routes to a number of our facilities will be closed.
The road leading to the Simon Daniels Building and Dream Tree School will be closed from Saturday 18 June until Monday 25 July. The road leading past the dam and Prep parking area will be closed from Friday 24 June until Monday 18 July.During this period of construction, we will not be able to make a plan for vehicles needing to access these areas. That said, pedestrian traffic detours can be arranged. The squash court and tennis courts can be accessed around the Senior Music School and the Astro can be accessed over the pedestrian bridge leading from the Pavilion.

The Dream Tree School can be accessed through the tennis courts during the weeks of 18 June to 24 June and 18 July to 25 July. Access to the 1989, 1990, 1991 and Simon Daniels buildings will be through the Pre-Prep main entrance or through the Prep playgrounds to the Pre-Prep gate near the Aftercare. During the period of 24 June to 18 July the Dream Tree School access will be through the Pre-Prep playgrounds.

I realise that these projects will cause disruption, but I appeal to parents to be patient as we meet the ever increasing needs of our College. Thank you for your co-operation and assistance.

Kind regards

Mr Craig Verdal-Austin
Head of the Preparatory School


MUSIC IN THE PRE-PREPARATORYClass music provides a wonderful opportunity for children to sing, make music, dramatise and explore movement. This semester, we have explored elements of beat; including two and three-time, pitch, dynamic range and tempi from allegro to lento through songs, movement and playing percussion instruments. The children have enjoyed playing the drums, the shakers and the wooden sticks. Lessons are often noisy – but are always great fun!

Mrs Eileen PutterillMusic Teachere.putterill@somcol.co.za


The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,gentleness, and self-control. goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians 5:22,23
Two weeks ago, Mr Herman followed our Pentecost Chapel Service in his inimitable style by illustrating the effect of the Holy Spirit by using a vortex cannon. Ask your children about it!Last Monday in assembly, Ms Curren’s Grade 2s helped us to understand the concept of aspiration by giving us a helpful A-Z of ways to be people of aspiration. Ask your children about that too!So on Friday, I combined the two to help us understand how God can help us to have an effect on others through the Holy Spirit. We went through the fruits of the Spirit (with the help of a magnificent fruit bowl!) and were helped to understand them by the Grade 2 words, both of which are listed below (the fruits of the Spirit are in bold and the Grade 2 words in italics):

1. Love Empathetic Neighbourly We love others with a smile and greeting.We feel each other’s joys and sorrows.
2. Joy Joyful We find the joy in life and in each other.
3. Peace Content We are happy with what we have.
4. Patience Patient   We show patience with each other.
5. Kindness Kind-hearted   We lovingly care for each other’s needs.
    Yielding We give up our time to help those around us.
6. Goodness Available We are always there to help each other.
7. Faithfulness Dependable We do what we say we’re going to do.
8. Gentleness Mannerly We behave in a way that is thoughtful to others.
9. Self-control Self-controlled   We control our words and our actions.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Mr Herman for his unwavering support for the Chaplaincy at Somerset College. Over the years, he has led the SU group, spoken at numerous Chapel services, trained the children on the sound desk and led our worship wonderfully. We pray for John, Janine, Cayla and Matthew, giving thanks to God for them and asking his protection on them as they settle in Amsterdam. We will miss you!

Mr Patrick CorderyChaplain


3 June 2016

“Children’s work is their play.  Children learn from everything they do.”



Thank you, parents, for taking the time to spend with your children.Mrs Michelle Bosch, Mrs Audrey Matthysen and Ms Bryoni CurrinGrade 2 Class Teachers

m.bosch@somcol.co.za / a.matthysen@somcol.co.za / b.currin@somcol.co.za


Miss Nabila AbdullaHead of Grade 3n.abdulla@somcol.co.za 


To view the Eisteddfod results please click on this link.Mrs Ronel ViljoenChoir Conductor




2016 did not start well for the library. After riding horses for over 55 years with no serious injuries, I fell flat on my face walking down from the Senior school a day before the school year started. I broke my wrist and spent the first term not being able to write or hold a book up to read to the children. My side-kick and wonderful colleague Kerry Dunkley decided to follow her passion in IT and started coding with the children. I was very jealous! It looked such fun! Nicci Briston came in to the library and was a great help, doing not only the Junior Primary classes, but lots of mine. So we continued to read, learn, play/learn on the iPads, research, enjoy a literature quiz on World Book Day and do all the things we do in the Library. The Grade 1s and 2s of 2016 are exceptionally keen readers and run into the library every break time.
The library is never without children and this is exactly what I have loved all these years… the children. Our first headmaster, Alan Wyborn, once said to me that there had not been one day in a forty year career that he had not wanted to go to school. I can say the same for my ten years at this school. I have loved being part of this community and have enjoyed teaching the children. My goal has always been to instil a love of books and reading in the children. I believe I have been successful with many. The first thing my ex-pupils tell me years later, is that they are still reading!I am so happy that the new Librarian is Mrs Nicky Burger. She and I both have a passion for literature and drama…we have done the Grade 7 plays together for years. I am handing over my precious library with a very happy heart. My next adventure as a Granny awaits…Best wishes to you all,



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

PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORTPlease 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.

RUGBY VS SWEET VALLEY – WEDNESDAY 8 JUNE 2016For the first time in as many seasons, we travelled to Sweet Valley with our U9A and B and our U10A sides. The boys were filled with excitement as they looked forward to travelling by school bus to a rugby fixture. Many parents came along to watch and the matches were closely contested. Sweet Valley proved to be strong in their passing and rucking. Somerset College boys made the most tackles and we were very proud of our boys in the way in which they played and defended. A special thank you is extended to all of the parents who came to support and also to the boys who played with great spirit and sportsmanship.

Mr Hilton ToroHead of Rugbyh.toro@somcol.co.za

HOCKEY REPORTDespite a quiet couple of weeks of hockey for a number of our boys and girls due to the Test Week, it was an ideal time for our juniors to get in on the action.Our U7-U10 C and D teams hosted Beaumont for matches on our astro on Thursday. Many of the games went down to the wire, adding to an exciting afternoon of hockey. Well done to our boys and girls on their sterling performances and to all of the coaches for their expertise. Thank you to our facilities and catering departments as well as the mums assisting with the catering and ensuring the smooth running of a fun afternoon of hockey.

On Saturday, the U7-U9 A teams played at the Rhenish Primary Mini-Hockey Festival, played on the Rhenish High astro and grass fields. There was a lot of hockey played during the course of the morning and our teams, once again, did pretty well. The U7 boys won four and drew one game, and both U8 boys’ and girls’ teams played very well, notching up four victories and experiencing only one loss each. Thank you to the coaches and managers for their time and for the guidance of their teams on Saturday and also to the parents for their fantastic support for their children and our school.

As part of their preparations for their Mossel Bay Tour at the start of next term, the U13A boys and girls are playing two touring schools in matches on our astro today and next Tuesday afternoon. The visiting schools are St George’s from PE and Umhlanga College from KZN. Apart from these matches, all teams will continue with their normal practices which end on Thursday 23 June.

Due to unfortunate injuries and withdrawals, there has been some movement in the Zonal U13 hockey teams which has benefitted a few of our players. Well done to Wilhelm Muller on his call-up to be goalkeeper of the Zonal B-team and to Wynand Janse van Rensburg on his promotion as goalkeeper of the Zonal A-team. Jemma Falkenberg also received the call-up to play for the girls’ Zonal A-team.

Somerset College’s Zonal Hockey representation is as follows:


Tessa Wittles

Jemma Falkenberg


Lara Geldenhuis


Liam Bayer

Wynand Janse van Rensburg


Joshua Beart

Wilhelm Muller

Nicholas Pretorius

James Visagie


Chad Hunter



Mr Quentin du ToitHead of Preparatory Hockeyq.dutoit@somcol.co.za



ROTARY ANNE’S JERSEY DRIVEThank you so much to everyone who contributed to the Jersey Drive. We filled a whopping 28 black bags! A special thank you to Mrs Roberg’s class who made an incredible effort.


Mrs Taryn Rose-InnesHead of Grade 4t.roseinnes@somcol.co.za


All proceeds will go towards Imibala.To book please phone 021 851 2364.

Copyright © *2016* *Somerset College*, All rights reserved.Our mailing address is:prep@somcol.co.za

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