Matric Looms – Is it University or a Gap Year?

BackpackingThousands of students will soon start writing their matric, their final school exam before venturing into the world beyond. Some will go on to university having long planned their road ahead. Many more will go to university with no real plan other than knowing they need a degree of some sort if they are to stand any hope of getting a job and yet others will go to on to follow more technically oriented careers, some entering an apprenticeships.

But there will be many who have no idea of their path forward and will join the labour market in whatever position they are fortunate enough to secure. Without further education or training they stand little hope in advancing in life unless they are exceptional and committed for there always will be a few unusual souls who will rise from poverty and no education to go on and accomplish great things.

Then there are those who choose not to pursue an immediate education or employment straight out of school but to rather take a year or two off to decide on their future and get over the harrowing experience a whole 12 years of school. Some will laze about the house enjoying free board and lodging and a suitable allowance to allow them to enjoy life. Others will take ‘temp’ type jobs as waitrons or other and survive as they decide on the path forward but others, those with a little, or a lot, of financial backing of family be able to take GAP year. 

Depending on the funds available today’s world is their oyster with many options, many not without significant I initial funding by way of airfares and seed money to get them off on a safe and secure start in the US in particular. Some may choose the way some of their parents chose and take a more adventurous backpacking route living hand to mouth with odd jobs here and there as they tour the world.

But there are local options and if your youngster or grandchild is still unsure of what to do a visit to a local company’s website (Cape Town) may give them some ideas whilst they put their education on hold until they are more certain of the route they want to follow.

The company, GAP YEAR SOUTH AFRICA offers various options working in volunteer programs helping and teaching in disadvantaged communities. (Read More)

And then there is one that is almost tailor-made for local youngsters who have been brought up in the surf of Huletts, Bruces or Seal Point by giving a little back teaching swimming and surfing in the Ubuntu Learn2Swim&Surf Program.

More on this subject to follow when an experienced luxury yacht skipper shares his thoughts on a career abroad in the luxury and super yacht industry..

If you have a youngsters / grandchild who is presently on a gap year or has had a successful experience in their year off, share it in the comments below.

Sea Vista Primary School hosts for this year’s District Level WOW spelling competition

There was great excitement on July 23rd at Sea Vista Primary School, in St Francis Bay, the hosts for this year’s District Level WOW  spelling competition. More  than  400  learners  and  200  educators  from Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, Oyster Bay and St Francis participated in the event.

Participating schools were Sea Vista, Graslaagte; Pellsrus ;  Kruisfontein  ;  St.  Patricks  ; Sandwater  and  Victory  Christian  School  Primary schools as well as   Jeffreys Bay  Comprehensive  Senior and   Humansdorp  Senior  Secondary  School.

The WOW co-ordinator from the University of Stellenbosch, Mr Peter Loxton and the EDO of the Department of Education, Mr Garth Jacobs attended the event offering words of strong encouragement to the participants.

The national Wow (Woorde Open Werelde) competition sponsored by Sanlam, Suidoosters Festival and ATKV aims to improve learners’ language, spelling and pronunciation in both English and Afrikaans. Learner’s who excelled at District level will go through to the Provincial level to be held in Port Elizabeth of 24th August. Thereafter,  learners  who  qualify  will go   to  Stellenbosch  University   as  National  Competitors. Winners stand to win tablets and cash prizes for first, second and third places.

Sea Vista’s star performers who will go through to the Provincial competition were   Shameema  Yousuf  (Gr.7.- FAL  first place)  ;   Brigette  Davids    (   Gr.7. FAL second place) and   Alulutho  Klaas   (FAL   Gr.6.  –  8th  place).

Sea Vista Primary Headmaster, Mr Charles Coenraad said “ My staff and I are extremely grateful to all the executive members in the Kouga area for helping us make this important event such a success for Sea Vista Primary. Our congratulations go to all the successful participants who will compete in the Provincials”

Sea Vista Headmaster, Mr Charles Coenraad welcomed the WOW officials to Sea Vista Primary’s first official WOW competition. Seen from left to right : Mr Garth Jacobs (EDO Dept of Education), Headmaster Mr Charles Coenraad, Sea Vista Primary’s WOW Co-ordinator, Mrs Deborah Alexander and Mr Peter Loxton from the University of Stellenbosch where the National competition will be held.

Win a Giant Choc Bunny

A chance to win this giant Belgian Chocolate bunny.

 
The Grade 7 class are raising money for their tour at the end of the year. They are selling tickets for the chance to win this giant Belgian Chocolate bunny. Tickets are R10 each and if you buy 5 tickets, you get one FREE. If you are interested in buying tickets, the Grade 7’s will be taking turns to sell their tickets in front of the office every morning before school.  Alternatively contact the office for EFT details. 
 
Please support them.

Giant Belgium Chocolate Bunny

Glamp Up Our Garden Weekend

St Francis College lives up to its Silver Eco-School Flag status

St Francis College lived up to its Silver Eco-School Flag status this weekend with a ‘Glam up our Garden’ event. Children, teachers and parents gave up their usual Saturday morning beach time and armed themselves with spades, wheelbarrows, plants and a healthy disregard for dirt and hard work. The aim of the event was to spruce up the school’s neglected veggie garden and to create a space to enjoy nature, learn how to live sustainably and, by selling the garden’s produce in the future, foster all important entrepreneurial skills.

The first ‘seeds’ of development were sown by generous donations of a truck load (12 cubic metres) of organic compost, by Andre Bonnet from Reliance, an endless amount of horse manure from Tess Strzelecki, An establishment of four worm farms by Andrew Morris and materials to build new vegetable beds and a shaded seed area, by Tanton Dace of Dace Construction.

A huge thank you to these sponsors, and to all of the parents, scholars and teachers who have so far donated their time, skills, materials and much needed enthusiasm.

If anyone would like to get involved, or join in the regular Garden Glamming days, please contact St Francis College on 042294139

Article and photos by Vicki Holder

 

Sea Vista Primary bids farewell to great teachers

At a full assembly on Tuesday 12th March, the staff and learners of Sea Vista Primary School in St Francis Bay bade a fitting farewell to two of their long serving teachers who are retiring from active service.

Mr Mentoor Leander taught at the school for 13 years and Ms Daline Felix for 10 years. Each of these veterans has clocked up 36 years of teaching experience and their contribution to the school over the years, both academically and in extra mural activities is going to be sorely missed

In his address to the school, headmaster Charles Coenraad said, “Sea Vista Primary was extremely fortunate to have had teachers of the calibre of Mr Leander and Ms Felix who are both highly respected by their colleagues, learners and in the community. They will certainly not be easily replaced. We all wish them both every happiness in their retirement and may God grace them both with good health and many happy memories.”

Front left to right front Ms Daline Felix, Berven Titus (Headboy), Brigette Davids(Headgirl) and Mr Mentoor Leander. Back left to right Shamima Yousuf (deputy Headgirl) and Devandre George( deputy Headboy)

Press Release & Photo – Lyn Aitken

Kabeljous Estuary Adventure

Kabeljous Estuary Adventure with Harry

St Francis College Grade 3’s were treated to a very special outing on 14th February.  They walked through the Kabeljous Estuary with Aweigh Adventures Eco-Ed Specialist Harry Bateman, enjoying swimming and playing while learning all about this sensitive and pristine environment.

Harry teaches those who join one of his outings to the salt water estuarine environment that we live on a planet with limited resources and an ever increasing demand on natural environments and habitats. It is critical for us to understand the sensitivities and intricacies of estuaries, considered some of the most diverse and productive ecosystems in the world and where all rivers meet the sea.

Estuarine environments have come under threat from development, as space around these natural gems is scenic and filled with wildlife but also perfect for development. What is not commonly understood is that the estuarine environment is very sensitive and hosts so many interconnected species and processes that rely on each other for food and habitat, that any development can permanently destroy the habitat for millions of creatures.

The visit to the Kabeljouws Estuary is an exercise in connecting with the estuary on many different levels, sensory as well as intellectually. To take care of something you have to love it and think it is special… To know more about it and everything that lives and functions within it, creates an understanding and a caring that will one day become the responsibility of young decision makers whom will have to decide the fate of these natural habitats.

From the high and low water mark closest to the waves of the sea, to where the fresh river comes into the system, the effect of the tides, the hydrological cycle, the movement of nutrients within the cycle and the effect of heat, the shallow nature of the estuary and so many interesting facts about this environment makes it one of the most exciting ecosystems in the world to explore. In fact, it can be considered the most productive ecosystems in the world and very easily out-produce environs like forests.

Harry’s groups enjoy the estuary, learn how it functions and explore the inter-connected relationships between organisms in the system so that we can relate to the environment in a caring loving way. Not many people know that it actually is our best organic waste disposal and recycling unit on the planet, while providing home to birds, fish, mammals, crustaceans and ultimately the enjoyment of man as a place to connect with mother nature in a special way.

An Estuary is one of the most productive Ecosystems in the world. From where the fresh water enters the system the organisms are working hard to control the salinity. Organic materials transported by the fresh rain, end up settling in the river mouth or estuary. Here it starts to decompose providing food for whatever is living in the sand which in turn provides food for whatever lives in the water and then provides food for birds and wildlife that rely on the fish.

This interconnected system can have very large connections with man ultimately reaping the rewards of this finely tuned waste disposal unit. But do not litter because there are some forms of waste that take forever to break down, so be responsible and take care of this wonderful gift from nature because if we alter it, we lose all its diversity and its function within the system and are left with a stinking mess… but for now  Kabeljouws is healthy and we hope it stays that way through caring and sharing of how wonderful this system is.