LOCKDOWN AT MAKABONGWE

I usually describe my days at school as “glorious organised chaos “ OR “a happy, busy place filled with laughter and the chitter chatter of children”

Not anymore……all this has been put on hold.

We have been on lockdown since Wednesday 18th March.

BUT this does not mean that things are not happening behind the scenes.

Let me tell you about some of the activities taking place since lockdown.

  1. 155 parents were blessed with a food parcel which they collected from school – thanks to the incredibly generous donations from family and friends.
  2. At the end of April we sent Checkers voucher to those parents not receiving SASSA grants or any other form of assistance.
  3. Both gestures were received with MUCH appreciation.
  4. We intend to repeat the vouchers again on Friday 15th May and every 2 weeks thereafter until we re-open given we have the funds.
  5. Many creative and fun hours have been spent preparing worksheets for the Grade R learners to complete at home with strict instructions and a supply of all the stationery needed.
  6. Of the 90 Grade R learners at Makabongwe, 85 have collected their work – 3 children are out of the province and 2 are not answering their phones.
  7. Communicating with our parents is an ongoing challenge as many change sim cards, phones get lost or stolen or they simply cannot afford airtime.
  8. We were so encouraged at the response of the parents which proves their eagerness to educate their children who are now getting bored and require additional stimulation.
  9. Parents will be invited back to school to collect more work on MONDAY 15th JUNE – all of which is THEME related and relevant – including some FUN and creative arts and crafts.
  10. The school and grounds are eerily quiet…….

We miss the children and know they miss us and we long for the day when Makabongwe will ring with laughter and be filled with the chitter, chatter of both staff and learners alike.

In the  meantime, take care and stay safe.

Principal Theresa

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FIRST PARENT’S WORKSHOP AT MAKABONGWE

FRIDAY 6th MARCH 2020

As a result of a brain storming session with the staff, many innovative and creative ideas were formulated and presented for discussion and action.

Various staff members were mandated with specific tasks and encouraged to implement their ideas as soon as possible,

One of the ideas presented by Mrs Jamali, Ms Madlala and Ms Dada, was to host Parent’s Workshops once a term where parents could come to school and enjoy some networking, idea sharing and practical ways to assist their children with various learning and life skills.

We hosted our first workshop on FRIDAY 6th MARCH 2020

About 30 parents attended which was very encouraging – we even had some dads join in.

The focus was on STORY TELLING, HOW TO MAKE PUZZLES, and MAKING YOUR OWN PUZZLES

The workshop team made 3 groups of parents each focusing on a different skill.

I heard and saw some very animated and enthusiastic budding story tellers.

The parents making their own puzzles were clearly enjoying cutting and pasting from magazines choosing the pictures they wanted to convert into puzzles.

Some parents had themselves never grown up doing puzzles at home or school and enjoyed this new found activity eager to learn new skills to share with their children.

All in all it was a very successful workshop.

Thank you to the WORKSHOP team – Mrs Jamali, Ms Madlala ad Ms Dada – for their preparation and coaching.

Watch this space for the next workshop…….

Creating, learning and networking at the workshop
Story time with Mrs Jamali in the pink shirt.
Cutting, pasting and creating homemade puzzles from magazines.
Makabongwe parents “hard at work”

PRACTISING GOOD HYGIENE BEFORE LOCKDOWN

Whilst looking through my photo albums on my phone, I found these delightful pictures of Mrs Jamali – Grade R Yellow Bees teacher – welcoming the children in the morning and applying sanitiser to all learners and teachers alike.

We expect, and will be prepared for greater controls and precautions when school re-opens.

This could present some challenges but generally children are quite flexible and if we make the “controls and precautions” fun, they will no doubt buy in and be happy to oblige.

TAKING BALL SKILLS TO ANOTHER LEVEL

Makabongwe doesn’t just educate 175 learners.

Our children are fed 2 ½ healthy and nutritious meals every day.

They are loved and nurtured in a safe, caring environment and they enjoy a variety of stimulating and muscle building outdoor equipment.

AND then there’s MISS Christie…..

Miss Christie joined us in February as a volunteer coming to the school every Wednesday and Friday to assist with Ball Skills for all the classes.

This is fast becoming the activity of the week at Makabongwe as the children look forward to their time outdoors learning all new and relevant ball skills with the fun loving and always encouraging Miss Christie.

All the teachers and teacher assistants have been trained by Christie.

Every Wednesday the Green, Blue and Red groups do ball skills – each for 40 minutes – which actually replaces their outdoor play.

Every Friday the 3 x Grade R classes do ball skills – again each for 40 minutes replacing their outdoor play.

I’ve yet to see or hear 1 child object to missing out on playtime because they have to go to Ball Skills.

Miss Christie has such an endearing way with the children that they cannot help but love her.

She’s FIRM, FAIR and LOTS OF FUN.

Christie has prepared a full program of structured exercises and builds on these each week.

The classes are split into 4 groups and they all have SA sport’s teams names.

I’m convinced Makabongwe might be developing the next fast bowler for the Proteas, or lock for the Sharks, or striker for Kaiser Chiefs……

It’s a struggle for me to stay in my office and work. It would be so much more fun  doing Ball Skills with Miss Christie!!

We’ll keep you posted with what’s happening on the sports field at Makabongwe.

Miss Christie, Mbali and the Grade 00 Blue Group warming up.
Miss Christie is totally under control and the children obey every instruction.
Next its Ms Dada and the Grade 000 Green Group – our “littlelies”
Knees up boys and girls!

SA GUIDE DOG VISIT TO MAKABONGWE

THURSDAY 5th MARCH 2020

Aunty Ane and Uncle Jan from SA Guide Dog Association came to visit us today.

Ane brought some special visitors with her:- Daisy, a retired guide dog, Uncle Jan, a guide dog trainer, Harry, 5 months old puppy guide dog being trained by Uncle Jan and Joanne, a blind lady and her guide dog Enid

It turns out I know Joanne well – her mom and my mom were very good friends – so we shrieked with delight when we saw each other and enjoyed a good hug.

Aunty Ane told the children what a guide dog does and how important they are to their owners.

Uncle Jan showed the children some of the instructions the dogs must learn. These dogs only need to be told ONCE to sit down, or stand up or wait. AMAZING

Guide dogs are very clever. They are the eyes of their owners.

DID YOU KNOW?

It costs R300 000.00 to provide 1 trained dog for a blind person

It only costs a blind person R5.00 to get a guide dog.

A guide dog only works for about 10 human years.

Never give a dog human food – only dog food

Bones are very dangerous for ALL dogs.

Always ask a blind person permission to stroke their dog.

Guide dogs are a blind person’s BEST FRIEND

We were very proud to give R1 953.60 to the SA Guide Dog Association who were extremely grateful.

Thank you Makabongwe parents and committee for your generosity.

GRADE 000 AND GRADE 00 EXCURSION TO LAGUNA BEACH POOLS

I feel like I could be repeating the article from last year…….

In spite of visiting the pools and checking with the life guards on duty and the supervisor, when we arrived at Laguna Beach Pools, we found them closed for maintenance.

And so the journey began south to Addington beach to the pools where we landed up last year!

As always, children don’t sweat the small stuff and it turned out to be a wonderful day all rounds.

There was something new and different…….

This year we brought the Grade 000 learners as well (3 year olds)

We had MANY teachers, assistants and volunteers and EVERYONE knew exactly what was expected of them.

It can be stated with confidence that the day was a resounding success enjoyed by staff, volunteers and most important our learners.

No doubt this was for some of our children their first visit to the beach, a swim in the pools and definitely their first time feeling sand between their toes and waves gently washing over their feet.

The delicious and fresh hot dogs that Melissa made hardly touched sides. Clearly the fresh air had increased appetites all round.  

Our bus driver, Mandla, who has become a Makabongwe VIP friend, drove us safely there and back and was very patient on route whilst we looked for alternative pools.

The journey there is always much noisier than the ride back to school. Many children dosed off on the shoulders of their friends.

I’m never sure who has more fun – the teachers or learners – but maybe we could vote A TIE!

Like I always say, Makabongwe is a happy, busy school and once again we were complimented on the good behaviour of the children, the obvious pleasure they were experiencing and the well-disciplined and attentive teachers who ensured their continued safety.

It is a BIG responsibility taking the children on this excursion but with the commitment of dedicated staff and well behaved children who can deny them such an exciting adventure?

Ms Dada and Ms Nothile and some brave Makabongwe Gr 000 learners going just a little deeper.
Ms Dada and Ms Pinky with some Gr 000 children just testing the water.
Splashes and fun in the sun.
Talk about rainbow colours – such beautiful costumes.

IN LOVING MEMORY OF PETER KELLY.

Thursday 7th May was a VERY sad for us as we said our final goodbyes to Peter, Portia’s husband.

John Peter Kelly was born in Cockomouth, England and moved to South Africa in 2017.

Although he only spent a few years of his life in SA, this is where he wanted to be.

He loved the South African sun, the outdoors life and the people of this country.

Peter volunteered his time as our Balls Skills coach and Computer Skills training coach.

He was always keen to help and joined in various school festivities with enthusiasm.

Peter or “Uncle Peter” as the children called him was a salt of the earth, sincere and real man whose desire to help others was unlimited.

He loved the school and especially the children and affirmed and praised them regularly.

Uncle Peter always had the time and energy to find words of encouragement.

Peter will be sorely missed by staff, management and especially the children.

He was part of our team.

Those we love don’t go away,

They walk beside us every day.

Unseen, unheard, but always near,

Still loved, still missed and very dear.

Rest in peace Peter – Lala kahle uphumule

Peter & Portia
Celebrating Valentine’s Day at Makabongwe
Laguna Beach Pool Excursion
Heritage day celebration at Makabongwe.
Peter, Portia and Mark – Peters son.
Peter and Portia – happy days together.

CELEBRATING THE DAY OF LOVE

What does Valentine’s Day mean to you?

I spent it with my sister, her husband and my husband at Kings Park watching England beat South Africa in the 20/20 cricket by just a few runs.

My heart was racing and pounding but not for my husband……

I think we’ve got the right idea at Makabongwe.

It’s a day where all the learners and teachers dress in either red, pink or white.

The staff model their outfits for the children to shouts of encouragement and enthusiasm.

This is followed by a delicious lunch on the lawn outside with pudding and juice.

It’s simple but works – everyone together laughing, enjoying each other’s company and just having FUN.

This year was NO exception. In fact, even more children made the effort to dress in the required colours – RED, PINK or WHITE.

The school was literally splashed in these colours. Everyone looked stunning.

We had 4 exchange students join us from Argentina who had a wonderful time with the children.

They even wore the required colours.

Beautiful face and hair accessory

A smile to melt any heart

Adding more colour – who can resit such a look

A wave of red, pink and white.

Ms Bongi and Ms Mdabe doing their dance moves.

These Makabongwe ladies have got energy.

Ms Ndlovu and mrs Jamali: Grade R teachers cheered on by the children

LEADING UP TO OUR STAFF CHRISTMAS PARTY

WEDNESDAY 4th DECEMBER 2019

 

The children all went home on Friday 29th November after an action packed NOVEMBER month.

There were Christmas Parties, multiple Concerts, the Grade R Graduation and many other events on the calendar.

As the last child left on Friday afternoon, we all breathed a sigh of relief BUT the work was only beginning.

Operation Clean Up started on Monday 2nd December.

This is the BIG clean up of the year where everything is stripped, scrubbed clean and put back in its place ready for the new year.

The ENTIRE school is scrubbed from top to toe and left smelling and looking good and clean and fresh AND inviting for the new children arriving in 2020.

After 2 days of intense cleaning, we officially ended the year with our Christmas Staff Party.

Thanks to a generous donation from our Executive Committee BRIDGE ladies, we took the WHOLE team to Suncoast Casino for a movie (Charlie’s Angels 2) and a lunch at Fishaways, The lunch was sponsored by FISHAWAYS.

It was indeed a very happy celebration, the movie was fun to watch – no swearing and a good ending where good rules over bad. For some of the team, this was the first movie they had watched in a cinema!

The fish and rice meal was superb. Just about everyone commented that they had not tasted such delicious fish for a long time.

We certainly drew some attention whilst enjoying our lunch and sharing our secret Santa gifts with each other.

The Suncoast patrons were watching us with much interest and all had BIG smiles on their faces.

We are a happy team and enjoyed a happy ending to a good year. – HARD WORK, HARD PLAY

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL

A generous shopper at Shoprite Umgeni donated a packet of nik naks to every child.

Happy days at Makabongwe

Tucking in and enjoying the nik naks

Bongi receiving a bread donation from Child Line

The makabongwe elves busy making soccer balls – all from empty bread packets.

Hows that for production.

SANTA SHOE BOX

WEDNESDAY 20th NOVEMBER 2019

 

This is the Santa Shoe Box story…….

“Every year, people with kind hearts collect shoeboxes and fill them with special treats so that they can be shared as gifts.

Each child’s box has been filled by somebody that the child doesn’t know, but who cares about them and who takes great joy in giving this special gift to them.

Enjoy your Santa ShoeBox and please share the message of kindness, caring, giving and sharing with everyone around you!”

Today was extra special as Father Christmas and his fairy came to Makabongwe.

This is when I miss being a little person – the joy, delight and innocence of believing in Father Christmas (even though some of the older children expressed the opinion that Father Christmas was in fact my youngest son, Rob, which I obviously denied fervently with my fingers crossed behind my back)

The anticipation on their faces as they heard Santa’s bell ringing followed by sheer delight as he appeared in the doorway……no matter how many times I see this, it always bring tears of joy to my eyes.

Each child received a beautifully wrapped gift filled to the brim with clothes, sweets, stationery, toiletries, toys and a hand written card wishing them a blessed Christmas. The hard part was putting the box straight into their lockets or school bags only to be opened at home. We’ve learnt that lesson – things go missing, get lost or even broken BEFORE the gift reaches home.

Thank you to Melissa and SANTA SHOEBOX for this incredible morning and all the gift givers whom we will never know or meet!

May the Christ of Christmas enter your heart and home today and remain with you throughout the coming year.

With much love and appreciation

The Children of Makabongwe Methodist Pre-School

Ms “Terressa” welcoming Father Christmas and his lovely fairly

Eager anticipation

Hugs and thank you’s for Father Christmas

Green group – Grade 000 with their shoe boxes – almost the same size as the children

Blue Group – Grade 00 very happy with their presents.

Red group – Grade 00 – delighted with the Christmas shoe boxes.

All smiles from ear to ear.

Grade R Yellow Butterflies – how blessed are we?

Wow – this one’s mine

Grade R – Yellow Bees, buzzing with excitement.

Grade R Yellow Birds with Father Christmas and the Christmas fairy.

Reading the SANTA Shoe Box story BEFORE present receiving time