Social and emotional News
The JP Boys Book Week was based on the fascinating story of “The Wizard of Oz”. The aim was to align our week with the ‘Year of the Woman’ at St Peter’s.
The Housemaster body recently attended a workshop on the “Broken Window‘’ approach to discipline. The emphasis was on how the effective management of pupil behaviour in schools plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy school environment.
It is generally accepted these days that heavy handed enforcement tends to breed resentment amongst the pupils. Pupils respond better to motivation and encouragement which is a big part of the St Peter’s philosophy. One has to be careful not to fall into the trap of accepting that standards have slipped and that this is the “modern way.”
The spectre of racism, which arose so powerfully at the end of last year, constitutes a disheartening reminder of how little progress we have made in uniting as a nation since 1994.
I often think that as South Africans, one of our most limiting characteristics is that we do not know how to listen. We listen to respond rather than to understand. This is why, for me, the Parent Transformation Meeting held a few weeks ago was so important. It provided the first real opportunity for people, with different life experiences, to listen respectfully to each other.
We started our third Flexible Learning Programme (FLP) on Tuesday and once again the boys have been fully engaged. Every time we run these programmes we are amazed at the level of thinking and questioning from the boys. Again this week, boys have opted to stay in at break to work on tasks!
On Wednesday, 16 March our little boys in Gr 0 got to show off their new school to the special people in their lives. Grandparents travelled from far and near to be part of this exciting morning at St Peter’s and the boys spent many hours practicing their songs and creating artwork for the event. We started with a lovely Chapel Service, Father Richard using a spectacular science experiment to teach us the true meaning of Easter. Our grandparents got a glimpse of the time we spend in our school Chapel and enjoyed the entertainment our Gr 0 boys provided.
Anybody can pick up a phone or a tablet these days and google ‘Easter’ to get the latest and greatest up-to-date trends and info. So to bore you with the facts that are already at your fingertips is a waste. You can find the meaning and a blow-by-blow description of each moment of the Easter Story on the net. Some of it is a morbid fascination to find out how gruesome the facts actually are or how it was possible that one man endured so much.
Choice of high school has the potential to create much anxiety for parents. This becomes evident in the Grade 6 year where parents are making the final decisions and girls and boys attend interviews at the schools of their choice. In some cases parents place unnecessary pressure on their children and set unrealistic goals during this time. The Grade 6 year is comparable to the Grade 11 year in high school, where pupils are under pressure to perform in the classroom in order to be accepted at the university of their choice.
A peer mediation initiative was introduced in 2014 as part of the Grade 7 St Peter’s Individual Growth (SPIG) leadership programme. The goal of the mediation programme is to reduce conflict, creating a safer environment and to provide the Grade 7 boys with problem solving skills.
St Peter’s Prep Schools held a civvies day today and collected still water for charity as payment for wearing civvies. Hundreds of bottles were donated and were collected this morning by H2O 4 Hooves and Heels.