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Perseverance has to be taught

Few things in life that are truly worth having or achieving come easily. Raising a family, mastering the violin, running a marathon, surfing a wave, passing your final exams or climbing a mountain all take plenty of good old fashioned hard work. There are times when you feel disheartened as you see little reward for your efforts but, in the end, you enjoy a family dinner, ride that wave, cross the finish line, graduate or reach the summit.

Much of the spirit of our times is about luxury, ease and convenience. ‘Simpler, better faster’. We expect replies to our messages in minutes. We aspire to and come to expect business class, VIP parking, air conditioned comfort.

Children do not learn perseverance, tenacity and grit by themselves. It is human nature to give up in the face of adversity. We need to plan those lessons, as we do others. It starts with giving them responsibilities around the house that are appropriate for their age. A four year-old can help carry the shopping in to the house and by five should be able to help you pack it away. They should be able to feed the dog or cat and help water the garden. By 7 or 8 they should be able to fry an egg and bake a muffin. By ten they can cook a meal for the family. In so doing they learn to be responsible for something, knowing that it is an important task and that it needs to be done reliably and with pride. Quitting or making excuses isn’t an option. Later on in life, they will have the skills of self-mastery to be able to study for exams, practice a musical instrument, or train for a sport.

Important life lessons must be planned into the curriculum. Children must learn that in order to enjoy a tomato you have to plant it and water it every day. It takes weeks for the plant to grow and there is a small but real sense of accomplishment when they see the fruit ripening.

One of my favourite quotes is from Robert Schuller: ‘Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.’

Andy Wood, Green School South Africa’s Head of School.

Bridge House IEB Matric Results

The Bridge House Top 5: Tanya Brits, Louis-Franz Alberts, Alina Pirouz, Ella Kinsey-Quick and Emma Wainright

Bridge House School Matrics of 2020 achieved excellent results in the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) examinations and the school maintained its 100% pass rate to date.

In 2020, 12 024 full time candidates wrote the National Senior Certificate through the IEB with a 98,06% pass rate nationally. 88.41% of the candidates achieved a Bachelor Degree pass, qualifying them to apply to study for degree courses at university.

Speech Contest for International Museum Day

Museums worldwide annually celebrate International Museum Day on 18 May. In the Western Cape museums affiliated with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport celebrate this global event by staging a very popular English speech contest for high school learners.

The topics for the first round and gala speech contest focus on “Museums and the important role they play in our communities.”

Locally the first round will involve grade 10 and 11 learners from Franschhoek High School, Groendal Secondary School and Bridge House School. The first round will be hosted at the Huguenot Memorial Museum where strict Covid-19 protocols will be in place.

The first, second and third place winners at the first round will receive a floating trophy to keep in their school’s display cases for the year. These learners also automatically qualify for the online Gala Speech Contest later in the year.

The closing date for entries is 3 May 2021.

The museum’s educational officer, Moniqec Dirkse, can be contacted for copies of the rules, the topics or any other information. Her contact details are: education.hmm@gmail.com | 064 092 5467 | 021 876 2532

Town and gown unite against COVID-19

FLTR: Maties SRC Chair Xola Njengele, Stellenbosch University Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers, Stellenbosch Executive Mayor Adv Gesie van Deventer and Visit Stellenbosch CEO Jeanneret Momberg in the town’s iconic Victoria Street, which runs through the University’s campus. Key town-and-gown stakeholders are taking coming together in a campaign against COVID-19. (Photo: Stefan Els)

If we all work together, we can minimise the coronavirus risk, protect lives and livelihoods, and safeguard the success of the academic project. WIM DE VILLIERS (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University and Chair of Higher Health)

Stellenbosch and surrounding towns have of late become busier again in the runup to the formal start of our academic year on 15 March 2021. The return of students and staff may be a thrilling prospect for businesses, but some fears have also been expressed around COVID-19. Let me explain our approach, in collaboration with other role-players in our university town.

More Wheelchairs from Bread Tags and Bottle Caps

Bridge House Servest staff was on hand at the handover of the wheelchair to Mavis Vingi.

Bridge House’s collaboration with the Bread Tags for Wheelchairs organisation reached another milestone during the recent school holiday when the seventh and eighth wheelchairs obtained in this way were presented to worthy recipients.

The seventh wheelchair was handed to Franschhoek resident Mavis Vingi, who has advanced osteoporosis in both knees. The eighth chair went to Yolanda Petersen from Somerset West, who has no right kneecap and suffers chronic back and hip pain.

If you’ve ever wondered how many bread tags are required to pay for a wheelchair the answer is 200 kg. To put that into perspective, a bread bag holds 1 kg of tags. So, keep eating bread!

In the case of bottle caps, 450 kg of bottle caps is needed for a wheelchair. The difference is down to the fact that they’re made from a different material for which a lower price is paid.

A request from the school though, please do not mix your tags and caps and make sure no other objects make it into the containers.  Odd finds like batteries and toothbrushes are laborious to separate and if missed damage the recycling company’s machinery.

Since Bridge House started collecting tags in 2017 the initiative has grown to such an extent that the school now receives tags from communities all over the country – and even Australia! The seventh wheelchair was obtained through contributions from the Bridge House community and the other was a team effort between collectors in Australia and South Africa.

Text: Editorial Desk | Image: Bridge House

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