Exploring Fynbos

We had the privilege of visiting Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens this week. The children learnt all about the four main types of fynbos that we find in the Western Cape, they heard about the history of Kirstenbosch and about the rocks and soil that we find on and around Table Mountain. Walking across the Boomslang bridge was a highlight for most, and for a few it was an opportunity to conquer their fear of heights! And while we’re on the topic of “boom”, everyone had a chance to show off their tree-climbing skills. Of course there was also time for a picnic and rolling down the hill. As it was a very hot day, we were relieved to be able to cool off in the little river.

We all had a wonderful day in the outdoors, enjoyed spending time together as friends and gained a new appreciation for this beautiful spot in the world that we call home!


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Grade 5’s tackle the clouds up high…


We love to pose!!!


Right on top!

Sometimes we need to make difficult decisions as a teacher…. My mind was spinning last Thursday morning as I tried to decide whether it was worthwhile to head up Table Mountain by means of the cable car on a cloudy, windy and chilly day. What’s more is that we could actually not see the top of Table Mountain. Wise words of ” Just do it!” kept entering my head, and so we gave the go ahead. As per usual, I was once again ‘glad’ to make the decision to “Just do it!”. It was wonderful to twist and turn and gaze and squeal all the way up to the top. Some children had to dig deep and persevere to try and see through the swirling clouds in order to overcome their fear of heights. Learning to live. Learning to persevere. Learning to take chances. I was so proud, and they were too, for not choosing to give up and stay behind. Our guide greeted us with a warm smile, but made sure that he made it clear to me that the conditions were not favourable. “Sign here please ma’am, this is to state that I have made the conditions clear to you!”. Decide, question, deliberate, quiver…”Let’s go!”.

And so we were met with swirling winds, ghost-like clouds, eerie encounters, forces of nature and God’s beautiful creation. We loved it!! All 9° c of it!! Our guide told folk tales and questioned the children for their insights. We even got to experience the likes of apres ski as we were herded into the Wifi lounge for further teaching, hot chocolate and delicious treats. We spread ourselves out and lapped up the central heating, comfy furniture and joys of luxury. The children were in their element and a great day was had by all.

Roald Dahl celebrations were also a highlight for the week. Stories, reading, laughing, acting, drawing and writing creatively were the order of the day. Some of my girls went all out with their impersonations of their giant creations. A couple of children from our class entered the inspiring art competition in light of the Roald Dahl celebration. Luke made a delightful and creative, clay figurine of his interpretation of a ‘modern’ Bfg. Some of the girls used their drawing talents to do their creations and Sabrina did a beautiful drawing.

This all happened in between final assessments and two nights of an entertaining showcase
‘Open the doors’, put on by the entire SP under the capable direction of our dearly loved Mrs Van Tonder. Tick tick tick. Our tanks are full. Tick tick tick. We are happily exhausted.


Inspired by the great Roahl Dahl


Swirling clouds, 9°c and loving the exploration.


Apres ski at the Wifi lounge.

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Happy times


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imageimageimageimageimageimageThis past week was marked with an enormous amount of hard work. The children were kept exceptionally busy so we were all grateful to have had an outing to the Aquarium. One often thinks that this territory in the Waterfront is old territory for the children, but once they embark on the journey through seaweed, salty water experiences, bulging fish eyes, lumo floating jellyfish, shark encounters and so much more, then I realise how special these visits to the aquarium really are. We are fortunate to have experienced a lesson in one of the auditorium classrooms and a delightful young lady shared her knowledge on sharks with the children. The lesson is enlightening as it not only explains the details about sharks in general, but it also covers issues around shark awareness, their environment and their threats. The children loved getting to finally open the plastic tubs in order to touch the baby camouflaged sharks.

The new section at the aquarium is exciting, colourful and inviting to the children. There was great excitement as we ventured into dark areas, luminous-lit mirror zones and ‘hidey holes’ around each corner. I love the way the children became absorbed by the antics of the giant sea turtle, enormous fish and electrifying rays.

Back at our Elkanah ‘home’ the following day we also completed our tasks which we designed during the Olympic activity days. We created Olympic magazines with the children and they got to design some beautiful renditions for a magazine front cover during their IT lesson. I was amazed to see how many of the children already have such a key eye for design at such a young age. I am sure that you will be enthralled with the examples shown.



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A great and vibrant week.









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Drum Rolllllllllll…….. AND …… reports are done!!!! It has been an intense few weeks both for our pupils and the teachers. It is incredible to see hard work pay off and progression being shown in various learning areas. Classes have been abuzz with assessments, cycle tests and individual assessing of a wide range of skills based activities and outcomes. In between all the hard work we always find time to explore new subjects, have pertinent discussions and debates and fit in a fun outing here and there.

The children have enjoyed growing beans in class as part of their exploration of a lifecycle of a plant. The children took pictures of their growing beans on a regular basis and then created a Keynote presentation to present their findings. The wonders of nature were certainly saluted by the children. Other iPad tasks included inserting graphs into numbers, the use of numerous Apps during a deeper learning task and creating a slide to present their powerful verb creative writing pieces. The children bring so much insight to all these tasks and some children thrive on sharing their knowledge with others. The chitter chatter centred around iPad tasks is entertaining. The children have spent this past week playing around on Puppet pals in preparation for a Afrikaans task next week.

We all enjoyed a fabulous outing to Butterfly World last week. The children engaged well during a lesson given by one of their facilitators and they were thrilled to have some interesting creatures included in the presentation. After plenty of ‘touchies and feelies’ we were fortunate to roam around in the humid environment amongst the birds, butterflies and rather large bats. It is wonderful to see certain children relate so well to animals and a variety of creatures. I think some of the pictures will reflect a better story. It was admirable to see the children engage so beautifully with a large group of Grade two students who happened to also be visiting Butterfly World. These life experiences add so much to the development of a child on all levels.The day ended off with an exciting Interhouse hockey afternoon. It was tremendous to see so many children taking part.

We look forward to a great last few weeks of school before heading off to enjoy a pleasurable holiday period.

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At the Museum…

Last week the Pelicans and the Louries explored the way of life of the San and the Khoi at the Iziko Museum in Cape Town.  Did you know that “Iziko” is an isiXhosa word, meaning “a hearth”?  The hearth of a typical African home is usually found in a central place in the home.  Thus Iziko symbolises a hub of cultural activity and a central place for gathering together and learning about South Africa’s diverse heritage.

After our lesson, we were able to explore other areas of the museum.  We enjoyed our lunch under the trees in the Gardens.


Taking a peep into the huts of the San.


Exploring at the museum.


We met a few “bony” creatures.


Some of us were almost devoured by a shark!


Admiring the rock paintings.


Relaxing in the Gardens.

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Finding Our Way

The children are all happy to be back at school and they have already been hard at work and hard at play!

We decided to put their mapping skills to the test, and where better to do this, than on the road itself!  Using an electronic map of our area on their iPads, the children mapped the route that we walked from our school to one of our local shopping centres.  The Notability app proved to come in very handy, as the children could make notes about various landmarks along the way as well.

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Back at school, they used the information that was gathered “in the field” to complete a task that required them to add information to a map, draw routes and give directions in words.  It’s a task that lends itself very well to integration between Social Sciences and English.

Next week the children will create their own GPS recordings in Explain Everything, to practise the skill of giving directions.

We are looking forward to a term of fun-filled, exciting learning.  The children will have many opportunities to create, explore and present.  We can’t wait to see what they will be getting up to here in Grade 5!

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Kirstenbosch Magic!

Camphor trees, enchanted forests, dinosaurs and tadpoles – just some of the attractions that intrigued the Grade 5’s on their outing to the beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens last week. Apart from stunning views of Nursery Buttress from the swaying Boomslang Bridge and a close-up look at the grand golden web of an imposing orb spider, there was so much to learn about the threatened members of our fynbos kingdom.

And the highlight?…. scrambling up trees and exploring the stream of course! Perhaps our children are normal after all!IMG_7502IMG_7505IMG_7514IMG_7510IMG_7512IMG_7498IMG_7524IMG_7522IMG_7535IMG_7532IMG_7527


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Taking time to enjoy … Breakfast!

The Pelicans were fortunate to visit Froozels Food Products in Montague Gardens last week.  We had a tour of the warehouse and factory and we witnessed firsthand how cereals and snacks are produced, from the raw ingredients to the packaging stage, ready for the shelves in the supermarket.  Seeing the staff and the equipment in action was an interesting experience.  The children had a tasting competition of the raw ingredients and had to label them correctly, just by tasting them.  One group managed to achieve 100%.  We were all blessed with some snacks and cereals to take home, although there was a lot of tasting and swapping happening when we returned to school.  It was a great learning opportunity, to see what goes into producing a product that is so easily just added to our trolleys and poured into our bowls every morning before leaving home.

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Beach Outing

Last week- on Friday, the 06th of February, the Grade 5’s embarked on their annual outing to the beach. As expected, the trip there was met with excited chitter-chatter. Upon arrival we set up our spots, and as soon as their feet hit the ground, they were in the water.

The children had immense fun swimming, laying in the sun and playing on the beach sand. Some highlights include their trip to the rock pools where they could explore the lifeforms within them. Another would be when the iconic ring of the ice cream man’s bell could be heard in the distance- I don’t think the ice cream man realized what hit him because as soon as he stopped, he was out of stock and ran to fetch more!

We had such a lovely day where we, as the Grade 5 team, had the opportunity to swim, relax and get to know our children better in a more informal and fun way! We look forward to the year ahead!







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Aquarium outing

The Louries and Rainbirds went off to the Aquarium for a lovely day out.  They learnt all about sharks.  They even got to touch a little Shy Shark, which not all children were sure about.  But what an amazing day out!


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