Term one updates

Grade 8 Class of 2017

KCS is proudly presenting Grade 8 class of 2017 pupils

Naomi Heese, Dunshirn Davis, Sabelwe Gumede, Sphesihle Mbhamali, Malibongwe Mpontshana.

The above mentioned pupils make the grade 8 class of 2017 run by Ms Petra Heese who is their class teacher. KCS is growing every year and continues to aiming high to become one of the best Schools in the country. We strongly believe that the School will continue growing and there’s still more to come. We are excited to enroll the first class of grade 8 and hoping that this class will make our very own grade 9 in 2018.

Having Ms Petra Heese heading the grade 8 class is a privilege as she’s an experienced educator whose been in the department of education for so many years working as an educator. We strongly believe that her experience of working with most great schools in the country will be a great benefit for these learners. May the grace of God bless the school and it’s accomplishments as we believe it’s all coming from Him.

KCS 2017 Opening Speech

Head Mistress: Mrs S. Hamilton

 A very warm welcome to Khethani Christian School in 2017.

I have got the amazing privilege to greet you as the new principal of the school. The end of last year was marked with many farewell events for the Swift family. Andrew and Bridget Swift lead the school over the past 6 years with great dedication and lots of love for the children of Ingwavuma. They brought the school from a handful of learners, taught in a few different places around town to a vibrant school of 158 children this year. There is a school campus with 8 class rooms, a school hall, office space a jungle gym and more. This is just the outside achievement. On the inside, they developed teachers, and taught and encouraged learners to reach their full potentials. There is a very strong team of educators, a caring governing body and a management team which all working hard develop Khethani to make it shine bright on top of the Lebombo Mountains.

To step into their shoes is a big privilege and a huge responsibility. Coming from a Swiss Admin and Nursing back ground, I’m also bringing some experience in project management and counselling. Since early 2002 Ingwavuma is my permanent home. Here is where I met my husband Hennie and now have the joy to bring up 3 beautiful children, who all attend Khethani.

I could only take on this challenge knowing Miss Petra Heese by my side – she carries a vast amount of teaching and school management experience from 3 decades of involvement in education in many different countries around the globe. Mr Manqoba Mkhwanazi and Mrs Thandi Ndlovu – both faithful teachers at school stepped up to leadership duties to form our management team.

A very big thank you to all of you who have contributed to Khethani in any way since the humble beginning in January 2009. You are a enormous encouragement to all staff and the community of Ingwavuma.

I start this year with great excitement and expectations to see Khethani growing further – growing deep roots academically for an excellent education of our children – growing deep roots in all aspects of admin incl continuing our application process with Umalusi and most of all growing deeper in our understanding how wide, how long, how deep and how high the love of God is for each one of us.

 

Sylvia Hamilton

Principal

 

 

 

 

 

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Term 1 Newsletter 2016

March 2016

Dear fans and friends

A big welcome and thank you to new fan club members Pete and Claud Storrar and Martin and Vanessa Fawcett (all from Johanesburg).

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I’m just back from a cricket tour. We took the boys to play two matches: one in Hluhluwe and the other in Eshowe. We left Ingwavuma on Friday morning. I’m sure you remember any outing that you went on at school (more than you remember Mrs Fitzwilliams’s riveting History lessons). Well that same sense of anticipation and excitement still courses through the veins of the modern learner – who has both visions of impending adventure and the thrill of a missed day of school causing giddy delight. I loved how the boys welcomed each new team member into the Isuzu bakkie. Everyone would bundle out of the car, en masse, and run over to help Kwenza carry his bag, blanket and umphako over to the trailer, chattering about who was sitting where and which packet of Simba chips would be opened first. Beautiful community.

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We stopped first at Zulu Croc, outside Hluhluwe, were Laurence showed us a fascinating array of snakes and crocodiles. Wandile volunteered to have a snake draped round his neck. I’m not totally convinced Wandile knew what he was in for, and the unfortunate Australian Python took its maiden flight across the gravel when Wandile’s nerve broke. I was amazed to see two species of African crocodiles that I never knew existed, the pygmy and long-snouted – both from Central Africa. One never stops learning. The boys were clearly rattled by the reptiles, as their bodies went into shock, causing us to lose convincingly to both Hluhluwe Primary School and John Wesley Eshowe. We retreated to the Xaxaza Caravan Park in Mthunzini to lick our wounds and regroup around the lovely swimming pool. As we drove the long road back to Ingwavuma the next day the boys had long forgotten the epic defeats as I was left to ponder the mysteries of the cover drive and leg glance………

The term has been a busy and fruitful one with lots of great teaching and learning. We are blessed with a wonderful staff. The school really has developed strong rhythms that nurture achievement and excellence. Check out our Facebook page (Khethani Christian School) or website (khethani.co.za) to see the many activities that take place at Khethani in a week.

My close friend Murray Gibbon is principal of a young institution: Claremont High School in Cape Town. The first group of Grade 12 learners who had been at the school since Grade 8 left the school at the end of last year. What a cracking achievement then, that one of Murray’s Grade 12s finished 3rd in the NSC exams in the whole of South Africa! I asked Murray what his secrets were to running a successful school. I share them with you here:

  1. Build relationships between teachers and pupils. No significant learning is possible without significant relationships.
  2. Create opportunities in the ‘wider classroom’: Olympiads, GK quizzes, camps, sport, leadership opportunities etc
  3. Work longer and harder than others. Jealously guard academic time. Start lessons on Day 1; don’t erode days at the end of terms.
  4. Take responsibility for your own life, you’re not a victim. For the resources at your disposal, be a good steward.
  5. Give back. It prevents a sense of entitlement. And helps you be a ‘change agent’. Share wherever possible.

He also mentioned something about winning as many cricket games as possible, but I thought it best to leave that one out.

But on a serious note, it was a very good exercise for the Khethani staff to sit down, look at that list and reflect on how we measured up to those 5 points. I’m happy to say that we could all agree that the school was doing really well when we pegged KCS against this yardstick.

The Governing Body has made the decision to open Grade 8 at the school in 2018. I look forward to seeing how Khethani Grade 12 learners fare when 2022 rolls around. I won’t be at all surprised to see an excellent set of results.

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To all our fans, my  sincere and heartfelt thanks for your continued support. On behalf of everyone involved in the Khethani project – thank you, thank you and thank you!

Many blessings

Andrew

 The Khethani Fan Club

 Our ‘Fan Club’ currently has about 40 members, a number that continues to grow. We ask each of our fans to donate R200 (or more, or less) a month to the school, or to make a once-off donation. The money goes into a fund that is used specifically to improve our teachers’ salaries. We are currently funded entirely through parents’ school fees (R1000/month) which are very high for the community we operate in. However, we want to offer our staff salaries that will compete with state salaries and keep them at the school but our budget does not allow for this. Your donation would go towards helping us retain staff that will assist us in attaining our vision of developing into a quality school.Fans also request to make donations for specific projects which is also fine.

 If you do join the fan club, please drop me an email so that I can add you to our list.

 Banking details:

 Account name:     Khethani Christian School 

Bank:                    First National Bank (FNB), Pongola 

Code:                    270124 

Acc number:         62281179757 

SWIFT code:        FIRNZAJJ

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Term 4 2015 Newsletter

Dear Fans and Friends

 
We live in a crazy world. I’ve just finished reading a harrowing article in my TIME Magazine about a shooting incident in Charleston, USA. A young white man joins a bible study at a black church and after an hour when they bow their heads to pray he proceeds to shoot 8 of them at point-blank range. Allegedly he said afterwards that the church members were so kind and welcoming to him that he nearly chose not to go through with his act of murderous hate. The article, which took me a few days to read and process, told stories of the victims’ families, the survivors and their response to this darkness – with forgiveness being a key part of the discussion. This story, unfortunately, isn’t unique is it? How many stories do we have to deal with, on a daily basis, where the ‘bad guys’ seemingly hold sway and act with impunity? It can seem quite overwhelming. Well to counter this I need to tell you that I have been on the receiving end of acts of kindness this term, almost on a daily basis, that cause me to celebrate life – even if I will never read about them in the TIME Magazine.
First up, a story about a young man from the ‘burbs, Matthew Kegge, who wins a brand-new mountain bike in a lucky-dip draw and chooses to donate it to a (thrilled) fledgling Khethani MTB Club (number of JoyHours generated = 30 and counting). Secondly, a story about a Swiss national, Ueli Schaerrer, travelling to South Africa (who I have never met), who donates enough money to the school to start building our next classroom block (number of JoyHours generated = currently few, but will be counting for decades). Thirdly, we were stuck in Durban after the amaShova cycling race when my car broke down and needed a place to stay. Dorian and Yvonne Reece put all 8 of us up, fed us, transported us around, made us feel loved (number of JoyHours generated = 10). I’m going to nervously stop there. Nervous because off the top of my head there are about another ten stories that I could be telling and you might be saying, “Hey, what about my JoyHours???”. For starters, all of the Khethani Fan Club members might be saying that. But I think you get the picture. The picture is that in a world of big-story mayhem, there are countless small-story victories of love, care, kindness, generosity and light. So a very big “Go you good thing!” to all the JoyHour generating KFC members and others who have supported us in so many different ways. We love you and appreciate you.
We’ve had a very happy and productive year at Khethani Christian School. Personally, my most enjoyable. to date. The staff this year have been nothing short of fantastic. In fact, they have been a dream to work with. Let me give you a few words that describe them: committed, teachable, organized, dependable, willing, role-models, flexible, caring. Let me give you some facts to back up what I am saying: Zisize Maths Competition (10 schools): Individual prizes: Gr 1 1st place, Gr 2 2nd place, Gr 3 2nd place, Gr 4 1st place, ACSI Maths Grade 6 Benchmarking Test: 2nd place out of 19 schools across South Africa (Average 72%). I am tremendously grateful for the work that the staff have done and for the kind of people that they are.
We have had an exciting and rewarding Term 4. Our cycling club, led by the intrepid Neil Coetzee, took part in our first Amashova Cycle Race. Our big-city friends, the Edkins and the Reeces, helped make the weekend possible. The kids loved the freedom of the city streets and had a great time riding up and down the Durban beachfront after the race – clearly it wasn’t long enough!
             
Our Grade 5 – 7s went on an adventure to Twinstreams, an amazing spot outside Mtunzini. The week including hiking, paddling, mud-bathing, night-time hysteria and Zonqoba’s appendix bursting (eish!). Fortunately Zonqoba’s Dad was attending a course in Empangeni so could meet us at the hospital in Richard’s Bay after the consultation in Mtunzini. Twinstreams is set in an incredible rehabilitated forest, with trees planted by the Garlands on a sugarcane farm (planting began in the 1950s).
                

We had our first ever Reading Rocket (courtesy of Miss Hogge – OK so the poms do come up with good ideas every now and again). This was paired reading across the school, with older and younger children taking turns to read to each other. The kids loved it!
We had our first Family Day this term, which was a great hit! Neil Coetzee set up a 5km course which Dads, Moms, Gogos and children could run, walk or ride. Afterwards there were netball games for moms and daughters and soccer for dads and sons. We also had a ‘Guess the number of beans in the jar’ raffle – the guesses ranged from 19 to 40 000! The day had such a great vibe and will become an annual event. The Spar boerewors rolls might have been the biggest hit though…….
                  

On the sporting front our boys finished off the year by winning the Mkuze Cricket Tournament in nailbiting fashion! With all the sides having 3 points, the result hinged on run rate. We managed to win by the slenderest of margins, but to be honest any result would have good considering we spent a day at the one of the most picturesque grounds in the country (go and have a look if you happen to swing past Mkuze). The final sporting acts of the year were Interhouse cricket and netball, with a double whammy Coo-ee bonanza being the spoils of war (which is good when you are playing in close to 40C heat).
                
The term has ended with a wonderful Science Day, engineered by the indefatigable Miss Hogge, which involved mixed-grade groups doing 8 different experiments during the course of the day. Great fun and great science! Classes have also gone on their end-of-year outings which also went well.
             
May God bless you all. Thank you for your love, prayers, financial support and interest. May your homes and families know the love and peace of the Saviour born in the humble manger.
Much love
Andrew
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Term 3 2015 Newsletter

Dear fans and friends

First up I would like to pay tribute to two educational legends that I had the privilege of working with when I lived in Cape Town, who both passed away recently. Mr Lionel Pithey was the Grounds Manager at Rondebosch Boys’ Prep School and what a legend he was – a true gentleman, always had time for a greeting and a chat, never said that he couldn’t help you, he lived servant-hearted endeavor. Mrs Norma Barker was a Foundation Phase teacher with a larger than life personality, a ready laugh and a great love for teaching young children. In big and small ways these two South Africans were living reasons why the school they worked at is a great school, a world-class school. If there were more Lionels and Normas at more South African schools we would live in a more peaceful, more prosperous and more dynamic country. RIP Lionel Pithey and Norma Barker.
If you are young or young-at-heart and are into technology and enjoy having your personal space invaded at regular intervals – then please visit our new Facebook page. This is regularly updated with insights into daily life at KCS by Miss Emily Hogge, a volunteer from the UK (with South African roots), who is teaching our Grade 2 class.
We are also recently registered as a ‘My School’ partner. If you have a card, please consider making us a recipient on your ‘My School’ account. If you don’t have a card and you shop at Woolies, please would you consider getting a card and then making us your recipient.
A big welcome to new Fan Club Members:  Martin and Vanessa Fawcett (Joburg, SA), Ueli Scharrer (Switzerland), Irma Both (Switzerland) and Sara Diolaiuti (Switzerland). We really appreciate you partnering with us. Ueli was recently able to visit the school (along with another Swiss Fan Club member Bea Aebersold) – sorry I wasn’t able to meet you – and see where and how we would be using his donation.
Let me tell you Term 3’s story in pictures. Far more entertaining!
                            

​The KCS Mountain Biking Club in action! Training, transporting bikes rural style, ready for action at our first race in Monzi, Lisa Coetzee takes position 3!!
           
Birthday party in Grade 1, Thursday sports practice, Phila and Sanele hard at work during a study session.
              

​Foundation Phase Interhouse General Knowledge Quiz, IP and SP Interhouse General Knowledge Quiz
                      

​Interschools Cross-country (we came 2nd!), Tigers – Interhouse soccer winners, Interschools Maths Competition winners (Sthelwesihle Gr 1 1st, Siphosethu Gr 2 2nd, Fisokuhle Gr 3 2nd, Spetho Gr 4 1st), Heritage Day
       

​And another productive, growth-full, fun term comes to a close, end of term assembly.
Thank you for your encouragement, finances, prayers, love and support. We appreciate you.
God bless Africa. Guard her children. Guide her rulers. And give her peace. Amen!
Many blessings
Andrew
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Term 2 2015

Dear fans and friends

Warm greetings from Ingwavuma, can you believe the year is already half over?
Firstly, a big welcome to the Fan Club for new members Tony Ryan (Cape Town), Pete and Ros Koch (Cape Town), Gill and Jason Nicholl (Cape Town) and Samara Naicker (Durban). We really appreciate your care, commitment and contributions.
Our school emblem is a tree aloe. The tree aloe that we planted at the school flowered for the first time this autumn. A fitting metaphor for where the school is at – we are growing strong roots and are starting see some good fruit. The emblem is also proudly displayed on the new school tracksuits which arrived this term. The tracksuits arrived just before the Sugar Tournament (see below) which was important as we all know the well documented intimidatory effect of arriving at a sports match looking good!
A fun and busy term. We live in a part of the world where sports festivals are named after agricultural products, so we went to the Pineapple Tournament in Hluhluwe (hosted by Hluhluwe Primary) and the Sugar Festival in Mtubatuba (hosted by Mtubatuba Primary). Quite a logistical effort is involved in getting all 50-odd children to these events. This involves an early departure (4.30am – ouch!) with multiple collection points…Bonga, where will I find you on Saturday morning? Where you got me last year. Fiso, where will I find you on Saturday morning? On the tar road….OK boys we need to work on your communication and navigation skills. Those challenges aside, the days are memorable – reminding me of travelling to Queenstown from East London to play Queen’s College on frosty winter mornings
 Pineapple 3 Sugar 1 Pineapple 2
We took 3 girls’ netballs teams (u9, u11 and u13) and 2 boys’ rugby teams (u9 and u11). The girls performed well and are becoming a force to be reckoned with. The boys were playing their first rugby games ever and struggled, but managed to win the odd game. They were also taken aback by the trying conditions they encountered – He sat on me!! Character building stuff.
Samara Naicker was born in Ingwavuma at Mosvold Hospital in the 80s. She left when she was 12 and her parents relocated to Durban. Sam 2For her 30th birthday she decided to return to the place of her birth. ‘Ingwavuma’ was Googled and spat out the email address of Neil Coetzee, the chairperson of the school’s governing body. A couple of emails later resulted in the call to have Samara’s 30th birthday party at Khethani Christian School. Samara arrived at the school with her fiance, mom, aunty  and step-father. What followed was a lovely party, happy children and moved staff. Samara also made a cash donation to the school and became a Khethani fan. What a lovely, generous occasion it was. A big thank you to the birthday girl!
We were visited by Grant Edkins and a team from Crossways Church (and Dorian and Yvonne Reece) in June. Grant and his team came to encourage and to enjoy the rurals. They joined Neil Coetzee and the mountain bike club on Saturday for a 25km ride around the Stargazingcommunity. The rural dogs proved a challenge for Dorian and the rural hills proved a challenge for Sihle. The team enjoyed the support and Lethu found that there were some riders to challenge him up the hills (MTN Qubeka take note!). Nick Kegge and Grant promised the team that they would join them on their maiden amaShova voyage in Durban later this year in October (no pressue fellas). Later that afternoon the Grade 5 – 7 learners decamped to the bush of Lindizwe where we had a great braai which was followed by stargazing with Paul Hemming (Crossways umfundisi) as night descended. It was a perfect night, no moon, no wind and no suburban lights (although does that count these days with load shedding?). The learners saw the Coal Sack, the Magellenic Cloud, Scorpio, the Dog Star, Scorpio, Saturn, Pluto, the majestic Milky Way and the Southern Cross and the pointers. Paul gave us wonderful insights and interesting illustrations to help us understand the universe, and what a universe it is!
Stargazing braai
​Term 2 included our Annual Inter-house Spelling Bee and I was really wowed by some of the (mostly) girls! Zonqoba and Fanele had a serious duel in Grade 6 with Zonqoba coming out on top, and successfully spelling onomatopoeia (and how many of you could get that right without spellcheck?) without skipping a beat.
Our staff was bolstered this term by Vince Cordero (US Peace Corps Volunteer) who is teaching IT (on tablets) to Grade 3 – 7 and small group Maths and English to Grade 1 – 5. Joshua Storrs visited Ingwavuma for a couple of months and taught Grade 7 Science and Social Studies as well as coaching u9 rugby. We will be joined in August by serial volunteer Emily Hogge and we look forward to welcoming her.
Many blessings
Andrew
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Term 2 2014

Dear fans and friends

Greetings from a dry, yet tranquil Ingwavuma. I always marvel at the climatic extremes in our country. One day a month or two ago, when Cape Town was in the grip of another icy cold front, the mercury hit 37C in Ingwavuma. Crazy! Anyway, we have had some beautiful winter days here, very still and the bush dies back and everything opens up and it leaves me feeling quite peaceful. Until I arrive at school that is, and the peace dissipates in a thousand different directions…..
It has been a good term. The children have developed good momentum in their work and I had a good few days where I could honestly write, ‘Well done!’, ‘Fantastic!’ and ‘Excellent!’ on a lot of Term 2 reports. We have a really good group of staff at the school this year, in fact the best collective that I have worked with since I started at KCS. Positive, up-beat, hard-working and motivated. You can’t ask for much more than that, can you? A number of staff are busy with their studies (6 of them) and it feels good to create an environment where people are empowering themselves to become better teachers in order to reac young South African lives. We are busy working through a book together called ‘Teach like a Champion’, which comes with clips of teachers in action in classrooms and so far it has been informative and impactful – and so we continue to grow a team that will hopefully go on to be pillars in creating something special here.

We had a very enjoyable term of sport. The highlight was our participation in Hluhluwe Primary School’s annual Pineapple Tournament. This was the first time that we were invited. What a great event – literally hundreds of enthused children playing netball, soccer, hockey and rugby. Hluhluwe is about 2 and a half hours away, so we left at 5.30am to be there on time. The kids were given the isiZulu version of ‘You snooze, you lose’ (Walala, wasala). It reminded me of leaving East London at the crack of dawn in the 80s to play Queens in Queenstown, barefoot, on frost-laden fields. An u11 girls netball team and an u11 boys soccer team participated. Next year we plan to take u9, u11 and u13 netball teams, as well as u9 and u11 rugby teams and soccer teams. We have already begun preparing for next year’s event! The girls were brilliant, playing seven matches and winning all of them. I still don’t fully understand the rules, but I shouted zealously from the sidelines nevertheless (the school pastor, Neil Coetzee, and I never thought we would end up being passionate netball fans. Life can be strange.). I comfort myself that it’s almost the same as waterpolo, just with no water – so I hoped I wasn’t saying anything too idiotic. The boys played well too, participating in 3 matches, and looking the part. Our girls soccer and boys touch rugby matches have also gone well this term, playing 4 rounds against local schools. The senior boys were unbeaten, playing some great touch rugby. The girls have improved tremendously. Quality sport is starting to take root at KCS, long may it flourish.

 We were visited by Crossways Church from Hilton this term (see photo below). They blessed us through the purchase and installation of two flag poles, as well as a South African flag and a cash donation. Paul Hemming, the Crossways umfundisi, also ran two evening sessions informing the older children about our universe and solar system. Paul had some nifty equipment, like a laser that was used to point out planets and stars, that made the evenings fun and informative.The Ingwavuma sky was also on pretty spectacular form, which was helpful. The team also did some gardening around the school and planted some beautiful flowers. We are very grateful to Crossways for supporting us and we thank Grant and Paul, for getting their team out of the burbs and into the rurals. We hope to see them again next year! We will be running a KCS flag design competition early next term and you will then see our school flag flying alongside the national flag next to the school gate.

We ran an inter-house general knowledge quiz this term, which was enjoyable and informative. I was also pleased to find out at the quiz that Mr Swift is the richest person in the world (with Bill and Warren following close behind, obviously). We also had our annual inter-house Spellathon, which went well. This involves a first-round written test, which all the children participate in, after which the qualifiers battle it out in a ‘last-speller stands’ spelling bee.
Paula Shepard, who works as a remedial teacher at St Katherines in Empangeni, came up to Ingwavuma for the weekend to run a special needs workshop with our staff. It was informative, helpful and part of our ongoing journey of trying to reach each child, whatever their needs. We are finding that there are a lot of children who struggle on a number of different fronts and part of our maturing as a school involves trying to catch as many of them in the ‘net of success’ as possible.
We are growing up as a school! We have our first-ever audited annual financial statement. This is the work of Matthew and Tamara Black, who live in Hilton. They have been awarded the freedom of Khethani Christian School (along with members of the KCS Fan Club, of course)! It has been no easy task finding someone to do our books, so this development has been a great blessing. Particularly as we are submitting our first application for a Department of Education subsidy this month – which obviously needs audited financial statements!
Fans and friends, thank-you so much for your continued support and encouragement, it is much appreciated. Let us trust that your investment will impact the nation. I doubt Nelson Mandela’s primary school teachers had the first clue about the import of the work that they were undertaking when they taught him his a, b, c’s. Imagine how average the Springbok team would be if Grey College did not exist. My point – one school can make a difference. We are hoping to be that school.
Regards and blessings
Andrew
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Term 4 2013

Dear fans and friends

Academics

We wrote the Annual National Assessments for the first time this year. It’s a great yardstick for an honest measure of our progress. Our curriculum doesn’t quite align with the state curriculum which is a disadvantage, but writing the tests revealed what we need to work on and what we are doing well. Our literacy results were 24% above the national average, while our numeracy results were 16% higher. Maths is fast becoming our number one academic priority as it is the subject, that if not taught well early on, creates the biggest problems in the higher grades. Our systems in the Foundation Phase are now working really well and we are achieving excellent results there. A focus next year will be on filling the gaps with the children who started at the school 5 years ago – when the school’s structures were a little looser!

Activities at school

We celebrated Cultural Heritge Day this term. Some of the children looked tremendous in their outfits – the only pity is that we did not have a camera at school that day! I particularly remember Lihlithemba Tembe – he looked splendid with his head-dress and ‘skirt’. We combined ‘Teddy Bear Day’ and ‘Teachers in Uniform Day’ together – wow, some of the teachers looked so young they could have been in Grade 10!

Sport

We hosted the inaugural the inaugural Inwgavuma Invitational Cricket Tournament this term. Khethani, 2 local schools and John Wesley Kosi Bay were the four schools invited. We used a round robin format with a final and 3rd/4th play-off on the final day. Mpontshini Primary won and Khethani finished 3rd. It went really well, the forcasted deluge did not materialize and we hope to expand the event in future years. Cricket has definitely taken root in these schools – a favourite moment was driving past a homestead in the Ntabayengwe community and seeing two brothers playing a one-on-one game of garden cricket against each other. We will be going on a cricket tour to Durban during the second weekend of the 1st Term next year. We will play 2 matches and go and watch the Dolphins playing a 20/20 match. The girls and boys played netball and cricket matches against Mbalekelwa Primary and Okhayeni Primary.

Outings

The Senior Class and Grade 3s went on a cruise on the Pongola Dam. They had good sightings of game from the barge and were well behaved according to the hosts – bonus! Tthe Grade Rs and 1s went to Sodwana Bay (about an hour and a half away) which they always enjoy. Mrs Mung’omba’s class went to St Lucia (about 3 hours away), where they visited the Crocodile Park and also went on a cruise in the estuary. Sabelwe Gumede was celebrating her birthday and got to steer the barge. The French tourists apparently had a ball interacting with the kids and made them feel like celebrities.

We finished the year with our End-of-Year Celebrations where we awarded prizes for academics, character, diligence and sport. We also ran speech and writing competitions during the 4th term and the winners received their prizes as well. We also presented special awards to those children who did not receive a single detention during the whole year (no mean feat!) – there were only 9 children in the school who performed this noteworthy achievement.

From all the Governing Body members, the staff and children I wish you and your families a blessed Christmas and New Year.

As always we thank you, our partners, as we strive – in a small way, in a small corner of the Republic – to fulfill the vision of former President Nelson Mandela:

I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against 

black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a free and democratic nation in which all 

shall live in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for 

which I hope to live for and realize, but if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

God bless Africa

Andrew

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Term 1 2014

Dear fans and friends

Time flies when you are having fun and it’s a bit scary that the first term has already come and gone.
We welcomed a few new staff members at the start of the year: Mr Manqoba Mkhwanazi in the Senior Class, Mr Abel Mbereki in the Grade 4/5 class and Mrs Cindy Mpanza in Grade 2 and Mrs Bridget Swift in the Special Senior Class. After a fair amount of sifting through the years (which is emotionally taxing when asking people to move on) we have a group of teachers that are great to work with. Positive, hard-working and more and more skilled and experienced. I believe that we are continuing to lay a solid foundation that will serve us well in years to come.
We had a first ‘sort of’ matriculant in Smangaliso Vilakazi, who was with us for a few years. We arranged for him to move to John Wesley Kosi Bay toward the end of Grade 11 when we saw that we were not administratively ready to take him through to the end of Grade 12. He achieved 6 distinctions and for his remaining subject, Maths, he got 78%. Another of our past learners, Chilombo Mung’omba, who left us at the end of Grade 9 to go to boarding school in Pietermaritzburg came top of her Grade 10 class. So we are happy that we are doing something right in playing a small part in helping these learners get to where they are.
We had a visit from ‘Clowns without Borders’ who were absolutely brilliant. The clowns were South African and British and put together some fantastic items. Most of the children had never seen a clown in action before, so Mr Fish’s impressive juggling feats were much appreciated. They were in Ingwavuma for 3 weeks and visited plenty of schools.
We also had our Inter-house athletics event this term, which was won by the Tigers. Fortunately we had a bit of cloud around which kept the temperature to a manageable 30C or so. During one of our sports fixtures against Okhayeni Primary down on the flats the temperature was 39C! Cooking! We played netball and cricket fixtures this term, which went well – although the girls are still some way off where we want them to be.
A number of our boys joined an Ingwavuma XI on a short tour to Durban. It went really well and included 2 matches (one of which we won, and the other which we lost by 1 run), a visit to Kingsmead to watch the eventual champions, the Dolphins, in action against the Knights and a trip to the beach.
Our boys also ventured to Hluhluwe Primary to take on their u11 team. We went on a game drive in the morning, seeing a big herd of buffalo right next to the road, giraffe, zebra, nyala and 2 impressive white rhinos. After the game the boys had a swim in the Hluhluwe Primary pool, what a joy!
Our builder, Sipho Mngomezulu, is underway building our second 3-classroom block. He does a really good job, although his strength and urgency is partly dependent on the most recent Kaizer Chiefs’ performance. A win produces a significant increase in productivity.
Our end-of-term assembly was a bit hampered by the rain and wind, but went well nevertheless. Outdoor, under the tree, is how we do it at this stage of our school’s life!
If I have sent this to you and you would not like to receive our updates in the future, please let me know!
We so appreciate your support and interest.
Many blessings
Andrew
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Term 2 2015

Dear fans and friends

Warm greetings from Ingwavuma, can you believe the year is already half over?
Firstly, a big welcome to the Fan Club for new members Tony Ryan (Cape Town), Pete and Ros Koch (Cape Town), Gill and Jason Nicholl (Cape Town) and Samara Naicker (Durban). We really appreciate your care, commitment and contributions.
Our school emblem is a tree aloe. The tree aloe that we planted at the school flowered for the first time this autumn. A fitting metaphor for where the school is at – we are growing strong roots and are starting see some good fruit. The emblem is also proudly displayed on the new school tracksuits which arrived this term. The tracksuits arrived just before the Sugar Tournament (see below) which was important as we all know the well documented intimidatory effect of arriving at a sports match looking good!
A fun and busy term. We live in a part of the world where sports festivals are named after agricultural products, so we went to the Pineapple Tournament in Hluhluwe (hosted by Hluhluwe Primary) and the Sugar Festival in Mtubatuba (hosted by Mtubatuba Primary). Quite a logistical effort is involved in getting all 50-odd children to these events. This involves an early departure (4.30am – ouch!) with multiple collection points…Bonga, where will I find you on Saturday morning? Where you got me last year. Fiso, where will I find you on Saturday morning? On the tar road….OK boys we need to work on your communication and navigation skills. Those challenges aside, the days are memorable – reminding me of travelling to Queenstown from East London to play Queen’s College on frosty winter mornings. We took 3 girls’ netballs teams (u9, u11 and u13) and 2 boys’ rugby teams (u9 and u11). The girls performed well and are becoming a force to be reckoned with. The boys were playing their first rugby games ever and struggled, but managed to win the odd game. They were also taken aback by the trying conditions they encountered – He sat on me!! Character building stuff.
Samara Naicker was born in Ingwavuma at Mosvold Hospital in the 80s. She left when she was 12 and her parents relocated to Durban. For her 30th birthday she decided to return to the place of her birth. ‘Ingwavuma’ was Googled and spat out the email address of Neil Coetzee, the chairperson of the school’s governing body. A couple of emails later resulted in the call to have Samara’s 30th birthday party at Khethani Christian School. Samara arrived at the school with her fiance, mom, aunty  and step-father. What followed was a lovely party, happy children and moved staff. Samara also made a cash donation to the school and became a Khethani fan. What a lovely, generous occasion it was. A big thank you to the birthday girl!
We were visited by Grant Edkins and a team from Crossways Church (and Dorian and Yvonne Reece) in June. Grant and his team came to encourage and to enjoy the rurals. They joined Neil Coetzee and the mountain bike club on Saturday for a 25km ride around the community. The rural dogs proved a challenge for Dorian and the rural hills proved a challenge for Sihle. The team enjoyed the support and Lethu found that there were some riders to challenge him up the hills (MTN Qubeka take note!). Nick Kegge and Grant promised the team that they would join them on their maiden amaShova voyage in Durban later this year in October (no pressue fellas). Later that afternoon the Grade 5 – 7 learners decamped to the bush of Lindizwe where we had a great braai which was followed by stargazing with Paul Hemming (Crossways umfundisi) as night descended. It was a perfect night, no moon, no wind and no suburban lights (although does that count these days with load shedding?). The learners saw the Coal Sack, the Magellenic Cloud, Scorpio, the Dog Star, Scorpio, Saturn, Pluto, the majestic Milky Way and the Southern Cross and the pointers. Paul gave us wonderful insights and interesting illustrations to help us understand the universe, and what a universe it is!
​Term 2 included our Annual Inter-house Spelling Bee and I was really wowed by some of the (mostly) girls! Zonqoba and Fanele had a serious duel in Grade 6 with Zonqoba coming out on top, and successfully spelling onomatopoeia (and how many of you could get that right without spellcheck?) without skipping a beat.
Our staff was bolstered this term by Vince Cordero (US Peace Corps Volunteer) who is teaching IT (on tablets) to Grade 3 – 7 and small group Maths and English to Grade 1 – 5. Joshua Storrs visited Ingwavuma for a couple of months and taught Grade 7 Science and Social Studies as well as coaching u9 rugby. We will be joined in August by serial volunteer Emily Hogge and we look forward to welcoming her.
Many blessings
Andrew
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Term 1 2015

Dear fans and friends

Greetings from the north-eastern corner of the republic, where the roads are dusty and the humidity is hairy. It has been a cooker of a summer. Temperatures have regularly been in the nasty 40s. Roll on winter I say, roll on. Pity the teachers and kids that have had to grapple with fractions and algebra in oven-like temperatures. Bit of a drought up here as well – it’s going to be an ugly winter for most of the community that relies on open water sources and boreholes. It’s been a lovely summer for bird-watching though. The European bee-eaters, beautiful birds and fantastic flyers, cruise over the school regularly during the day and I have never seen them in Ingwavuma before.

We feel very loved – both by existing fan club members and new recruits. New recruits include Colin and Roni Jackson (Watamu, Kenya), Michael Gathercole (Cape Town), Peter and Nichi Walker-Woodard (Cape Town), Martin and Liz Schroeder (Brisbane [I think], Australia), Jonno and Ruth Harris (Mississippi Delta, USA), Andrew and Kate Warner (Cape Town), The Zoё Trust (UK), Roger Jaton (Johannesburg), Dave and Jemima Gerber (Switzerland), Arthur and Rose Schweizer (Switzerland), Ernst and Vreni Lehmann (Switzerland), Franz and Irma Booth (Switzerland), Barbara Rothmund (Switzerland), Abdellatif Takkel (St Antonius Gymnasium, Appenzell, Switzerland), Andrew and Kate Warner (Cape Town) and Michel Corminboeuf (Catholic Church, Appenzell, Switzerland) . I hope I haven’t left anyone out – please send me a cyber kick up the pants if I forgot you.

A term of cricket action. We watched the quarter and semi-finals of the World Cup under our tree (see below, big screen action, bunny ears at their best, grass needs a cut) – the teachers were free to bring their classes to tvwatch at any time (with me there most of the time) but generally there was only a crowd at break time. Mr Mkhwanazi and Mr Mbereki joined me during their free periods for the dying embers of the semi, and I think both are now confirmed cricket fans. What a tense match. Our boys went on a short tour to Emplangeni (Felixton College) and Eshowe (John Wesley Eshowe). They played lovely cricket under the watchful eye of their coach Neil Coetzee and won both games, with the Felixton game being much more exciting than even the World Cup semi. The girls played netball against local opposition and will be preparing this term to take part in the Hluhluwe Primary Pineapple Festival. The boys (u9 and u11) will be moulded into the first Khethani rugby teams – very exciting for me. We also had our annual interhouse Athletics Day this term, won by the Tigers.

Neil Coetzee started a mountain biking club at school this year. The terrain around Ingwavuma is perfect for this and the small group that has joined Neil has had a blast. We will take them to participate in the amaShova cycle race in Durban later this year and hopefully we will also enter them in a few local (Hluhluwe/Richards Bay etc) races.

The school is really looking beautiful. The second classroom block is finished, the grass is green, the aloes are flowering and the children and teachers are happy. We are together for the first time in the school’s existence and it’s just great. 

It’s been a time of big changes at the school, which has included moving from the ACE curriculum to the National Curriculum. This has meant a lot of work for the teachers in terms of planning, adapting to a new style of teaching and assessing and so on. I’m pleased to say though, that the transition has been really smooth with no hiccups of note.

 Otherwise life in Ingwavuma is generally peaceful. There are no statues to deface, so no anger generated on that front. It is a heavy time in the nation. Interestingly for all the logistical problems that are associated with working in a rural area, the upside is that you are fairly buffered from the ructions that beset the country from time to time. I think it is in the congested, poor, desperate urban areas of the country where our future will be won or lost – so strength to anyone who works in that context. 

As a school community we feel truly loved and blessed by our heavenly Father.

Thank you for sharing your love and life with us. Sorry this is a bit late, various things have made for a taxing last few weeks.

Till next time……..

Andrew
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