Generation Schools Sunningdale

Happy Saturday to all of our Generation Schools community members and subscribers. What an exciting and busy week it has been at our Sunningdale Campus.

We start with our 4-18 Month Squirrels Class learners who have been busy working on their spooning solids activity. One of our very determined learners, Mila, actively practised perfecting her skills by spooning pasta from one bowl to the other. Not only does this activity enhance their hand-eye co-ordination, but also makes use of the learners ocular tracking abilities, which entails moving their eyes from left to right.

Moving over to the 3-6 Year Class learners, they were very engaged in their Art lessons this week. Art is one of the many ways children express themselves and it is through this medium that children better develop their fine motor skills. Our classroom environments are specifically set up to provide open-ended art activities that encourage our children to explore and use their creativity.

The 6-9 Year Classes had their own bit of fun this week, as our learners continued discussing and learning about the First Great Lesson, The Coming of the Universe. The children have been studying the formation of the earth, the layers of earth, and various types of volcanoes, rocks, and minerals, with the topic Rocks and Minerals, really capturing the group’s attention. The class was enthralled as a student, Josh Council, prepared an attention-grabbing ‘show and tell’. He brought along a family member, Reagan Africa, currently, an MSc student at the University of the Western Cape, majoring in Geology. He introduced the class to a variety of rocks and minerals and the formations thereof and gave them a little inside information on what his profession entails. The children truly loved the experience and enjoyed having the opportunity to explore and ask questions about the various rocks and minerals he brought along.

And the news doesn’t stop there, we told you it has been a busy week. We have so much to report on the 9-12 phase, as they continued their exploration of environmental issues in Science, myths, legends and historical fiction in English, as well as different shelters in Design and Technology. They continued observing and recording the growth of their germinating bean, sunflower, and mielie seeds and finally planted their seedlings into some soil this week, providing them with the environment to grow even further. By observing the leaves and their development, the children have truly grasped the difference between a monocot and a dicot plant. We hope to re-plant the seeds into deeper containers so that we can watch the flowers grow and blossom.

Another project that has the learners very excited, is their stop-motion campaign for humanities which aims to promote an environmental cause that they are particularly passionate about. By researching air pollution with a focus on acid rain, as well as understanding natural resources and fossil fuels, the students are preparing to be news reporters as they investigate a natural disaster in their environmental studies class. The learners are gaining a new appreciation towards the importance of recycling and caring for our earth, through the process of exploring our environmental issues.
Let’s not forget our budding Mathematicians, as Algebra was introduced this week, with all ages working on measurement. The measurement activities saw the learners physically measuring their friends according to their specified task sheet, allowing them to relate the examples to real life.

And if that isn’t enough news, wait until we reveal the English learners creative writing as a conditional piece, titled “If I were president I would…”. For that, however, we advise all parents to stay current with our blog to find out what our future leaders have to say.

On a non-academic note, we are incredibly proud to announce some of our 9-12 Year learner’s personal achievements over the past week. Kyla Dinkelmann, in the Picasso Class, was successfully awarded a distinction in Grade 3 Modern Theatre Dance and Stefano Filomena made it through his first soccer Hellenic Trials. On the 11th of February, Jamie Smuts, in the Monet class, competed in a 1km and 1.6Km open water swim with a time of 16 minutes 20 seconds. Well done to these young achievers.

Let’s not forget our 12-15 Year students. We had the great privilege of introducing our Sunningdale and Hermanus Middle School students to the world of animation by visiting the award-winning South African animation studio, Triggerfish Studios, based in Cape Town. They are the creators of ‘Adventures in Zambezia’ and ‘Kumba’, some of South Africa’s highest grossing films, as well as the animated film adaptation of the popular children’s story ‘Stick Man’ by Julia Donaldson.

During their visit, the students were not only introduced to the different types of animation but also the different aspects, the diverse animation careers and the various stages and teams who work tremendously hard towards the completion of the final product. The students were amazed by the process, the use of technology, as well as the dedication of the animators and the Triggerfish team. The outing also gave our middle school students another opportunity to catch up with their friends and peers from both campuses. Sometimes a hug, a shake of the hand and a chat under a shady tree is what is needed after a few weeks of only seeing each other on the other end of a live, streamed virtual classroom.

Moving our focus on to Sport, this week the Coaches have raised the question ‘How much instruction should the children receive at practice?’. They came to the conclusion that it is critical to provide the right balance between verbal instruction, demonstration, physical skill/technique development and correction. During their learning years and while each child is still growing they need a lot of repetition to develop, improve and excel. Our purpose at Generation Schools is to provide a solid grounding for each child so that they understand the basic rules and regulations of playing sport, being part of a team and developing into healthy young adults.

We want our Generation Athletes to learn how to compete because they will need to compete for the best jobs one day. We want them to learn how to create and maintain a great team culture because we want them to build strong family values. We want to nurture their skills of both leading and following because our country needs them to be the next generation of successful leaders. We want them to learn to commit and sacrifice because we want them to become well-rounded parents. We want them to learn to be accountable, selfless, disciplined and mentally tough individuals so that as parents they will know how to raise young people who are the same way inclined. We want them to learn and demonstrate integrity because the younger learners emulate the older learners. With these basic skills and principles, we hope to nurture and encourage our Generation Schools learners to become exceptional individuals.

The progress on our new Middle School is noticeable by each passing day, but that isn’t all that is changing and growing. We are also in the midst of making some very exciting plans for our school garden, which will provide our learners with the opportunity in growing herbs and vegetables on the school grounds. They will also be learning about composting using worm farms, which are due to be set up at school in the near future. Successful vegetable and herb crops will be utilised in our school kitchen and delicious edibles such as strawberries and gooseberries, which grow well in our climate, should provide a welcome addition to snack times. We are very busy planning for sustainable, organic gardens at Generation Schools and cannot wait to let you know more about this project. Watch this space!

On the staff front this week, we would also like to give a special shout out to Solly. Solly does all the maintenance around the school and has been very busy making of all the chairs, tables and shelves for the Sunningdale and Hermanus campuses. It is a privilege to see the children making use of the furniture that he has made on a daily basis. He has a few more exciting projects lined up and will keep you updated on upcoming developments.

Last, but not least, what is a day at Generation Schools without a delicious meal from our very own kitchen? Prepared by our very own chef Asanda, and an amazing assistant, Schola. They strive to keep each and every child happy by filling their tummies daily, with a healthy and nutritious meal. Our favourite lunch day is Burger Friday, where even the educators line up to enjoy a burger each and every week. It fills our chef’s heart with joy when children come back for a second helping. That means they must be doing something right! Our chefs are definitely looking forward to our new fully equipped kitchen being built this year.

To keep seeing our learners, our school and our new garden grow, come back each week to see the exciting progress. We wish all our Generation families and subscribers a lovely weekend!