17 February 2017 

Friendship day was first celebrated in the United States when congress recognised the valuable role that friends play in ones life.  They deemed it appropriate to have a day dedicated to friends and friendship.  In 1935 the first friendship day was held on the first Sunday of August.  Since then it has become an annual and hugely popular event.  The idea of honoring friends and friendship soon spread to several other countries.  At Applewood we celebrate friendship day by combining younger children with older children who will have an opportunity to read books to them.  This gives the children an opportunity to get to know children they would not necessarily mix with and to forge new connections.  The senior primary continue the celebration this evening with a dance organised by the Grade 7 class and their parents. 

Winnie the Pooh was declared the ambassador of Friendship in the United states, hence my selection of his quote on friendship. Life is so busy these days and one seldom has space for deep reflection.  I encourage parents to take a moment during their day to consider the significant friendships they have in their lives and perhaps even contact a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while.

The Enviro Challenge has generated some degree of interest and in particular, the walks associated with it.  Each class is challenged to do a long walk.  By the time the walks take place our children will be well prepared and ready for the task.  Routes are carefully selected and adapted depending on the age group and the specific group of children in question.  We are lucky at Applewood to have children who are in general very active and I have no doubt that a great deal of learning will take place in each of these very special journeys.

The following is an excerpt from the Somerset College newsletter written by Meg Fargher.  She has given us permission to quote this in our newsletter.  It is food for thought: 

Almost all the very worrying behaviour of recent days can be ascribed to the pervasive nature of social media in our lives. In spite of having lawyer Emma Sadleir speak to the students, in spite of numerous other talks and in spite of much guidance, some students still feel that they can post anything they please on various platforms. Sadly most of the posts reflect the sorry state of our society – adult society.

Because of the immediacy provided by social media, it is hard for teenagers always to think through their impulsive posts. I suggest that it is important that you check your children’s phones from time to time. If they are proud of the things they are posting, they should be able to share those with you. Few children have the means to afford a device and a contract to manage that device without parental support; you therefore have a right of access to the device. If they are posting illegal, defamatory, bullying, racist or sexist comments, you as parents will probably be liable for rescuing them if their commentary results in legal action.

Technology is wonderful in the main and social media, used properly, connects and informs people and reduces distance instantly. Used well, it could also diminish fear of the other. Unfortunately, technology arrived before we had time to think about how best to manage it so that our children could use it safely and well and for their best selves only. It may be a good question to ask whether we model good social media behaviour ourselves. How well do we use WhatsApp groups and are our posts always relevant and necessary?

Banning cell phones and other devices is counterproductive to learning effective digital coping skills. We need to work together to help students integrate technology appropriately into their lives. Often devices can be an excellent aid to teaching and learning. If students are using devices without the instruction to do so or in free time outside of the classroom, the device will be confiscated. If they are texting, the text may be read out if it is on a public platform.

Racism, religious intolerance, bullying or other inappropriate behaviour either on-line or off-line cannot be condoned. It seems all too easy to hide behind the screen and carelessly upload pictures and comments that are hurtful and in contradiction of the important value of dignity.

More alarming is the behaviour of some students who are abusive to teachers in the classroom. Some of their behaviour is clearly learnt from watching age-inappropriate material too easily accessible on the digital super-highway. Please help us to help the students, particularly in Grade 8 to 10, who seem to be making thoughtless and potentially very dangerous, impulsive choices when they are behind their screens.

I don’t for one minute mean to dictate to parents as to how to manage this phenomenon as I certainly do not have the answers. I sense we are all floundering a little so any advice or good ideas will be gratefully received. What researchers tell us, however, is alarming: relationship-building, a key to human happiness, is being fast eroded by our obsessional attachment to our devices.

So here are a few guidelines copied from the net itself!

Do have an online presence. Future universities and employees will be searching for you, so give them something to find that will reflect positively on your personal character.

Don’t upload anything that you wouldn’t want EVERYONE to see. When posting items online, never assume that only some of your friends, family or other specific people within your social network will have access to it. Regardless of your privacy settings, policies change, accounts are hacked and leaks happen.

Be respectful of posts made by other people but do not condone any form of abuse and report it – you could save a life. Not reporting hateful posts makes you an accomplice.

Be mindful when posting personal information. Don’t add your location, where and when you’re going on holiday, etc.

Verify those you accept into your social network. You should be cautious about accepting any random “friends.” If you don’t know someone, they are not your friend.

Use the highest privacy settings, but don’t always assume they’ll work for you.
Do not post:
• Negative comments, posts or messages on any platform
• Questionable or compromising photos of yourself OR others
• Offensive jokes, photos or material
• Overt bragging
• Highly emotional rants about personal situations or relationships.

Remember, once you post something online, it’s there forever. 


Please note that we have decided to close school at 12:00 on 10 March after the completion of Inter-House athletics.  We have set aside this day for staff development.  There will be no aftercare and children will need to be collected from school at 12:00. 

A reminder to all who make use of the aftercare facility, please keep the aftercare gate closed at all times.

Have a super weekend.  

Sam Hamman 


Vriendskapsdag is heel eerste in die Verenigde State van Amerika gevier toe die kongres die waarde daarvan in ons lewens erken het. Hulle het dit belangrik geag om ‘n dag te skep wat aan vriendskap toegewy is. In 1935 is die eerste Vriendskapsdag op die eerste Sondag in Augustus gehou. Van daar het dit ‘n baie gewilde viering geword. Die idee om vriende en vriendskap te vereer het vinnig na baie ander lande versprei. By Applewood vier ons Vriendskapsdag deur jonger kinders met ouer kinders te laat saamlees. Dit gee kinders die geleentheid om ander kinders te leer ken met wie hulle nie van nature sou sosialiseer nie en om so sterker vriendskapsbande te smee. Die senior primêre kinders vier verder hierdie dag deur vanaand ‘n sokkie by te woon wat deur die Graad 7-klas en hulle ouers gereël is.

Winnie the Pooh is as die ambassadeur van vriendskap in die VSA aangewys, daarom die keuse van sy aanhaling oor vriendskap. Die lewe is deesdae so besig en ‘n mens kry selde tyd vir dieper en innerlike refleksie. Ek moedig ouers aan om ‘n oomblikkie in die dag af te staan aan ‘n spesiale vriendskap in hul lewens en selfs om ‘n vriend of vriendin waarmee u nie in ‘n geruime tyd kontak gehad het nie, te skakel.

Die Buitelug Uitdaging het ‘n mate van belangstelling geprikkel, veral wat die stap betref. Elke klas word uitgedaag om ‘n lang staproete te doen. Teen die tyd wat die staproete sal plaasvind, sal ons kinders goed voorbereid wees vir wat die taak van hulle vereis. Roetes word sorgvuldig gekies en aangepas na gelang van die ouderdomsgroep en die spesifieke groep kinders wat gaan stap. Ons is gelukkig by Applewood om kinders te hê wat van nature baie aktief is en ek is oortuig dat elke spesiaal uitgesoekte roete besonders leersaam sal wees.

Neem asseblief kennis dat ons besluit het om op 10 Maart die skool om 12:00 te sluit na afhandeling van die Inter-Huis Atletiek. Ons het hierdie dag uitgesit vir personeelontwikkeling. Daar sal geen nasorg wees nie en die kinders moet 12:00 kom haal word.

Ons herinner u daaraan om asseblief die nasorg se hekkie ten alle tye toe te hou indien u van hierdie fasiliteit gebruik maak.

Geniet ‘n wonderlike naweek!
Sam Hamman


Camp Week at Applewood

Grade 6 and 7 at De Hoop

The Grade 6’s and 7’s went on an awesome camp to De Hoop Nature Reserve. We had an awesome time seeing all sorts of animals like Eland, Bontebok and Octopi. We were encouraged to do lots of bird watching as it is a Ramsar site. Running down the sand dunes must have been our favourite part, seeing who could reach the bottom first. It was amazing to see all the marine animals in the rock pools and Mr Hamman being brave enough to handle a rather big octopus. Our camping experience was made even more exciting when a troupe of baboons came running right in front of our tents. Camp was really amazing thanks to all our wonderful teachers. Emily and Rosie.

Grade 4 and 5 at Back to Basics

Grade 3 at True North

Grade 2 at Acrobranch


Private Tennis and Swimming

Swimming Stars:
The following Applewood pupils represented the Tina Bester Swimming Squad in the Inter Christian Education Schools Gala last week, hosted by Kingsway College at Grabouw High School: Fiona Boome, Angeliq Coetzer, Mieke Strauss, Sophie Beaumont and Olivia Boome. They all did us very proud.

• Angeliq Coetzer came 1st and Fiona Boome 2nd in U/11 girls freestyle, backstroke and butterfly

• Fiona Boome came 1st place in U/11 girls Breaststroke. 

• Sophie Beaumont came 1st and Olivia Boome came 2nd in U/9 girls freestyle, backstroke         and breast stroke.

• All of the girls took part in the relay races and did exceptionally well!

Tennis Stars:
Oliver Pritchett, Angeliq Coetzer, Fiona Boome, Olivia Boome and Kara Smith took part in the Boland Wilson Junior Grand Slam tennis series in Stellenbosch on Saturday, 11 February. This was a tennis tournament of very high standards and our kids were very brave on the courts! Congratulations to them all, especially Olivier Pritchett who came 1st in the Silver Plate Series for his age group!



Look at our stunning cards we made in art for our special partners on Friendship Day.




Measles Outbreak in a district of the Western Cape 2017

All health facilities have been urged to be on the alert for suspected cases. A vaccination campaign is currently being planned by the WCDOH together with the support of the NDOH starting with children under-five in high risk communities.  Any suspected cases must be referred to the nearest health facility.  

The case definition of a suspected measles case is:

Fever of 38 or higher and a generalised maculo-papular rash with any of the following: cough, red eyes and a runny nose. 


Nanny Position Available

Looking for an experienced nanny who has good references to work for 2 families - 2 days for Rowena and 2 days for Di.
She will be looking after a baby and 2 young children.

Includes some basic housekeeping work.

Please contact Rowena (0722447227) or Di (082 343 1603).



• Uniform shop open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 07:45-13:00.

• Please remember to use your MySchool card to help raise funds for our school. Herewith the link to apply online – if you don’t have a card:  https://www.myschool.co.za/supporter/apply/