Beaulieu College News

Beaulieu College Newsletter - 12 April 2019

From the desk of Mr Mark Naidoo

There’s something about Beaulieu

I arrived at Beaulieu College in May 2004, where I met with Mr Robert Clarence, the founding Headmaster. I applied for the position of Science teacher and had only ever taught in two other public schools before. My interview lasted 20 minutes and, much to my surprise, I was offered the position immediately. I was sceptical about this small, new independent school and wondered if trading my stable position in the well-established Department of Education was worth the risk. To add to my reservation, Mr Clarence was not the conventional Headmaster; the only thing in his office was the local newspaper, literally nothing else! Not a diary or calendar, notice board, not even a laptop. There’s something (strange) about Beaulieu!

Fifteen years later, the decision to move was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The College has always been known for its nurturing environment and welcoming people. The staff and management have a relaxed, yet professional approach and are genuinely interested in making a difference. Pupils are happy here and despite the challenges that they face, the school is often considered a safe haven. To be completely honest, I have loved coming to work every day. In 15 years, I have been away from school for 5 days - 4 days of family responsibility leave, 1 day of sick leave, that’s it! There’s something about Beaulieu!

Beaulieu College has helped me to mature as a teacher and later, as a Deputy Head. As I am about to embark on a new journey, thankfully within the Kyalami schools’ family, I remain grateful to the many people who have had a positive influence on me and for their unselfish input and patience while I found my place. I am excited to continue my work in the academic sphere and look forward to re-connecting with pupils, staff and parents in the months ahead.

Thank you for making an unquantifiable contribution to me during my tenure at Beaulieu!

With gratitude,
Mark Naidoo

pdfRead the full Beaulieu College 12 April 2019 Newsletter (PDF)

Beaulieu College Newsletter - 11 April 2019

Beaulieu College Co-Curricular awards announcement - 1st Term

Co-Curricular Drama has enjoyed a very busy season so far this year. It is clear that the school has many talented individuals that are not only budding actors but also writers, directors and choreographers.

Last year the decision was made to host the annual One Act Plays Festival in Term 1 of 2019. This decision meant that we have had many students involved in both One Act Play Festivals occurring in Term 3 of 2018 and Term 1 of 2019. We also look forward to the Festival of Excellence in Drama to be held in term 2 this year and to begin our preparations for the 2020 major production later in the year.

Congratulations to all of those involved – whether on the stage or behind the scenes.

pdfRead the full Beaulieu College 11 April 2019 Newsletter (PDF)

Beaulieu College Newsletter - 29 March 2019

From the desk of Mr Bobby Warriner

Well here I finally sit, at the eleventh hour, typing this blog. It certainly is not because I didn’t have time as we have just had a long weekend. It is not because I forgot - my phone has been sending me constant reminders over the past couple of days. In the time I could have typed this, I have successfully washed my bike and re-organized my storeroom.

Why do so many of us put off the inevitable, why do we bring additional stress on ourselves? We are aware of our actions and their consequences, yet we do it anyway. According to Dr Sirious of Sheffield University, “People engage in a cycle of procrastination because of an inability to manage negative moods around a task.” I do not enjoy writing … so I avoid it. We, procrastinators, develop a way of avoiding emotions (self-doubt, anxiety, frustration, et al) around certain tasks.

Beaulieu College Newsletter - 15 March 2019

From the Desk of Mr Brouard

An idea worth fighting for

When a public holiday arrives do you wonder vaguely if it’s National Onion Rings day, or whether you can break the world record for sleeping in late? That’s a pity. Something is lost when we forget our history and lose ourselves in ‘getting and spending’, as Wordsworth portrayed modern life.

The public holiday coming up on 21 March is Human Rights Day, and it honours the day that 69 people did not return home to their families that night, having been killed at Sharpeville while protesting against pass laws. The sentence I have just written will send readers in one of two directions. Either our eyes will glaze over and we’ll turn the page to photos of our child, or we’ll stick with the idea that a painful moment in history is worth reflecting on.

pdfRead the full Beaulieu College 15 March 2019 Newsletter (PDF)

Beaulieu College Newsletter - 1 March 2019

From the Desk of Mr Ruiz-Mesa

The school year is now at cruising altitude. Students and parents know it’s time to get down to business. As the journey progresses from Grade 8, the homework assignments become tougher, academic and co-curricular workloads get heavier and staying ahead of the curve becomes more challenging.

As a parent you may ask “What is the ‘secret behind the A?’”. Whilst having effective study skills may be overlooked as ‘basic’ in the academic journey, this has proven to be the tipping point in transforming good students into great students.

In a recent conversation with a colleague, we discussed some of the good study habits that can set a pupil on the path to a successful academic year. Amidst homework, tests, and extracurricular activities, it’s all too easy to let things slip through the cracks. Having a diary or daily planner can help students keep everything organised. Write down assignments, appointments and to-do lists, then review items in the planner at both the beginning and end of the day to stay on track.

Finding a quiet, well-lit, low traffic space at school or at home is essential to an effective study session. I may not be very popular with our pupils for offering this next bit of advice, but take it one step further and institute a “communication blackout” time with no cell phones or social media allowed until schoolwork is done.

A positive mindset is another very important habit for a successful student. One of the most common questions asked by pupils on the day of an assessment is: “Is the test hard?”. I often reply with the question “How prepared do you feel?”. The level of preparation for an assessment offers the peace of mind and the confidence levels conducive to good marks.
My son has often told me that his favourite way to study was to explain the work to his friends. He still regularly offers to explain the work to his classmates as a way of learning and revising. Working in groups can help students when they’re struggling to understand a concept and can enable them to complete assignments faster than when working alone. Keep groups small and structured to ensure the maximum benefit to participants and to reduce distractions.

Active listening and reading are essential habits which are becoming extinct. It’s important for students to concentrate and avoid distractions when an instructor is presenting. Some tips to share with your child include: try concentrating on and noting down the main points being made, think about what the speaker is saying and pay attention to how things are said (gestures, tone of voice, etc.). They should avoid talking or thinking about other problems when listening. If a teacher says, “This is important” or “I’ll write this on the board,” there’s a good chance students will see the concept in an exam. As far as active listening is concerned, it is all too easy for students to skim over an assigned book chapter and not know the main points of what they just read. Help your child to practise active reading by asking him or her to note the main idea of each passage and look up unfamiliar words or concepts. Make an outline of the chapter or create flowcharts and diagrams that help map out the concept at hand. After each section, have them write a summary in their own words and come up with possible exam questions.

The list of good habits that could help our pupils achieve their academic goals is endless. Everyone has different approaches to studying and this blog is not a “one size fits all” solution. It merely serves to introduce the idea that practising the right study habits will yield much better results during any pupil’s academic journey. Find what works for you and go with it.

pdfRead the full Beaulieu College 1 March 2019 Newsletter (PDF)

Start of Term 2 & National Elections 2019

Dear Kyalami Schools Community

You will no doubt be aware that President Ramaphosa has announced the 8th of May 2019 as the date for the South African General Elections.

Our Schools are due to open on Tuesday 07 May 2019, with teachers back a day earlier on Monday 06 May 2019.

We have taken the decision to leave these dates as they are, despite the Schools now being closed due to the Election on the Wednesday, as we do not want to lose any additional academic time:

  • Monday 06 May 2019 - School Staff return for the start of Term 2
  • Tuesday 07 May 2019 - Pupils return for the start of Term 2 (normal hours)
  • Wednesday 08 May 2019 - National General Elections (Schools Closed)
  • Thursday 09 May 2019 - Normal School Day
  • Friday 10 May 2019 - Normal School Day

Kind Regards
Gary Botha