PERIVOLI OKONJIMA COUNTRY SCHOOL
POCS Newsletter 2012
2012 . . . . . NEXT CHAPTER
It was such an inspiring feeling to return to school for our second year! Knowing we made it through with a few obstacles but nothing that could not be overcome. 2012 is flying buy at an alarming rate. We have already had 2 terms filled with daily progress as well as many challenges. We remain undaunted and excited.
We decided to introduce a school uniform for our pupils. This establishes an important sense of personal pride and do they look smart in their blue and grey uniform!
We celebrated Independence Day on the 21st of March 2012 at school even though it is a Namibian public holiday day. It was a fun day with sports and painted faces. The Grade 1’s and 2’s made a beautiful Namibian flag for the occasion. The pupils were divided into houses called Cheetahs and Leopards. Competition stimulates the children to give of their best in all spheres.
Being on Okonjima Home of the AfriCat Foundation, “Cheetah and Leopard” are very appropriate and the children get to spend a lot of time at AfriCat learning and observing these magnificent cats. The bigger kids had races, relays, hoola hooping competitions, bean throwing just to name a few. The Kindergarten sports where less strenuous with a bit of bag jumping, bean throwing and frog jumping. We had a big cake with the Namibian colours and they just loved it. Always a favourite way to end the day, with something sweet! At the end the Leopards were the victors…for now…! It is the race against time for the Cheetahs to make it to the top spot by the end of 2012.
It was not just all about fun but also explaining to our children about the importance of this day and how it affects them; giving them the best opportunities that were often not available to their parents, grandparents. We encouraged the children to strive towards becoming good Namibian citizens and to remember to be kind to all living things.
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOCUS
Firstly I would like to welcome Mrs. Helen Newmarch. Helen is Tammy, Wayne, Donna and Rosalea Hanssen’s aunt who joined us from Zimbabwe. Helen has taken on the roll of Headmistress at POCS and being, a qualified biologist, Environmental Education is very close to her heart. Our pupils have EE (Environmental Education) two afternoons a week as well as constant references during class time.
How much better can it get? A school, 5 minutes walk in the fresh unpolluted air, nestled in the heart of a Nature Reserve! WOW!
We constantly try to remind our pupils how extremely fortunate they are!!
We started our year off by constructing a model of “Our Planet Earth” (brown paper and hoolahoops). The pupils coloured in and stuck on outlines of animals and trees. . . . and THEN came people, and MORE people and MORE people! This was to introduce our worldwide fundamental problem of “only ONE wonderful world and simply too many people”.
We then moved onto the basic biological requirements of life: “Mr. Sun” giving us light and warmth; rocks and soil (we climbed up Porcupine Trail view point and sat on the rocks) and water – PRECIOUS water!!! The children played in the puddles during the rains and re-capped the necessity of water by imitating our Oryx i.e. digging in the dry riverbeds for WATER at our end of term outing!
Our pupils have the privilege of going out on Game Drives in our Nature Reserve. As our two school “houses” are Leopard and Cheetahs we started with a trip to Wahoo. Wahoo is the most amazing “teacher” due to his human habituation. He jumps up onto his tree with his meat, drinks water, rolls over, grooms 2 meters away from the children sitting safely and silently in the hide. They learned the Leopards supreme adaptations as the optimal silent hunter. On another occasion they went to visit the Adams Family! Our Adams family being four sibling Cheetahs miraculously rescued from their dead mother’s womb. Consequently they are very tame and so sadly cannot be released and hence they too are our amazing “teachers”.
Having seen the Cheetahs the children then learned the main differences between the stalker and the fast chase! On these excursions we also introduced the children to the difference between browsers and grazers and many other exciting things.
The highlight of our end of term trip was to see six bat eared foxs out in the warm winter sunshine on our Serenjima Plains.
“Martin a grade 1 pupil asked; “WHAT are they hunting”? Mike the guide said “look carefully”! Can you see them putting their ears to the ground? . . . . They are listening for . . . . ”TERMITES!” Their favourite food. . . .
NEXT UP . . . .
As per our last newsletter we were in the processes of recycling our paper to make paper blocks. Unfortunately the last 2 terms have been a bit busy but it is definitely a project for the next term. We will be proud to "show off" our paper blocks in the next newsletter.
The Perivoli Kalkfeld School has officially opened and we are proud to be part of the Perivoli Trust and its future Endeavours in Namibia. Should you like to know more about the Perivoli Trust Schools in Namibia please visit their website
WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO BRINGING YOU MORE EXCITING NEWS IN THE NEXT NEWS LETTER...WATCH THIS SPACE for:
- Paper blocks recycling project
- Megan McCubbin coming out for 6 weeks to come and assist with EE with lots of new fresh ideas to teach the children
- Sports with Mount Etjo School
- Art competition in conjunction with Mount Etjo School
- School play
- Christmas play and MUCH MORE...
MANY, MANY THANKS . . . .
Firstly to Mr. James Alexandroff from the Perivoli Trust for his amazing continuous financial support.
To Okonjima Lodge for their many contributions to our school i.e. meals, game drives, guides, general maintenance etc.
As always, Renee Lighton (www.reneelighton.co.za) who comes up from South Africa to give us continuous support and guidance to keep us on the right track. You are a STAR!
To all guests and volunteers for all the stationery and clothes brought along from a far, THANK YOU.