We would like to take this opportunity to greet you from Eagle's Nest and wish you a blessed 2014! In the past we have written at the end of the year, but I have noticed that many people are on holiday and out of the office, so this year I am trying something new! Here is the newsletter in February, giving you an overall story of 2013.
I would value feedback and comments as we are constantly trying to improve our communications.
School re-opened with 285 children, including 60 new Grade R's. We moved into the 2 new classrooms for the first time. Grade 4-7 still had to have classes in the afternoons.
We appointed a Grade 4 teacher who disappeared after 11 days, leaving us once more without a Grade 4 teacher. First I and then Mrs Mutoko taught them in the interim.
I was thrilled to become a granny once more, this time to Joshua in the UK.
Dave and I travelled to the UK to celebrate his 80th birthday with our family. All except one grandson were able to be with us for this momentous occasion. It was an amazing time to remember!
We were blessed to be able to appoint Mrs Tshuma as a Grade 4 teacher - she has settled in very well and is loved by teachers and children alike. A team of French Christian students sponsored, planned and ran a sports camp for our Grade 6&7 classes. Everyone had a wonderful time and many friendships were made! Thanks to Joy, Phillippe, Thomas, Lydia and Celiné for faith to do this and to give up your time for us!
This was the month we heard that the government had decided to give us a subsidy at last! It was so great to be able to give all the staff a substantial pay increase - they have worked so hard, for so long, for low salaries, not complaining but trusting God for His time and provision.We were also able to start putting our plans into place to build the required classrooms.
Mr Sibanda's second daughter was born. Isn't she gorgeous. He was our Grade 5 teacher and is teaching Grade 6 in 2014.
I was blessed withGabriella our 8th Grandchild - what a joy she is.
Grade 6's took part in the Annual National Assessments tests. We were pleased with the results as this was the first time they had experienced any external form of tests. (We are working at strategies to improve our results to a standard that we feel is good). We were donated 8 trees which are growing well and will eventually give shade at break time to the children.Thank you to Jan Steenkamp and friends!
This was possibly the busiest month of our year! On Saturday 12th we held out first ever Community Open Day. After the AGM business meeting, sponsors, board members, teachers, parents, children and community rubbed shoulders, having fun, eating and spending money to help us raise funds for our Graduation event. It was a wonderful day and the forecast rain poured down, just as we finished the day. God is always faithful!
Friday 18th we welcomed and assessed 88 children for the 60 available places in Eagle's Nest Grade R in 2014. We prayerfully selected the 60 children we believe are intended to be in the school. There were many more children who applied late that we could not admit.
Saturday 26th was a RED LETTER DAY! The first ever Graduation for our Grade 7 class. These children have been with us since the very beginning and what a joy it was to welcome their parents, sponsors, board members and teachers to celebrate what God has done in their lives through Eagle's Nest. Pastor Janssen, who leads the church where the school began, addressed the learners in a wonderful way, giving them God's advice for their futures. We are so grateful to God. Everyone has found places in good schools in the surrounding areas, already making their marks as outstanding students.
This was one of the hardest months for management as we tried to arrange the commencement of the building program amidst many challenges. In the midst of all this, teachers were managing assessments, reports and progressions, and planning Christmas events, and we were looking forward to the Christmas parties which were to be funded and staged by Old Mutual's Care and Share project.
This was a wonderful way to round off the school program for the year. Eagle's Nest was invaded by many cars and people and green became the colour of the day! Every child was treated in many many ways-food, gifts, games, ice cream and sweets and a HipHop display and competition with prizes. THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ALL THE OLD MUTUAL VOLUNTEERS for an incredible day of giving and sacrifices - you are awesome.
We saw some amazing examples of how God is transforming our children as we celebrated their achievements of 2013. It was sad to say goodbye to the Grade 7's but we celebrate their lives and the future God is leading each one into. We introduced a new tradition in the school - Tea with the Principal - a special time for teachers and leaving Grade 7's. Each teacher asked God for words for one of the learners, to take with them as they move on to the next part of their lives. It was a very moving occasion for everyone.
It is now February 2014, and our new classrooms are almost completed - all the children come to school in the morning, making it possible to take part in normal school activities in the afternoons. Thank you for supporting and caring for us. Our God is faithful. 2 Timothy 2:13 says: "If we give up on Him, He does not give up - for there is no way He can be false to Himself." The Message