Debating and Public Speaking
society meets four times per term and aims to provide a
variety of interactive experiences relating to debating
and public speaking in the hope that this will encourage
quick thinking and innovative argument.
Public speaking competitions are held for each grade and this ensures that many learners get the opportunity to deliver speeches in front of an audience.
Annual Junior and Senior Speech Competitions are held and the winners are invited to participate in the Interschools' Speech Competition.
Grade 5 - 7 learners are also catered for and participate in a Junior School Annual Speech Competition.
Workshops are held to assist speakers in developing their skills. Speech writing also forms part of the programme.
A committee is elected annually and these members assist the educator-in-charge with regard to planning and facilitating the programme.
The Eco-Schools programme is an
international programme of the Foundation for
Environmental Education (FEE) that was developed to
support environmental learning in the classroom. It is
locally managed by the Wildlife and Environmental
Society of South Africa (WESSA).
The programme encourages young people to engage in their environment by allowing them the opportunity to actively protect it. Through this programme, young people experience a sense of achievement at being able to have a say in the environmental management policies of our schools.
Projects are chosen on an annual basis and these projects have to be sustained each year. Each year we strive to improve on our efforts, thereby qualifying for an internationally recognised symbol of excellence.
Eco-Schools South Africa supports the National Curriculum Statements for Grades R - 12. Ms Street co-ordinates this project at school level.
Union boasts the following projects to date:
2014 – Resources: Paper recycling
• Received our Bronze Award
2015 – Healthy Living: Healthy minds, souls and bodies
• Received our Silver Award
2016 – Biodiversity: Indigenous plants and animals in our area
• Received our Gold Award
2017 – Global & Local Issues: Fire & Flood (whole school)
• Received our International Award
Biodiversity: Worm Farm (High School hostel Eco Representatives & Mr Kingwill)
Healthy Living: upgrading some boys’ & girls’ bathrooms (Interact Club & Mrs Gamiet)
Resources: Reduce our electricity bill through education and awareness (whole school)
2018 – School Grounds
• Aiming for Platinum 1 award
PROJECTS FOR 2018
1. Infrastructure planning
• We plan to replace 2 asbestos water tanks with Jo-Jo tanks.
• We plan to upgrade the boys’ bathrooms
2. Get smart about waste
• The worm farm continues to yield excellent composting soil
• We plan to separate plastic bottles as well as paper this year – containers needed for this
• We plan to use all the learners, via the class eco representatives, to make eco bricks. These we will use to build little seats for little people at a Pre-School in town.
3. Greening the school
• We continue with tree planting every Arbor Week
4. Growing and learning
• We plan to plant a rose garden for our centenary celebrations with a rose specially grafted called the Union Rose. Rain water will be used (from rain tanks) to water this garden.
• We will be labelling or tagging our indigenous trees on campus – the headmaster is managing this project
5. Outdoor classroom
• The Eco Club does soil testing every year in the Spring
• The Eco Club and Geography lessons will do temperature testing in the sun & shade
• The Eco Club will do birding during the year. We hope to be able to take part in the Camdeboo National Park’s birding weekend this year (if it does not clash with important dates on our school calendar)
• The Headmaster will continue to germinate indigenous trees and Clivias from seed
• The Pre-School and Eco Club will take part in sensory, water and sand play during the year
• Our National Park will educate the Eco Reps and Eco Club about Animal Habitats & homes and Food webs & food chains during the course of this year
6. Curriculum links
• Once we have received the Curriculum Link guidelines from WESSA, the educators will be motivated to include these lessons in our Eco Portfolio
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Performing Arts Club
Performing Arts Club has been
running from 2016. This club is open for all learners in
Grade 8 to Grade 12. They meet on a Monday evening and
are exposed to various exercises in Drama, Song, Poetry
and Dance enabling them to develop their talents and
creativity. Run by Mr Jantjies and supported by Mrs
Putter, talents can also be identified for the casting
of the biannual Musicals.
The main event of the year is an Inter-house Cultural Evening which is held in Term 2. Both Daly and Arnott houses need to present a One-Act Play, a song item, poetry, monologues and a dance item.
Talents from this club are also showcased in other events through the year including the annual Eco Club Talent Show which takes place in Term 3 and the Formal Music Evening also in Term 3.
The Interact club has strong support at
school. Fostering a social conscience amonst the pupils,
various fund raising events are held as well as
community work done where needed. All funds raised
are donated to local charities.
South African Scout Association caters for youth and
young adults from the ages of 7 through 30. It is split
into three sections, Cubs, Scouts, and Rovers, with each
section serving a different age group, and concentrating
on different areas of personal development. It is also
one of the largest youth organisations in the rural
parts of South Africa and performs many community
upliftment programmes in those areas.
The Graaff-Reinet Scout Troop was established in 1910 and continues to serve the Graaff-Reinet community and its young men with distinction under the guidance of Mr Bruce Maree. Scouts offer boys of Union High and beyond an organisation based on a solid foundation of clean living, honest work, unselfish citizenship and reverence for God. In all 106 years the Troop has only had a total of 14 Scout Leaders, probably one of the reasons for its stability in our society.
The Graaff-Reinet Scout Troop has presented 3 King Scout Badges, 5 Queen Scout Badges and since 1961, 73 Springbok Scout Badges. Currently there are two Scouts in the Troop working on their Springbok Badges.
Every four years a World Scout Jamboree is held in some part of the world. Some 35000 Scouts come together for this event. The last Jamboree was held in Japan in 2015 and two Scouts from our Troop attended this spectacular occasion.
The Graaff-Reinet Troop is recognised throughout South Africa for its calibre of Scouts that go out into the world. Many of our Scouts have attended the Patrol Leadership Courses held around South Africa and most of them have been invited back as staff on follow-up courses. Our Troop has had representation of Scouts at most of the International World Jamborees held every four years in some part of the world.
The Graaff-Reinet Scout Troop is divided into three sections: Cubs: Grades 2 to Grades 4, 7 years to 10 ½ years under the guidance of Mrs Wendy Venter, meet on a Tuesday evening from 18h00 to 19h30; Junior Scouts, Grades 5, 6 and 7 meet on a Thursday evening from 18h30 to 20h00 along with the Senior Scouts. Mr Bruce Maree looks after both Scout Troops with a total of some 50 Scouts. All branches of the Scout Group meet at the Chookie Geard Scout Hall.