They said it!

Natalie

My son and I were driving through to Bellavista this morning after dropping my daughter at Grayston at 7am.  We had just got to St David’s when we received the school notice about no water today.  I told my son what was happening and that there would obviously be no school today…I honestly expected a “Yay,  Mum!  No school so I can play at home”  Instead I got, “Oh no Mum, but I REALLY want to go to school”.  My heart smiled.  My little boy would rather be at school learning and playing with his friends than be home with Mum for the day – a “free” day of no hard work – but first choice was school!  What an amazing compliment to Bellavista and to its staff.  I wonder if kids at other schools love going to school as much as the children at Bellavista?  How lucky we are to be a part of the Bellavista family!

Rachel

“Just a small note to inform all the past teachers of Bellavista School who dedicated their time and effort to my son. Today I stand as a proud mother of a Civil/structural engineer who is a WITS graduate but also just graduated yesterday with an MBA   (Master of Business Administration) from the University of Pretoria.
This is only to pay tribute to all the teachers that accommodated  and believed in him as a child…..
I am the proud mother of this young man and I could not have done this without the help and understanding of the Bellavista team!
THANK YOU,THANK YOU, THANK YOU…….”

Dee

“What a lovely surprising evening I have just had! Rachel has outdone herself academically for 2016 and I’d like you to share in her excitement and joy. It follows….
Certificates for Most improved student in Afrikaans, Top practical student in Technology, Most improved student in EMS and Perseverance and Diligence in Maths.
A gold certificate for Social Sciences ( awarded to getting over 80%). Then she came away with the following trophies…. the Kelsey Toubkin most improved reading award, Technology cup,  Junior NS cup and Social Science cup. Topping it all off Rachel was awarded with her Academic Colors!! A very proud Mom and a super excited daughter! She’s still bouncing all about.”

Michael

My son, Michael, attended Bellavista School from 2004 – 2005. He was in Gr 0 with Mrs Miriam Wilder and in Gr 1 with Mrs Sue Hill. He mainstreamed to The Ridge in 2006. We relocated to Durban in 2008 where he attended DPHS followed by Westville Boys’ High School. Michael matriculated with 7 distinctions and an 89% aggregate. During his high school years he maintained a high standard of academic excellence, was a school prefect, played 1st team cricket and was captain of the school cross country team (I fondly remember him winning the cross country when he was at Bellavista and noting his competitive spirit even at that young age). He received school colours for academics, cricket, cross country and service to his school. Michael will be studying a BSC in Maths and Physics at UCT this year. I will always be grateful for the excellent start Michael was given at Bellavista and for the love and care, both he and I received, from his teachers and therapists. My odd little boy was warmly embraced by everyone and most of his needs accommodated.  He even went to Maths with the Grade 3’s when he was in Gr 1. Michael is proud to be a Bellavista past pupil and always tells how he started in a remedial school much to the disbelief of most people. Thank you Bellavista for the role you played in shaping this young man.

Erin

Bellavista is not just a school. It’s a story. In this story there is a garden and this garden is very special because the seeds and flowers growing here have great potential. The seeds and flowers need help and guidance to grow to their full potential and that is where the gardeners come in. The gardeners feed and care for the seeds and flowers, and help create this beautiful garden. Some flowers start off in this garden as seedlings, and other flowers are transplanted from other gardens. I was one of these flowers, a shy and timid rosebud, but under the care and guidance of the many gardeners in this special garden, I am able to blossom. I have been helped to accomplish many things. I have learned courage – the courage to stand up for myself. I have gained the confidence to ask the questions that I need to know the answers for. I have developed self-esteem to believe in myself and my ability to lead and guide others. I would not be here without the support of my family, friends and teachers. This school, this special garden, is not just a place to learn. It’s a place to create better opportunities in life. Every student in this school needs to know that they are here for a reason, not just to learn but to grow into beautiful flowers and share their beauty, joy and kindness with the rest of the world. So, don’t stop believing in yourself. Don’t stop growing and blossoming.

Raphaella

Bellavista is like riding a roller coaster – when it starts, you want it to stop. and when it stops, you want it to start.

Talia

Above all, Bellavista has given me the opportunity to be me. I am able to be myself in an environment that nurtures me and encourages me to give of my best at all times. There is a quote that reads, ” Thank you, Bellavista angels for holding our hands along this journey“, and now I can proudly say thank you Bellavista for holding my hand along this journey.

Daniel

I came to Bellavista School in Grade Five and WOW, what can I say? It has been the best three years of my life. What an adventure it has been for me at this warm and loving school. This is my last year at this amazing school and we got all sorts of privileges, such as wearing red blazers and telling all the small kids what to do. The only thing that I did not like was exams and homework, but I know these have set me on a good path for high school. To Bellavista School, thank you for everything you have done for me and for giving me a view to a brighter future. Most importantly, thank you to my loving parents for sending me to this magical school! Thank you!!!

Sabreen:

I joined Bellavista in Grade R and I have been here for eight years. I was a little nervous on my first day in Grade R. Both my parents took me to school and I did not want them to leave. I came from The Bridge Nursery School and none of my friends came with me. What I remember is Miriam’s smile. She is the most amazing teacher who continues to be involved in my education at Bellavista. My mother was very nervous about me coming to Bellavista and took a sabbatical of four months from work so that she could be class mum. She was happy to go back to work when she saw how amazing the school was. The collective effort of my teachers through the years, like Mrs Cruickshank, Mrs Nowikow, Mrs Allan and Mrs Tempel has resulted in a five year old with pigtails growing into a confident teenager standing before you today. In fact, when Mrs Tempel asked who wanted to speak and I raised my hand, she said, “Sabreen, you have come out of your shell – do not go back in!” You will not find more caring and kind teachers who go beyond the call of duty to assist the children. Every child is taught that they can be a leader and made to feel special. Bellavista has the most amazing concerts and Bellavista Stars. Bellavista Stars is a talent show. It is the highlight of my Bellavista years. Next year I will be in Grade Seven and after that I will leave the school but will take with me my good memories. You will not be disappointed with your decision to join the Bellavista community.

Michi:

Hi, my name is Michael. I struggle with reading and spelling. Bellavista is the best school in the entire world – trust me, I know because I have been here since Grade R. I arrived as a shy, quiet boy who was afraid to put himself on the line. I would NOT stand up and talk in front of people. People have mocked me because I am short when I tell them I am in Grade Six but at Bellavista nobody cares if you are short or tall or have a disability. They accept you for who you are and what you are, no matter what. So, in Grade R, I had one of my favourite teachers, Miriam. We got a break basically every 10 minutes. It was the best. Now you might think it was because we did nothing in class, but rather, it was our teacher working u shard while we could concentrate and were available to learn and then we had a break. In Grade One, I had Mrs Wetterhahn. She was one of the kindest teachers. WHY? Because she gave us credits for blowing our nose with a tissue and catching is in everything we did right! FYI, a credit is a merit system that you earn so you can get a badge when you have reached a certain amount of points and these points go to your house. Mrs Wetterhahn started our process of learning how to have a good work ethic. Grade Two: now let me see if I can pronounce this name- Mrs Anastassopoulos – otherwise known as Miss A. Actually, because I could pronounce her name, I got her for grades two and three. In these years, we earned beans every day and when we got 5 beans, we got a credit until one day, when we found bugs in the beans. So, we had to spill the beans … into the dustbin… and we had to move to buttons. In Grade Four, Mrs Nowikow was a very funny teacher. She took pills she called her “witch pills: and she said they could turn her into a witch and sometimes we actually believed her! Although the work was challenging, she was a fun teacher and I loved doing the concert with her that year. Grade Five was Mrs Poolchand. Just like me, dynamite comes in small packages. We believed that she had eyes in the back of her head, because nothing was ever missed by Mrs P! She too helped us develop a good work ethic and brought the best out of us. Grade Six – last but definitely not least. She has made this my favourite year, Mrs Pillay! She is the kindest teacher ever and although she too has eyes at the back of her head, unlike Mrs P, she chooses to keep them closed. We love laughing with her and our school day is so enjoyable. NOW, as I said in the beginning, I arrived as a shy, quiet boy who would not be happy to be the centre of attention. Bellavista, Mrs Scott and her team have helped me and other kids to find their voice and space. They look out for our strengths and help and encourage us to bring these out. In the last concert, I even had a singing role. This is why Bellavista is THE best school and when you guys join it, it will be even better. Let your journey begin…

Nina

My name is Nina and today I will be talking to you about my journey at Bellavista, and how honoured I am to be at such an amazing school. It all started that day at the beginning of Grade Two when my parents said we should have a family meeting. I didn’t know what it was about. My mom began and said, “Nina, me and dad have decided that you will be going to Bellavista and that it will be a really good change for you.” I wasn’t sure what to say because I felt happy inside but at the same time a bit sad cause was leaving all my friends. After a few weeks passed I went to look at the school and I met my teacher, Mrs Yudelowitz. She seemed really nice. When we got to the classroom, she showed me where I was gonna sit and my heart was beating really fast. My fist week there was actually really fun and I made lots of friends. In Grade 3, I had Mrs Cruickshank who was a funny but strict teacher. She always gave us projects and homework, but taught us so well that you nearly knew everything off by heart. That was also the first year of the Bellavista Stars talent show for me. l entered and I did a dance of my friends. l felt our dance kinda failed but it was really fun and we ended up getting a silver for it. This year, I am in Grade Six, which the teachers call “the naughty grade that gets up to no good”. We have the best teachers, Mrs Tempel and Mrs Pillay who make you laugh until your tummy aches. The Grade Six camp was the camp that l have had the most fun on, from leopard crawling in mud and doing teamwork routines, to swimming in the dams. And now here I am talking to you and telling you how amazing Bellavista is, and that it will take you on the most incredible journey of learning. Yes, you will have your up hills that will challenge you but at the end you will turn out to be fantastic and that is why one day you will be standing here just like I am today and telling the newcomers that everyone that comes to Bellavista finds their place to shine and has an opportunity to prove to everyone around us that we all can and will conquer the world!

Justin

School is cool! I didn’t always think this. I moved to Bellavista in Grade 3 and from the start everyone was kind to me I was given support in reading as this was one of my struggles. I was made to feel that I could, instead of couldn’t. In Grade 4, I had Mrs H, she was one of those teachers that help you straight away when you have a problem. The funny thing is that when she spoke her tone was loud, yet kind. She used to walk around the field with us in the mornings, chatting away with us as if we were long lost friend. One thing l’ll always treasure from her is a ruler that she bought for the boys; probably to keep us on the straight and narrow! In Grade 5, I had Mrs Poolchand – a small teacher yet dynamite. She gave me the confidence to write faster, as l was really slow! She focused on my comprehension, which gave me a feeling of competence. Now I am at the end of Grade 6 and it’s been a hard year. The one thing I’ve struggled with is the increased work pace, but I have never felt like couldn’t cope. Mrs Pillay and Mrs Tempel have helped me in Mathematics, Afrikaans and Social Science with their gentle kindness. Sport has always been my passion and at Bellavista they don’t break you down whether you are good or bad at sports, they build you up. I won the Victor Ladorum in Athletics, which inspired me to set a goal for myself and never give up. I have made so many friends along the way and I want you guys to remember this, when you go to school, you may think it boring but Bellavista makes it fun!