SOS Outdoor Centre is situated just outside Villiersdorp, only an hour's drive from Cape Town. SOS is a registered public benefit and non-profitable organisation (NPO 004-235) and forms part of the Theewaters Conservancy.
School in the Wilds is the outdoor education facility that we run during the week (Monday to Friday) all through the school term. SOS is a rustic bush camp with only basic amenities. The campsite offers magnificent views of the Theewaterskloof Dam, walks and hikes through the Fynbos to waterfalls in the mountains and a large variety of birdlife as well as farm and other interesting animals.
Our two recently revamped campsites (River and Mountain Site) serve as an excellent breakaway for a weekend or holiday camp.
All of this forms part of the true outdoor experience you can enjoy here at SOS. We are serious about what we're doing here and trying to achieve.
William Hamleys famous toy shop was established in London in 1760, and quickly developed an international reputation for choice, quality and innovation. Two and a half centuries later, Hamleys is proud to continue the tradition of bringing you 'the finest toys in the world'
The wide-eyed children filling Hamleys today share something very special with our founder. A love of toys. Let's travel back in time to meet him.
Growing up in Bodmin, Cornwall, William Hamley might have become a tin miner. Or a fisherman. But William had other ideas. He dreamed of opening the best toy shop in the world. In 1760, he did, cramming 'Noah's Ark' with every kind of toy, from rag dolls to tin soldiers.
Over the street-sellers' calls and horses' hooves ringing on the cobbles, you could just make out the delighted cries of children as they approached the window.
By the time Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, Hamleys was already a London landmark. Families flocked to William's 'Joy Emporium', now owned by his grandsons.
So successful was the shop that in 1881 a new branch opened in Regent Street. To cope with the public's growing appetite for playthings, Hamleys added a further five floors of toys.
We can only imagine the spectacle, as toy theatres, puppets, pedal cars and miniature railway trains jostled for space in the largest toy shop in the world.
Hamleys faced hard times in the late 1920s, along with everybody else. In 1931, the picture looked bleak. The shop was forced to close and its fleet of horse-drawn delivery vans was stilled.
But this story has a happy ending. Walter Lines, the Chairman of the Tri-Ang company, bought Hamleys and worked hard to bring customers back. In 1938, his efforts were rewarded - Queen Mary gave Hamleys the Royal Warrant.
Even being bombed five times in the Blitz did not stop Hamleys. Wearing tin hats, staff served at the shop entrance, rushing in to collect the toys then handing them over at the door.
When she came to the throne, Queen Elizabeth II showed she still remembered the toys her grandmother had given her. She in turn gave Hamleys toys to her own children.
In 1955, her Majesty honoured Walter Lines with a second Royal Warrant as a 'Toys and Sports Merchant'. But it was the children's smiles that truly rewarded Walter Lines and his staff.
Arriving back in the present, we find Hamleys in its famous location at 188-196 Regent Street. Step over the threshold and you enter a world of joy and wonder.
Over the squeaking, bleeping, whizzing and chiming of toys, you hear children laughing excitedly as they goggle at the sheer choice over our seven floors of toys and games.
The toys may have changed, but if he were here today, we're sure William Hamley would recognise the same delighted faces as he guided you round the shop he dreamt of as a boy. Welcome to Hamleys.
We have our computer back and are once again able to blog about what has been happening in our class.
We are currently in the midst of exam time, the children write on exam per day, from 8:30 - 10am. They then have a 20min break and spend the second session revising for the next day and doing arty activities to relax them. Home time during this exam period is 1pm.
My own personal news is that I shall be traveling around England during our 5 week Winter holiday from 10th June - 10 July. When I return I shall be doing an English theme on England with the children.
English: "The Machine Age", "Pirates", "St Patrick's Day" Afrikaans: "Birthday Parties" and "Me and my Family" Maths: Revision of Grade 4 work, The four operations History: Timelines and Evidence Geography: Maps Science: Space Technology: Build a Pencil Pot Computers: Microsoft Publishing Economic Management Science: Wants and Needs Life Orientation: Me, Myself and I Art: Pencil Sketching, Valentine's Crafts and Building a Pirate Island Music: Singing and Reading Music Sport: Athletics, Netball and Soccer
English: Books & Authors and Games & Sports Afrikaans: "Family" and "My Bedroom" Maths: Fractions History: The San and Khoi peoples of Africa Geography: Weather and Climate Science: Reproduction in Animals Technology: Making our own books Computers: Microsoft Publishing Economic Management Science: The Economic Cycle Life Orientation: My Rights Art: Paper Mache bowls Music: Singing and Reading Music Sport: Netball and Soccer
English: "England" and "Egypt" Afrikaans: "Houses and Homes" and "Camp" Maths: Data Handling and Problem solving History: The Ancient Egyptians Geography: South Africa's Natural Resources Science: Water Technology: Build an Egyptian Shaduf Computers: Microsoft Publishing Economic Management Science: Entrepreneurship Life Orientation: Personal Development Art: Graphic Design and Talent Concert Music: Singing and Reading Music Sport: Netball and Soccer
English: "Cowboys" and "Newspapers" Afrikaans: "Pets" and "Christmas" Maths: Geometry History: Incas Geography: SA Relief Science: Plants and Soil Technology: Build an Egyptian Shaduf Computers: Microsoft Publishing Economic Management Science: Entrepreneurship Life Orientation: My Community Art: 3D sculpture Music: Singing and Reading Music Sport: Netball and Soccer