Sid G Rule Primary turns 60

A drone was used to capture this picture of Sid G Rule’s pupils forming a “60” to mark the school’s 60th anniversary.

Sid G Rule Primary School in Grassy Park held a special thanksgiving assembly last Thursday to celebrate its 60th anniversary and remember those connected to the school who have died in recent years

Children, parents and teachers gathered for a ceremony that included music, recitals and speeches.

The school has had six principals since it opened: Sidney Gordon Rule; John Roberts; Clifford Isaacs; Greg Vlotman; Priscilla-Ann Stadler; and the current principal, Anton Yon, who has been in the position for six years.

He joined the school 30 years ago as a teacher.

“I started in 1992 when the school was an Afrikaans medium school, but within five or six years, parents requested to change it to an English medium school.”

At the time, Grassy Park was largely a rural area and pupils from poor families used to live on farms. “They were fed and washed at school,” said Mr Yon.

Sid G Rule serves 837 pupils from a “low to middle income community” from areas such as Grassy Park, Lotus River, Zeekoevlei, Retreat, Steenberg, Pelican Park, Mitchell’s Plain and Strandfontein.

Mr Yon said that many of their pupils had parents who had attended the school themselves.

“It says a lot about how they trust the teachers, ” he said.

Prior to Covid, he said, pupils had taken part in many extramural activities, including cooking, flower arranging, gymnastics, sailing, surfing and speech and drama. “Since the ease of lockdown, we will be picking up that again.”

Mr Vlotman, who was principal from 1997 to 2010, said he had many lasting memories of his time at the school including the 1998 fire. “I would say it was a negative and positive experience. The fire destroyed four and damaged two classrooms. However, people rallied around very quickly.”

Sarah van der Westhuizen, who has taught at the school for four years, said the staff were driven to provide a quality education.

Wiesaal Abrahams said all four of her children had attended Sid G Rule. “My eldest is a radiographer currently, my twins are at South Peninsula High School in Grade 10.

“I got involved with the Help2Read programme at Sid G Rule, when my twins were in Grade 2, working with Grade 2s and 3s mainly,” she said.

Due to not being involved with the Help2Read programmes since Covid-19, “it was nice to see the staff at the 60th anniversary”, she said.

Mr Yon said there would be further anniversary events during the year, including a dinner, a parents’ evening and a colour run for the children.

The teachers and staff at Sid G Rule Primary School.
Anton Yon is Sid G Rule Primary School’s current principal.
Candles were lit in remembrance of those affiliated with Sid G Rule Primary School who have died in recent years. Here Sadie Castle and Kim Rossouw light a candle for their friend, Wedaad Williams, a teacher, who died in 2018.
The Grade Rs recite a “thank you” prayer.
The special guests who attended the thanksgiving event at Sid G Rule, included former principals, teachers and staff.