Mikayla Van Wyk, Grade 7, 2016

Dear Riaan,

I can’t believe that we are at the end of the year and that it’s all done and dusted!

I am sure you receive so many cards, letters and thank you emails from parents over the years so this is just another to add to the pile but I honestly mean each and every word from the bottom of my heart.

IMG_8547You, Mr V, have changed my child’s life single handedly. I can’t tell you why or what you did, but something about you and your approach has changed her. All we heard in our home this year was “Mr V…” this and “Mr V…” that!  Mikayla admires you more than you will ever imagine.  You have influenced her beyond measure; you encouraged her to go for prefect and she believed in herself and she achieved it.  Her entire world took off this year. 

I have no other way to say this to you other than thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You are that one teacher she will never ever forget.  You honestly have answered your calling in life. Your enthusiasm for teaching and love for your students is infectious and we have truly been blessed to have you in Mikayla’s life for two years.

I wish you so much going forward – simply the best of everything. Thank you again for everything – all the highs and all the lows – it has been so incredible!

With so much gratitude, Megan Van Wyk

Mikayla applied, by writing a motivation letter, to be a member of the Junior City Council in 2017. We have received confirmation that she has been chosen as a Member of the Junior City Council. It is a non-political programme run by the City of Cape Town to help the youth develop their skills and self image so that they can become confident in their abilities to bring about change - this programme is specific to bringing about change in the youth. WELL DONE MIKAYLA!!

Ethan Elinhorn, Grade 6, 2016

Ethan Elinhorn attends Parklands College and has achieved great things since leaving Shelanti. We received the following update from his mother, Megan:

Ethan Fishing

"Ethan started fishing for a Bass fishing club in September 2017 – the Tygerberg club. He then fished his first Western Province divisional competitions between October and December 2017. There were 6 competition days in total – on each of these days the catch is counted for points. Points are awarded for each fish caught and for the weight in total. 5 fish being a full bag. 4 of the divisional competition days were fished at Clanwilliam and the last two at Kraaibosch dam near Franskraal. The boys fish from 6 am to 5 pm on the Saturday and from 6 to 2 pm on the Sunday – so they are on the water on boats all day. So patience is imperative, as is commitment. 

Based on his points Ethan has been selected as part of the WP Team to attend the National Junior Bass fishing Championships, to be held on the Vaal River in April. As part of his selection for the team Ethan has been awarded his WP colours for Bass fishing. His colours will be awarded in a ceremony at the National Competition in April.

In order to best prepare for the national championships the team is doing a pre-fish on the Vaal River, on the 22nd and 23rd of February 2018.

There is a fund raising initiative to get the P Junior boys to the Vaal, and SABAA (South African Bass Anglers Association) have made raffle tickets available to be bought at R100 per ticket – the prize being 4 Shimano rod and reel sets and some tackle worth R5,000. If anyone wishes to help assist the boys in getting to the Vaal by buying a raffle ticket please email Megan on megan.walker@mediashop.co.za"




Tyler Hunter, Grade 7, 2017


Dear Deirdre,

The gifts for you are so deserved as you and the teachers, as Tyler says, are the best she has ever had - and that’s no lie!

I cannot express enough how thankful I am that Tyler could be in Shelanti for her last year of primary school. She has learned so much and bettered herself on so many levels. I know she is going to miss each and every one of you and will never forget you. Thank you for reaching out and working with us this year to improve Tyler’s learning capabilities. You and the teachers will always be a part of her life. You took my child in as a seed and nurtured her day by day, only for her to have bloomed into the beautiful, happy child that she has become.

I will always speak highly of your school as it is the best. I wish you well for the future and growth for Shelanti Private School.

Kind regards,





Matthew Gallagher, Grade 7, 2017


Hi Deirdre, Riaan, Glynis, Bev, Izel and all the other Shelanti staff that have influenced Matthew over the last year and a bit,

I don't know where to begin to say thank you to everyone for what you've done for Matt this year.  

I learned quite early on that school was not going to be Matthew's favourite place on earth, and here we are at the end of seven years of primary school.  I used to watch Matthew go into school with the weight of the world on his shoulders.  In grade 1, I even had to peel him off the back seat of the car, and drag him into school; even delivered him a few times in his pj's, with his uniform in his bag. And Matthew learned early on that his Mom was no pushover. 

Since September last year I've watched him walk into Shelanti completely upright, with a spring in his step, and a confidence I never thought was possible.  He has opened up completely, which has allowed our relationship to grow in such a positive way.  This is incredibly valuable, especially as he enters the teenage years.  I've watched my little boy blossom.

We are going to miss Shelanti so so so much, and we are going to miss all of you even more!  Thank you for making Matthew's last year and a bit so enjoyable.

Wishing you all an amazing holiday break, which you deserve without a doubt!

Kind regards,




Isobella Schacht, Grade 7, 2017


Isabella Schacht

Kyle Wetter, Grade 7, 2016

I just wanted to extend my gratitude for the enormous difference you have made to Kyle. I can honestly say you've changed his life to date, and his life to come. We will always be grateful. arm regards, Newton.

img_6072Dear Deirdre, Mr V, all Grade 7 teachers and Shelanti staff

What an incredible gift the pictures on the Flash drive are. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and Kyle's. Thank you for everything all you and the teachers and staff have done for Kyle and for us as his parents. Kyle's reality and his future have been impacted by your teaching with heart, your love and support and the recognition he so greatly benefited from for his self esteem. He acted tough guy this morning but is in quite an emotional state as he processes leaving Shelanti for Grade 8.  Thank you again.

You are all angels with HUGE invisible wings. Much love and wishing you all a wonderful festive season and well deserved break. Yours in huge gratitude, Marcelle.

Rebekah Brown, Grade 7, 2015

Dear Deirdre

I have taken a long time to write this very overdue letter but I have felt that there would be a right time to do so. This letter has been thought through on many levels over a long period and hopefully now is the time to write it.

Rebekah started at Shelanti almost half way through Grade 3. She moved over from Elkanah leaving all her friends and everything she and we knew behind. It was a big move. Our lives up until that point had been difficult oft times anxious as we sought ways and means to help her cope with her learning challenges. Right from nursery school, we had been made aware of Rebekah’s challenges. In nursery school, at the tender age of 3, we had been told that she didn’t know her colours. At the time, we being first time parents and naïve ones at that, were of the impression that she was too young to know her colours anyway! The following year she started at Elkanah and the challenges became more and more pronounced as she progressed through the early foundation phase. Finally, after various therapies and visits to Psychologists, Rebekah was defined as Dyslexic with ADD symptoms. It was at this stage that Elkanah informed us they could not assist us. We were left at a complete loss as to what to do. I cannot imagine what we would have done if Shelanti hadn’t existed.

IMG_8545Shelanti was God’s answer to our prayers. The transition was difficult but within a very short time, Rebekah settled into the school. Shelanti helped Rebekah identify her strengths and how to work around her weaknesses. They offered readers and scribes to assist her during the exams while at the same time teaching her to work independently. Rebekah learned to read and write and not only that, developed a love for reading and writing.

A recent visit to Dr Brenda van Rooyen indicated quite unusually, in fact, Brenda said that in all her years of therapy she had never come across it, Rebekah had developed new pathways in her brain that work around her Dyslexia enabling her to read and write like anyone that doesn’t have Dyslexia.

I want you to know what has happened to Rebekah since her graduation from Grade 7 into High School. She is now very happily ensconced at CBC. Rebekah has found her wings. This year Rebekah met with Jesus in a very real way and He has revealed to her that she needs to work really hard and to seek Him in all things. The Grade 8s were told that they could earn an honours blazer in Grade 12 and this has lit a fire in her. Not only that but she has her heart set on going to study in Oxford, England. My daughter is not the same. She has gone from failing Maths last term to getting between 70 and 85 percent on average. Her English Teacher is blown away by her ability to write and her love and passion for the subject.

I hope this might be an encouragement to anyone out there who might be experiencing some of the heartache and difficulty we experienced.

Thank you Shelanti, the love and passion for our children that you have sown will reap a harvest in the future. Children who may have been lost will become the leaders of the future.

May the Lord continue to bless your work. With much love and appreciation,

Julia, Graham and Rebekah Brown

Hunter Berry, Grade 7, 2016

When asked about her experience at Shelanti, Hunter had one word: FABULOUS! – and I tend to agree! From day one, the staff (admin & teachers) have been supportive – not only of Hunter, but of the whole family. This support & dedication has helped Hunter tremendously with her school work, but I think more importantly, with her attitude. She loves school, is interested in the work (we have long discussions about it) and has grown so much as a person. Where she would cringe at the thought of speaking to anyone new, and wasn’t exactly chatty at the best of times, she now engages with people readily. She’s also eager to get involved in new experiences, and has developed a real sense of responsibility & service above self – she wants to help & enjoys taking care of people. I would definitely recommend Shelanti – it’s a fantastic school run by fantastic people! Any chance you want to start a high school before 2017? - Liz Berry


Aidan Auret, Grade 7, 2016

My son attended Blouberg Ridge from Grade 1 to Grade 6.  He was diagnosed with ADD when he was 7 years old.

Although he has been a wonderful child to raise, at times it was a battle.  People who don’t know this condition, often judge these children and by doing so, they feel like they are indeed different.  It becomes a part of who they are as they get “labelled” from a very young age.  As happy as we were with Blouberg Ridge, there was something that was lacking or should I say, something more we needed for Aidan.

Last year, our prayers were answered.  Shelanti had an opening for a few children, and Aidan’s name was put forward.  I knew immediately that this was a step in the right direction, as when Aidan went for an “open-day” visit, it was all he could talk about for the weeks to come.


I was a little nervous, to be honest, as it was a big deal in my life.  I always believed that a child needs a good grounding with as little change as possible in their lives.  To consider moving schools after 6 years, was certainly a very big deal in our lives.

But I am so glad that we made the decision to send Aidan to Shelanti.  My son has become confident,  grown up overnight and you can see a desire he has in himself, to succeed.  He no longer feels labelled, or pushed to the side, he feels a part of a family, worthy and wanting to learn.  It’s ok to be different as not everything in life is a negative.  ADD can be a huge positive in anyone’s lives, if it is handled and nurtured.

Shelanti is without a doubt, the best decision we made.  The teachers are absolutely amazing with the children and the relationships built, will last forever. - Desraye Auret


Matthew Crocker, Grade 7, 2016

For Matthew, the experience in the Grade 7 class was just what he needed to gear him for Grade 8 next year. The way of teaching is on a much more understandable and interesting level, and the individual attention he got when not understanding something has helped a lot. Matthew is so much more confident than what he was before. I would highly recommend Shelanti! - Adele Crocker


Daniel Van Schoor (Grade 2, 2017)

I believe the time is right to give you some feedback on our first few months at Shelanti. Prior to Shelanti, we endured three long years of an unhappy child. Every day was a struggle and the impact on child, parents and family immense. I can now see that my boy is happy to come to school.  I pointed out, when we joined Shelanti, that my wish was for Daniel to be happy.  Thank you for being instrumental in getting us to this point.  I realize our journey is far from over and more challenges lie ahead, but I wanted to recognize the achievement and progress made.


I believe Daniel is thriving in the environment you have created. He is a delicate soul and all credit must go to all your staff for their understanding and handling of him.  Obviously with Ms. T playing a huge role in this process. I must also take the time to acknowledge all your pupils. I did not think that children so kind, caring and all round well-mannered existed anymore. I especially want to mention the children at Aftercare as it is them I see most.  Then last, but not least, thank you for creating this environment that has helped and will continue to help these vulnerable souls which can be so easily be broken. Well done and a big high-five to the whole of Shelanti, you have my respect and gratitude.

Kind regards, Wayne


Indigo Hawkins - Grade 7, 2015

Dearest Deirdre,

We cannot believe this wonderful Shelanti journey has come to an end! Hilton and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything you have done for Indi. YOU SAVED HER. We will always remember this...but this is not the end! We are going to be popping around regularly to give you updates on Indi's High School progress! With much love and gratitude,

Gil, Indi and Hilton Hawkins


Andrew McBride - Grade 3, 2015/Jason McBride - Grade 7, 2015

Dear Deirdre

My boys are settling in well so far at CBC.  A big learning curve for both kids but they are happy and enjoying life there. The kids from Shelanti who moved to CBC grade 8 are all in the same class except for Thomas.  They are slowly figuring things out, as are us parents.  It's a huge difference compared to Shelanti. Andrew is happy in grade 4.  He has a male teacher, their rugby coach, and is thoroughly enjoying being in his class.  He is already excelling at sport and has made the long jump team for his age group.  He has signed up for athletics, tennis, and cricket this term.  He would have signed up for more if there was time but he is learning that he can't do everything.  He is also continuing with karate outside of school.  Jason has signed up for tennis and CBC's social outreach club.  


Can't say much about academics as they are still getting settled in.  Jason had to draw a flowchart depicting photosynthesis.  His maths homework also had me temporarily stumped to the point that I had to use a calculator and work backwards to figure out the required methods.  BODMAS is not always obvious.  


They both gained a lot from Shelanti that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.  Hopefully the same will be true for CBC.  Kind Regards, Lee McBride

Oscar Berger, Grade 4, 2015

Dear Tointette

Thank you for your kind words to the Grade 4 parents. It is me who thanks you for having given Oscar his best school year ever. He cruised through the year without a single wobbly or conflict of any kind. Mrs Edwards, you clearly stand up for Shelanti’s motto.  Our next teacher better have giant feet for giant shoes!

EMG_2250I am for ever grateful to Shelanti for looking after my darling Oski with the respect, integrity and dedication that every child deserves. I say good bye knowing that Oscar walks out Shelanti’s door strong and confident.

Have a wonderful holiday. We will pop in, for sure! You are not getting rid of me that easy.

God bless, Oscar and Mamá

Thomas Sterland, Grade 7, 2015

Hi Deirdre

Well, Thomas was put in a class away from his friends from Shelanti so he was a bit down on his first day. But after the second day, as well as making new friends, he was back to his normal self.

IMG_8529Thomas has adjusted very quickly and coping very well with his school work and seems to be very popular as normal.

He really is enjoying life in high school, so I must say a big thank you to you and your staff for all that you have done for Thomas and the way he has turned out.

Big Thank You!


Thiyane Diamond, Grade 3, 2015

Hi Mrs Kempen, I promised to keep you updated about your son. So far so good! Thiyane has been scooping merit awards for Maths, Xhosa, and Afrikaans. He is also playing a trumpet, doing Living Maths and Robotics for his enrichment subjects and does swimming for sports. He has grown in strides and confidence and is happy. Thank you so much for the foundation you gave him. Take care!


Samuel Dobkins, Grade 6, 2015

Hi Deirdre,

Well the first term is almost over so thought I’d let you know how Samuel was doing in high school. He has made a remarkable adjustment to high school, he is loving the sport & interactions with others .I can only thank you & your team of remarkable teachers again for preparing him & giving him the confidence to move on! The biggest change, apart from Parklands world of technology & eBooks, has been the adaption to  fact that he is now completely responsible for all homework, organising his books & lesson timetable. This has taken some time but he has learnt amazing fast.

IMG_1054High School has been a big change – they are treated as young adults & have to take responsibility. My best advice for your grade 6 & 7 class parents is to learn to take a step back & let the children learn to take responsibility for their own schedule, this will only help them when they get to high school where there is no spoon feeding! Sam is loving that he now has this responsibility & has blown us away by being so mature! Thank you all once again for the wonderful grounding you all provided us.....as you always say, it takes a village! Regards, Tracey Dobkins"