Durbanville matrics stay in touch with travelling yearbook

Curro Durbanville’s Class of 2021 with their travelling yearbook box. They are, from left, Andre Kotze, Ashleigh Sykes, Ongeza Shabang, Kim Toerien, Emma Beckley, Mieke Stander, and Anneri de Villiers.

Curro Durbanville’s matrics have found scrapbooking to be a comforting retreat from the anxiety and challenges they face from the pandemic, and they hope to inspire other schools.

According to Mari Lategan, Curro Durbanville spokeswoman, the scrapbooks are part of their Travelling Yearbook project: nine boxes with yearbooks going from one Curro school to the next.

Once a school gets its box, the matrics fill in the yearbook’s empty pages and write a motivational message on a postcard meant for the next school in line.

The idea, says Ms Lategan, came about in May as a way for the matrics to capture special memories and stay in touch during another disruptive school year.

“Matric is such a special year – the final one in the school career- and we want to help our learners to acknowledge and enjoy it. It’s especially tough during the pandemic, but we think this project is a lovely way of keeping connected, not just among the matric learners here, but throughout the country.”

The ’’travelling boxes’’ all contain Polaroid cameras, film, blank sheets of paper, and stationery.

Matric pupil Emma Beckley said the year had been chaotic and she had found it hard to manage her time.

“Luckily, I have a very good support system at my school which allowed me to pull through and achieve anything I wanted to.”

The restrictions Covid-19 had placed on her ability to go out and socialise with her friends had taken it toll on her sanity, she said.

“Many students, myself included, relied on social events and outings with friends to help take our minds off the stress of school for a day or two. It is very important to me to see my friends and exercise often to ensure my sanity.”

But those obstacles had also taught her how to adapt, she added.

Each travelling yearbook is packaged with a postcard for the next school that receives the box.

Cara du Plessis, who does hockey, judo and gymnastics, said the pandemic had made it hard for her to follow her busy training schedules.

“As someone who pours their soul into sports, I was faced with the seemingly impossible task of not being able to exercise. My training hours went from 10 per week to only two hours. So I studied during all the sudden free time I had. Quite boring but what else was there to do.”

But the extra studying helped her average increase by 7% from the first term of Grade 11 to the second term in Grade 12.

“The simple fact is that I was forced to learn how to study. I discovered a deep love for maths and problem solving which led me to discover which career I want to pursue – engineering.

“About two weeks ago, I was preliminarily accepted into Stellenbosch University for a BEng in mechatronics. So, although it pains me to say it, the Covid-19 crisis has moulded my life. I still try to train for 10 hours a week because that’s where my social life lies, but I would never have found my purpose without a little worldwide pandemic nudge.”