Tell us your most feared subject!

Starting a new school year can be quite intimidating, especially when you are going back to face those subjects that you just haven’t quite mastered yet!
Well, we want to know which subjects scare you, so we can create some awesome content to help you overcome and master those problem areas and unleash your inner TOP CLASS student!
Take part in our poll below, and then leave a comment. Remember to be specific, because the more specific you are the more targeted our content will be! We will be posting the content up on our blog so keep an eye out for those lessons!

Which subjects do you fear the most this year?

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Shuters E-Books in Action!

The Shuters e-learning team had great fun when they visited Clarendon Primary School late last year to introduce some of the Grade 7 learners to our fantastic e-book products.

Not only did we have fun – so did the learners, judging by some of the ‘selfies’. Have a look at these…

On a more serious note, however, it was great to see how using the e-books made the subject come alive for the learners. This trial gave us all a chance to see how effective e-books can be as a teaching and learning tool.

Their Grade 8 teacher, Miss Barker also praised the new technology, saying:

This is another completely different dimension … the children are excited to want to learn again, and you can have fun with your classes…

Lenovo Tablet Winner Nontobeka Ntobeh Mbambo!

Lenovo Tablet Winner Nontobeka Ntobeh Mbambo!

Sibonelo Mkhasibe of the Shuter & Shooter e-learning team hands over the Lenovo to Nontobeka Ntobeh Mbambo, winner of our Twitter/Facebook competition.

Those of you who have been following us on Twitter and Facebook, will know that we have been running a competition over the last few months.

All our friends who liked our Facebook page and retweeted our tweets stood to win a Lenovo tablet.

The draw took place at Shuters House on Tuesday 13 January 2015, and a lucky winner was drawn.

An excited Nontobeka Ntobeh Mbambo of KwaMashu, Durban received her Lenovo S6000 Android Tablet from Sibonelo Mkhasibe.

 

How to keep those New Year’s Resolutions!

Happy new year!

2015 is here, and as the New Year begins, many of us make positive resolutions and promises to ourselves that we intend to keep. We think about losing weight, getting more exercise, living positively, and getting rid of all those habits that are bad for us.

Unfortunately those good intentions and positive resolutions don’t often last for very long.

Here are some ideas that might help you to keep those New Year’s resolutions for 2015:

Be realistic:

Make your goals realistic. It is good to aim high and challenge yourself, but if your goals are unrealistic, you will just become discouraged. Imagine you are an athletic high-jumper. If the bar is set very high, you will jump but knock it down. So you try again, and knock it down again. After the third time you fail, you will stop believing in yourself and give up. On the other hand if you succeed the first time, you will be encouraged to carry on and to gradually aim higher.

Get a buddy

Share your resolutions with a supportive friend or family member. This means that you will be able to talk to someone when you find that your willpower is weakening or when you are feeling down. You can encourage each other to keep going and to keep positive.

Don’t become despondent

If you break your resolution today just make up your mind to make a new resolution tomorrow. For example if your resolution is to eat healthily, and you eat a whole pile of junk food today, remember that tomorrow is another day. Forget about what happened today, and resolve to keep your promise to yourself tomorrow.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts! – Winston Churchill

Matric results, now what?!

When your matric results come out, you may find that you have not done as well as you hoped. You may even have done very poorly. So now what? There are a number of options you may want to consider.

Apply for a re-mark

If you have just missed passing a subject, you may want to consider applying for a re-mark of that paper. Talk to your school to find out what the procedure is and what application fee applies. The closing date for re-marks is usually towards the end of January, but make sure that you get the correct details from your school.

Male Pupil StudyContact your local FET college

There are a number of FET courses available, which might be an option for you. Some of these do not require a matric certificate. For more details, and to find a FET college near you, have a look at FETcolleges.co.za .

FET colleges will also be able to help you if you want to re-write your matric, as many colleges offer Grade 12 certificate courses. Please make sure that you register with an accredited college. Check the website above for a list of all the registered public and private FET colleges.

Learnerships and Apprenticeships

Another option would be to see if you could become part of a SETA learnership or apprenticeship programme. These programmes do not always require a Grade 12 certificate, and will help you to gain practical workplace experience and start you off on a career. A good place to begin to find information about learnerships and apprenticeships is LatestLearnerships.com .

Go out and find a job – get a driver’s license

Finding a job without a matric certificate can be very challenging. One way to give yourself an edge is to go out and get your driver’s license. This will give you an advantage over other job applicants, even if your Grade 12 results are poor.

Get informed!

For more cool ideas and tips on planning your future, have a look at CareerPlanet.co.za .

Christmas Appeal – It’s time to give back!

At this time of year, here at Shuters our thoughts turn to those less fortunate. In particular, the disadvantaged children in our community, who often don’t have the luxury of receiving Christmas presents.

Children enjoying Shuters gifts at a creche in Pietermaritzburg in 2013

Children enjoying Shuters gifts at a creche in Pietermaritzburg in 2013

In 2014, we would like to involve our friends and customers in our Shuters Christmas Appeal. This will give you a chance to make a difference to a child this Christmas.

Shuters has a fantastic range of fun, educational toys for children of all ages. Click on this link to have a look at our catalogue: http://www.shuters.com/online-catalogue/shuters-kids

Order a toy from our catalogue for a disadvantaged child, and Shuters will match your order with another toy of the same value.

Twist a shape Lace Tying Bathroom Puzzle

Please be sure to mark your order ‘Christmas Appeal’, so that our Customer Services Department will know to put the toy aside as a donation.

Keep an eye on this blog for more news about the Shuters Christmas Appeal.

Success from Failure!

Most learners have now completed their exams for 2014, and the anxious time of waiting for results has begun. You start to ask yourself – did I do as well as I hoped in my exams? Will I be disappointed by my results? What happens if I fail?

Sometimes, failing is a necessary part of life. It all depends on your attitude towards failure and what you plan to do to change things in a positive way.

Here are some people who were judged as failures at school, but guess what? They went on to achieve great success.

Albert Einstein

EinsteinAlbert Einstein is probably one of the most famous successful failures. He battled terribly at school, but went on to become one of the world’s most well-known physicists. You will be familiar with his formula E = mc2, which has been dubbed the world’s most famous equation.

Cameron Diaz

Cameron DiazAt the age of 16 she dropped out of school, and became a model, and later an actress. She has starred in many films including The Green Hornet, and was the voice of Princess Fiona in the animated Shrek series. In 2013, Cameron Diaz was the highest-paid actress over 40 years old in Hollywood.

Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard BransonSir Richard Branson is a famous entrepreneur who dropped out of school at the age of 16 to start his own magazine. Since that time he has created many businesses, including Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile and more. In 2014, Forbes Magazine listed him as the 7th richest citizen of the United Kingdom.

 

Yesterday’s failures are today’s seeds that must be diligently planted to be able to abundantly harvest tomorrow’s success. Anonymous

Please remember, if you are distressed or depressed about your results, talk to someone who can help. You are not alone in this situation. Some useful contacts are:

Lifeline: lifelinesa.co.za

SA Depression & Anxiety Group (011) 783 1474

Suicide Helpline 0800 567 567

Responsible Raging!

If you have finished your matric exams, you may be thinking of heading out for the KZN coast for the Matric Rage 2014. Even if you are not, but are planning on partying over the Christmas holidays, look at these hints and tips to keep yourself safe.

Alcohol

Be responsible and enjoy your freedom to have a drink and socialise. BUT… Students make a Toast in Bar

Remember, if you are under 18, you are not allowed to consume alcohol. Even if you are over 18, it is not cool to get so drunk that you start acting stupid, and forget who and where you are!!

Make sure that you never drink and drive and choose a responsible driver or use the Rage transport to get safely back to your accommodation.

Do not drink on the beach, in vehicles and on the street as this is not permitted and you could get into serious trouble.

Drugs and weapons

This is a message that you have heard many times before, but it still stands – say NO to drugs, even if your friends are encouraging you. Not only are drugs bad for your health, they could seriously damage those dreams that you have for your future. Remember that you will be searched for drugs and weapons at all Rage events, and if the organisers find these on you, you will be handed over to the authorities. If anyone offers you drugs at a Rage event, report this to the authorities immediately.

Safe Sex

Image of a couple kissing on the beach

During this exciting time it is difficult to abstain from sex, but it still is the most sensible decision. If you have made the decision to have sex, please be responsible. Don’t be promiscuous, carry contraceptives and know your own and your partner’s status.

Transport

While at Rage 2014, make sure that you know the route to your accommodation after an event, know the person you are travelling with, and try to make use of the official transport provided.

For more information about Rage, have a look at their website at ragefestival.co.za.

The Red Frogs Support Network is there to help you with pretty much anything you might need while at Rage, in particular any emotional support! Check them out at redfrogs.com

BE RESPONSIBLE, KEEP SAFE AND HAVE FUN!

Keeping Positive

Keeping-PositiveWhether you are at school or on holiday, with friends or with family, sometimes things can happen that get you depressed and down in the dumps. Here are our top three inspirational websites that you can check out this week:

  1. Psychology Today has an interesting article titled Stay Positive – changing your way of thinking can change your life. This article by Dr Cynthia Thaik gives you eight easy ways in which you can keep positive, happy and healthy.
  2. Often we find obstacles in the way of our goals and our success. Many people let these obstacles stop them from achieving their full potential. Life Coach Life has a short article to help you take a positive approach to obstacles in your life. The article suggests that you should:
    • Accept that obstacles are going to happen;
    • Deal with the negative little voice in your head that says that you will never overcome the obstacle;
    • Take action to move past the obstacle and progress.

    For more details, have a look at the full article on lifecouchlife.com.

  3. Dr Margaret Paul, bestselling author and relationship expert has written an article in the Huffington Post, titled 9 ways to love yourself. This positive article highlights how important it is to love and accept the person you are. Only when you are able to love yourself, will you truly be able to give love to others in your life. Her article can be found on Huffingtonpost.com.

Our favourite quote for the day…

A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power over you!

– Anonymous

Coping with Exam Stress

We are reaching that time again when schools go into overdrive, and learners start preparing for exams. Here are our top five handy hints and tips to make exam season just that little bit less stressful!

Don't Panic

  1. Don’t panic!! Try to keep a clear head. Getting into a panic is a sure recipe for disaster when you are preparing for an exam. Try meditating for 10 minutes every morning and evening to help you relax and think clearly.
  2. Plan your time carefully. Draw up a revision schedule so that you can have enough time to revise, but also enough time to spend with friends and family. (Spending time relaxing with your friends can help reduce stress, but you must make sure that you keep on top of your studies!
  3. Exercise helps. Getting plenty of regular exercise not only helps you to keep healthy, it also has been proven to lower stress levels and leads to better sleep. Have a look at this article from Harvard University in the USA.
  4. SnacksEat a healthy diet. It is extremely tempting to keep snacking on chips, sweets and chocolates while studying, but these snacks won’t help your body in the long term. Try to eat foods that will keep you fuller for longer. Aim for a balanced diet, with lots of fruit and vegetables.
  5. Drink plenty of water. Your brain and your body need water to function properly. Make sure that you drink plenty of water while you are studying. Research in the United Kingdom suggests that drinking water can help improve exam results and lower anxiety. (Have a look at http://www.bbc.com/news/education-17741653 for more details.) If you don’t like the taste of plain water, pop a slice of lemon or orange into the water to give it more flavour.

Remember

If you are feeling deeply depressed and anxious at this stressful time, make an effort to seek help from a parent, teacher or counsellor. There are plenty of people out there who are willing and able to help!

Keep an eye on this blog for more tips and interesting information.