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Showing posts from August, 2014

Schools need school halls

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Sullivan Primary School Hall Opening Ceremony
On Saturday, I was as excited as a child having a birthday party. Sullivan Primary School celebrated the opening of their school hall, thanks to the generosity of the main sponsor, The Archway Foundation. Everything was fabulous, from the superb, engaging master of ceremonies, Aden Thomas, the highly engaging speeches, the entertainment, right to the food provided by local caterer, Jeremy.

This is what I like about community celebrations: the collective joy to embrace and acknowledge your neighbour's achievement. Prior to the event, facebook was already buzzing with 'high fives' and 'vivas' to wish Ernest Moore and his community well. When Ernest posted that he had picked up someone else's" ball of nerves", he was probably spot on. That is just how the community DNA works - everybody feels your joy, pain or nerves! And the new school hall was worthy of such emotional rollercoasting.

School Halls are Neces…

Schools have to take on the role of villages to raise our children

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The Good... On Thursday morning I met four beautiful young Grade 7 learners when I visited a school. The four learners - Nasiphina, Zophuna, Chante and Belita - had just completed their prefect duty of monitoring learner punctuality. Three of them passed me, greeting me politely with broad smiles and lilting voices. Their energy and enthusiasm so early in the morning were infectious. I struck up a conversation with the trio, enquiring about their health, school and the high schools they will be attending in 2015.These youngsters showed no hesitation. Generally they agreed school was good, they were working hard, they were trying to improve their current grades that were already good and they were looking forward to high school the next year. They were full of life, highlighting only the empowering opportunities they see for themselves. Our happy chat must have had some magnetism because before long, one of the support staff members was hovering within earshot. Even one of the feeding …

The research on adolescent brain development can help schools change their culture

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Watch this interesting TED talk : The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain development.


Neuroscience research is shedding light on how we can understand teenagers and their behaviour. The TED talk delivered by Prof. Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is a compact, informative talk. You may find that you need to watch the talk more than once to appreciate the content and its impact deeply. She is interested in the social brain, an area teachers in particular will find fascinating.

Insights I have gained

A few of the key takeaways are listed below and I look at the implications of this information for schools and social development in terms of educating, intervening or rehabilitating teenagers.


Sarah-Jayne Blakemore presents her findings on two areas of the brain: the pre-frontal cortex and the limbic regions. The pre-frontal cortex involves our high level cognitive functions such as decision-making, problem-solving processes, planning and our self- awareness. This is also the area where our s…

The Southern Line Tourism route trip made our Women's Day ultra special

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Getting ready for our day trip On Saturday, Women's Day, Sasha and I, together with my sister, Levona and my niece, Letitia, spent the day on the Southern Line Tourism route. Our trip took us to Simonstown where we were going to visit two museums and do the boardwalk at Boulders.I had no idea that Metrorail had an active tourism sector and that the #Southern Line Tourism route is one of three dedicated tourism rail routes! The other two rail tourism day trips are the Khayelitsha route and the Stellenbosch Winelands route. Now that this confession is out of the way, let me share our tourists-in-our own city- train adventure.The tourism train surprisesAt the start of our journey to Simonstown, our Metrorail tour guide told us about the multiple personalities of our tourism train. During the week Tourism Train is an express commuter train on the Khayelitsha line and it then transforms into the Edu-train during off-peak hours, where schoolchildren become its guests. Then on Saturdays,…