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Showing posts from October, 2015

Spare a thought for many of the Class of 2015 as they fight back.

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Yesterday the Grade 12's started their NSC 2015 examination in full swing. I monitored the English examination at Ocean View High School where 140 students were ready to write their first paper of the Grade 12 final examination.  The untold stories of these resilient youth at Ocean View High school and all other schools across the country, can fill volumes.


Fourteen of these Grade 12's  at Ocean View High School were relocated to homes in Ocean View over the weekend. These learners live in Masiphumelele, an informal settlement that has been raging with unrests for the past few weeks. On Sunday, the principal and teachers of Ocean View High offered to accommodate their learners from Masi. These vulnerable learners need a place of safety and a space where they can study.



Masiphumelele High School is seriously under threat because of the violence and instability in the area. The Grade 12 learners too, had to be accommodated at another venue, far from their homes, to enable them …

Showcase of the disciplinary drill skills of the cadets at Steenberg-Lavender Hill Schools

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The Drilling Squad competition of the Steenberg-Lavender Hill schools was held today on the sports field adjacent to Floreat Primary School.  SAPS, who run these drilling teams as their outreach programme to schools, organized this historic Steenberg-Lavender Hill Drilling competition.




The schools that participated were: Steenberg High School, Lavender Hill High School, Sibelius High School, Hillwood Primary School, Levana Primary School, Sullivan Primary School, Lourier Primary School and Delta Primary School.




All the cadets were well disciplined. It was fascinating to watch the young drill squad captains taking their squads through their paces. The camaraderie was amazing.


Most of the schools won various awards for best drilling, best dressed, exhibition and march categories. Delta Primary was judged the overall winner after taking first and second prizes in most of the categories.
Well done to all the schools for the spectacular display of disciplined drilling. Thanks to SAPS -Ste…

Lavender Hill High School Tourism teacher wins the GTTP - SA / Travelport Tourism Teacher of the Year award.

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Annelize Robson, the Deputy Principal and Tourism teacher at Lavender Hill High School, has won the prestigious national Tourism Teacher of the Year Award. The Tourism Teacher of the Year Award was developed by Global Travel and Tourism Partnership - South Africa (GTTP-SA). The Award Ceremony was held at the National Careers Expo Gala Event in Bloemfontein on 02 October, 2015.

This award gives national recognition to Tourism teachers who make a difference in the lives of the learners, the school and the community where he or she teaches. The Tourism and Travel Subject adviser, Ms Sharmini Naidoo and the principal of the school, Faseeg Manie, must be on top of the world for having their nominee for the Tourism Teacher of the Year Award confirmed to be the best on a national platform.

Profile of Annelize Robson
Annelize Robson has been teaching at Lavender Hill High School for decades. As the Tourism teacher, she has received excellent results for her subject, Tourism, at the school. H…

World Teachers' Day deserves more than a mention on social media and the news.

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World Teachers' Day, especially in our country, deserves more than a mention on social media and as a news brief on radio and television. We should trumpet the invaluable role our teachers play.

When the children of the poor masses make their way to their schools, they find teachers who are ready to cultivate their vision of hope. When these same children, who are enveloped in the hideous traumas of poverty and crime, our humble nation-builders are there to build their broken spirits.

Teachers are ordinary folk with their own vulnerabilities and fears, yet they have committed to their calling to transform young people into responsible, caring, well-adjusted adults of tomorrow. They are the majestic eagles of our classrooms.

The theme of this year's World Teachers' Day, is appropriately on teacher empowerment and building sustainable communities.  Although we have a long way to go to ensure that we build our teachers' capacity and to restore the dignity of their profes…

It is never too late for dysfunctional school leadership teams to change.

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I wrote in a previous post that a school head with a dysfunctional senior management team, makes it difficult for a school to succeed. What then, do we mean when we say school leadership is dysfunctional and how can the school leadership fix their poor performance?

 Let's unpack Dysfunctionality.
I like the definition of the word, dysfunctional, as described on the Urban dictionary website: to be very bad at something.  This definition eliminates the temptation to be pretentious about what is going wrong at the school. Being "bad" at something means you lack the ability and the skill to do what you are supposed to do.


The complexities of dysfunctionality at schools
It is often difficult for outsiders to know to what extent SMTs are dysfunctional. The outward signs at school may mask the degree to which SMT members are not helping to manage and lead the school effectively. These school leaders may themselves compromise teaching, monitoring of the curriculum,  their manag…

Our Heritage Day Tour kicked off with a magical journey to Drakenstein Correctional services.

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This year our education district celebrated Heritage Day in the Cape Winelands. Our tour included a visit to the Madiba House, two museums in Paarl and the Taal Monument.



 The first leg of our tour was a visit to Nelson Mandela's "gilded cage" at the Drakenstein Correctional Services. Nelson Mandela lived in what was a former farmer's house for 18 months before he was released on 11 February, 1990.

Madiba House
Warden Mr Fisher who has been working at Drakenstein Correctional Services for 31 years, was our tour guide. Being in our Madiba's house was surreal.

Our storyteller kept us spellbound with all the interesting details. We stood in the kitchen where Madiba's food was prepared.




"Here was a massive microwave in the kitchen," said Mr Fisher.  "When Mr Mandela saw the microwave the first time, he wanted to know why he needed a "television" in the kitchen as well. When the food was prepared, the chef had to eat of the food first. Tha…