Odds and Ends...How schools in Retreat surrounds wrap up their year

You know the saying: " the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak? That is exactly the space I found myself in during the last quarter of this year. I love keeping the blog current, and even with all the best intentions and with enough material to share, I could not find the time to write up a post. To make up for all the lost moments, this post is a wonderful potpourri of many inspiring moments I enjoyed.

Prize giving events 

There were many prize giving evenings I attended and each one of them was a glorious event. These events are usually well attended by proud parents who patiently sit and wait for that moment of affirmation or acknowledgement of their child's performance. What was striking for me is the increasing participation of the learners in these events.

Joining Muizenberg Junior and Floreat Primary 

At the Muizenberg Junior event, the entire Grade 7 learner corps participated in the annual report of their school year- covering all academic, sport and cultural activities. The sound and lighting engineers were Muizenberg High learner and the musical interludes were rendered by various learners.

At Floreat Primary school event, the Head boy and a prefect from SACS were the keynote speakers. SACS Grade 11 learners had adopted Floreat as their Social Responsibility organisation and to date the SACS learners have already painted sections of the school and they regularly contribute food parcels for needy learners.  At both primary schools the head boy and girl delivered their address.  Although these learners are young, they display such confidence and reflect insights which adults often think our young people are not capable of. It is encouraging to see that our young learners are not relegated to simple tasks such as ushering and helping to set up the venue. They are given key roles that are traditiknally reserved for the adults - showing clearly that our schools are doing a wonderful job of growing our new cadre of leaders.
Top Floreat Primary School: Head, Noel Isaacs with all the Top Achievers, Fern Funerals Delegate with  Bursary Winners Bottom:  A  proud family with parents, grandparents and siblings celebrating with learners and SACS learners with the Head Girl and Head Boy.

Farewell Events at Harmony Primary School

Harmony Primary School - my alma mater as well - bid farewell to four of their educators who are retiring from education. One could sense the loss the school was experiencing yet they graciously acknowledged the invaluable investment these four educators had made in education. Every single accolade for our colleagues was well deserved: they have experienced all the changes in our education system and they have adapted well to all the demands throughout their tenure. They are such passionate, vibrant individuals with caring personalities - the type of educator we need in our schools. 

Our 4 Super retiree teachers. Bottom Pic: Head, Ernst Esau, acknowledges the role of their spouses  as w ell,

Above: Eric Esau pays tribute to our Guests of Honour. Below: Here I am posing with my  Primary School Teacher, Ms van der Vent. She is SO proud of her learner.
Getting a glimpse of how Square Hill Primary School ends their school year

I was fortunate too, to be privy to Square Hill Primary's end of year function - the last day of school when all the goodbyes take place and staff are wished well during their vacation. There was so much gaiety and affirmations for individuals who have made a difference to the school. One of the new young educators played two piano recitals for the staff and one of the staff members spontaneously performed a dance routine, much to the delight of her colleagues. I loved the sincerity, the spontaneity to laugh, crack a joke or cry freely. The unpretentious ambience had me in awe and I realised that Lavinia and her staff had a rapport which has been developed over years.  Here was a principal who was not afraid of shedding tears openly, teasing without malice, acknowledging individuals without offending others - an amazing feat I thought.

Lavinia Davis, paying tribute to each of her staff members. Tears flowed freely.

The different faces of educators at Square Hill Primary School. Top right: Melanie and Grant Paulsen  celebrated their  wedding anniversary on the day as well.

Hosting community events: Delta Primary School is the giver

I was also invited to be part of the Christmas lunch that Delta Primary school had organised for the Montague Village Old Age home in Lavender Hill. What a humbling experience to witness how Delta who served a needy community still reached out to show care and support for other community organisations. Learners rendered a few dance items and items in song while the Delta Staff choir sang a medley of Christmas songs for the appreciative guests.
The senior citizens at Montague Village who was treated by Delta  school to a wonderful lunch and  lunch time concert. Pictures were taken of each one and handed to them at the end of the lunch. How super!

I'm so happy, so lucky, so free - tra la la la... -
These are a few of the nation-building events that I have been privileged to be part of. The more I interact with the schools I serve, the more I realise that we have no idea of the key role that schools play in building our nation.  We become so obsessed with learner performance statistics that we often do not celebrate the profound roles school communities play to strengthen community well-being.  

We can salute our school heroes for growing our children, their families and the broader communities!


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