28 APRIL 2021
Dear Parents and Guardians
The leaves have started turning, and there is a distinct autumn nip in the air to welcome us into Term 2. The campus is brimming with life and it feels celebratory as girls hive off to sport, rehearsals, STEPP, dancing, music, debating, various meetings and talks, subject support or SCA. I have a distinct spring in my step as I love a vibrant campus filled with the noise of busyness, chatter and laughter. Covid has certainly taught us to appreciate these things which in the past would have passed us by unnoticed as they were so normal.
I am acutely aware of the privilege of being involved in the education of our young women as they have the potential of being real game changers, and this is such an exciting generation of women with whom to work. There is an incredible work ethic among most of them, with a genuine curiosity for learning. They enjoy a dynamic educational experience with teachers who encourage critical thinking, collaboration and discussion while providing expertise, care and support.
It is important that we assess carefully how our academic space should transform to enrich the experience and skills of our girls, and to ensure that they have an inspiring springboard for the future so they can take their rightful places as leaders in various fields and challenge gender stereotyping. Unfortunately, girls are sometimes still limited by the choices offered to them, and so we need to keep ensuring that we offer them the freedom to explore their interests and capabilities without being limited by perceived traditional gender roles. An example of transformative thinking is what saw the introduction of Economics as a subject in 2020, as it opens doors for those for whom it has appeal, and gives the distinct message that this is an area that many may excel in if they choose. We will continue to evaluate the subjects we offer, the content and the way we teach the various curricula, and indeed, even the examination board we choose for our school. These are all strategic decisions and need to be researched and discussed with rigor and Trevor van Niekerk, will be setting up some focus groups soon to look at, among others, the desirability and practicality of IT as a subject, the extension of our teaching of Coding and Robotics, the ongoing process of ensuring that the content of each subject is more relevant and inclusive, the introduction of conversational IsiZulu, and the feasibility and value of including some A levels. It may be that the status quo is maintained in some, or all, instances, but the re-evaluation from time to time is important so that we provide our girls with an enriched, well-rounded education that is liberating and inspiring.