WE MEET THE INSPIRING PEOPLE WHO HEAD UP THE SCHOOLS IN OUR COMMUNITY AND LEARN A BIT MORE ABOUT THE SCHOOLS AND THEIR VALUES
This year marks five years since Waterfall Pre-Primary School opened its doors on the iThemba Campus. Principal Paula Mason has been a key roleplayer in its development. “I feel so fortunate to have watched the children and our school grow over the past few years. My goal for 2020 is to maintain the high standard of teaching, learning, facilities and community at our school and on our campus.
“It’s incredible when you see a child progress. It’s that look of satisfaction and achievement on their faces that keeps me going. That and all the hugs!”
Brad Cooper has lead the team at Waterfall Preparatory since 2017, when the school had just six classes. Today, the Prep has 16 classes, from Grade R to Grade 7, with developing facilities and a growing reputation in the community.
Brad is inspired by seeing children happy and motivated to learn. “I love to hear about children who have discovered their self-worth, who are actively exploring their interests and reflecting themselves as they really are.”
Brad aims to make a positive difference in as many lives as possible, by empowering children and staff, giving them the freedom to enquire, attempt and possibly fail, review and retry, always with support and encouragement.
Together with her committed team, Jeanette van der Merwe has taken Waterfall College from 70 students in 2004 to over 210 today, developing a reputation for passionate teachers who go the extra mile for their students, while maintaining high academic standards.
“This year, I aim to do everything possible to take WFC to ever greater heights as part of Waterfall Schools, to establish and grow relationships within our community, and to serve others.”
St Mary’s DSG
Executive Principal of St Mary’s DSG, Jonathan Manley has led the school for the past eight years. The school has a reputation for pursuing excellence in all areas and prides itself in providing an all-round education for each girl. Jonathan believes independent schools are vital in the development of our communities, and can
act in partnership with other organisations in growing talent and educating young people. The Upper Highway area is very fortunate to have many highly regarded independent schools and they often work together, sharing the lessons learnt and ensuring that standards remain high.
Jonathan is passionate about lifelong learning and is always looking for ways in which to develop the teachers’ skills and to ensure that parents are involved in the education of their children. He maintains that the team approach between parents and teachers is essential if schools are to be effective.
Highbury has a legacy of knowing boys and headmaster Roland Lacock lives this mantra in the way he interacts daily with the boys and their parents. Roland joined the Highbury family in 2017 as their sixth headmaster in 117 years.
Roland is passionate about honouring tradition, inspiring excellence and bringing out the best in every boy. A highlight of his week is “Good Work Friday” when proud boys visit his office to show him their books. He is a firm believer in discipline based on clear boundaries, consequences and then forgiveness.
Elwyn van den Aardweg has been headmaster of Kearsney College since 2001 and will lead Kearsney into its second century next year. Elwyn is committed to ensuring boys leave Kearsney as men ready to cope with the varied demands in all spheres of life. He encourages the importance of balance – in academics, sport, culture and leadership roles.
His drive and commitment have confirmed Kearsney’s well-established reputation for academic excellence, and he places significant importance on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) for study and career options. “School leavers will need a strong foundation in these subjects to succeed in this information-driven age, as well as to help fill the significant skills shortage in the country’s engineering and IT space,” says Elwyn.
Thomas More College
Thomas More College celebrates learning and community. Learning is underpinned by the fundamental belief in the critical importance of relationships and that every child is delightfully unique. TMC place character education, quality, agility, sustainability and relevance – complemented by their inspired, living ethos – firmly in the middle of their strategic development and decision- making processes.
TMC encourage and celebrate a sense of wonder, our African and global human connectedness, academic rigour, critical and creative thinking, gratitude, integrity, grit, respect, Christian love and empathy. TMC is committed to preparing the children fully to be tomorrow’s leaders today.
Hillcrest High School
Established in 1976, Hillcrest High School has advanced in leaps and bounds over the past 44 years. Principal since 1999, Craig Girvin’s accomplishments include major improvements to the school’s infrastructure, including a new indoor centre to be opened later this year and a very successful Learning Support Unit for Grades 8 and 9, as well as the implementation of their e-learning programme.
Craig has encouraged a balance between cultural, service and sporting extra murals at the school, and overseen the high standards of academic excellence. In addition, his disciplined leadership, commitment and values have helped to maintain Hillcrest High School as one of the leading co-educational schools in the Upper Highway area.
Clifton offers a world-class, holistic education for boys from Grade R through to Grade 12, catering specifically to the development of boys into responsible, confident and competent young men. The school provides an educational environment designed to facilitate learning and assist in developing young men of character, who share an uncompromising belief in the power of family values, thrive on competition, delight in discovery, exercise compassion and are courageous in their choices.
“While we walk this journey of progress and development with our young men, we are conscious of our motto, “prodesse quam conspici” – to accomplish, rather than to be conspicuous. As such, our boys remain humble and well mannered.”
St John’s D.S.G.
St John’s offers a balanced education with a focus on giving each girl the opportunity to achieve her full potential academically, physically, spiritually and emotionally. St John’s’ task is to find out what her abilities and gifts are, and to nurture and develop these in a unique way in order for her to excel.
Caring more about a sincere, child-focused, authentic education – which develops potential and assists the development of girls into confident, well-balanced leaders of the future who are respected for who they are and their beliefs – St John’s is confident that when this is the focus, the results look after themselves.
Durban Preparatory High School
“For me personally,” says headmaster Barry Wilson, “I cherish the fact that I am the first DPHS Old Boy to serve as headmaster with ‘blue and gold’ running through my veins for 30 years – initially as scholar, then student teacher for four years, staff member for 19 years, with 2020 announcing my fourth year as Headmaster at DPHS.”
Barry has lived the traditions and values that are constantly practised in this globally respected school for boys and share its common purpose in “Preparing our Boys for Life”. “This is noticed annually across high schools, tertiary, provincial, national and international levels where DPHS boys have continued to excel in academic, sport and cultural activities, as they build on their solid prep foundation that they received here,” says Barry.
Durban Girls’ College
“Our aim is to contribute positively to education in South Africa through producing young women of substance who find their niche and who champion social responsibility, social justice, equality and environmental challenges; thereby enriching our community,” says executive head Marianne Bailey. “The educational experience that our girls receive equips them to be adaptable, and face the realities – and uncertainties – of a world that is changing, rapidly.