Wednesday, 13 October 2010

SAPA Principals visit Pinelands North

In September, we hosted 60 principals from around South Africa, at our school. Instead of introducing the principals to the school myself, I, asked pupils from grade 3 to 7 to motivate why they wanted to be tour guides for individual principals.

These are a few of their responses –

‘I have respect for the school; for instance I pick up papers and I look after the Art garden, so please pick me.’  Noah Syndercombe 3

‘I love different accents of South Africa, love seeing people smile and saying, ‘What a wonderful school!’  Aidan Isaacs 3

‘I would love to let people know that PNPS is a loving school which has a good education. PNPS is very special to the pupils.’  Lerato Sello 3

‘I think I can do it because when I drop something on the floor, I pick it up because it is my responsibility to do so.’  Odwa Jonas 3

‘I am responsible, intelligent, kind, helpful and loving. I can show them lots of things, and I might also introduce them to a couple of my friends.’  Caleb du Plessis 3

‘I want to be an ambassador because I have a voice that all can hear, and I know the school like the back of my head.’  Logan Daniels 3

‘I think I would be a great person to show people around because I love PNPS. I love how clean it is, inside and out. I love how many pets we have. I love how many books we have in our library.’
Rana Ebrahim 3

‘I have respect for the school and always will have. When I see a paper on the floor, I pick it up. I recycle every Friday – I bring a bag or two – not a lot but it makes a difference!’  Casey Coetzee 3 

‘I should be chosen because I am up for anything and I am a people person. I would do anything for my school.’  Zara Abrahams 4

‘I am also respectful because if they are talking, I will be kind and listen to them. They might have something important to say.’  Chandre Mentoor 4

‘I am not shy and I would like to show them this school because it has been the best school of my life.’  Janus Taylor 4
‘I am very proud of my school. We have beautiful buildings and our teachers are talented. Our school is organized very differently from other schools. I would like to show the principals the relationship between the teachers and the pupils – we appreciate the input our teachers have in our learning. I’d like to show the principals our wonderful teachers and principal - we have the best principal because she cares for us, is very helpful and also plays sport.’  Danesha Daniels 5

‘I’m confident, love to speak to visitors and I’m good at answering questions. I would like to show them how wonderful our school is without actually boasting about it.’  Sethu Xamlashe 5

‘I would love to show how wonderfully grateful I am to be in such a wonderful school, and some children don’t realize that. I would give anything (except the teddy I sleep with at night) to become an ambassador for the school.’  Shana Paulus 5
‘I like people, children and babies but I really like principals – they help you with anything.’ Yumnah Toefy 5

‘I want people to see how we look after our school and how we respect each other’s religions. I want everyone to see our proud history. I also want people to see how wonderfully our principal runs the school and how funny she is.’  Nikita Dawood 5

‘I would like to show how honoured I am to be part of this school, and how privileged we are to have most things. Our school is also very talented with our art and technology creations. The nicest thing though is what wonderful teachers, pupils and peers we have; people who respect each other and make them feel at home.’  Ruvimbo Tasara 5

‘I want to show what a great school we are – how kind and talented our school is, how respectful we are to older people, and I want to show how responsible we all are.’  Kelly Emtoch 5

‘I have always wished that one of these days I would become a principal. To be a principal is a very tough job but you have to live with it.’  Ivanah Meyers 5

‘PNPS is a unique school, a school that accepts people for who they are.’  Michaela Flanders 5
‘This school means a lot to me and everybody feels like family. I just love to meet new people.’ Caylin du Toit 6

‘I would love to show the principals around our beautiful school – I want to show them our eager children who want to learn, our excellent staff and hardworking cleaning staff, and of course our PNPS trademark – the ducks!’   Adrian Endley 6

‘I would like to be one of the 60 students because I believe I would do it well – I am a very enthusiastic person who would love to answer questions that principals might have.’  Micaela Wanamaker 7

‘I feel that I bring out the best in PNPS! I’d be proud to show the principals around because we show the true meaning of what a school should be!’  
Kailin Smith 7

‘I am a well spoken person, speak with confidence and one day want to be a public speaker and this would be a good start for me.’  Tyla Sissing 7

‘I would be perfect for the job because I know a lot about the school and have lots of positive stories to tell and feedback to give.’  Courteney Alberts 7

‘I feel I can bring out all the best at PNPS. I can be courteous and represent the noble core of our amazing institution. This is all I can give – absolute perfection!’  Andrew van Wijk 7

Saturday, 14 August 2010

African Convention of Principals: Maseru, August 2010

On reflecting on 2010, I realize again that I have been privileged to attend amazing conferences this year.

The most personally fulfilling was the one I attended in Maseru. The African Convention of Principals was held in Maseru in August, and was attended by principals from Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa.

Although academic for four days, the Wednesday in the middle was an opportunity for principals to share a day out together, visiting places of interest around Lesotho. Principals went to Katse and Mohale dams from the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, some went to Thaba Bosiu, the historical place of birth of the Basotho, Kome Caves, and I went to Semonkong and the Maletsunyane Falls, the highest falls in southern Africa.

What a long journey and a wonderful personal experience! We travelled for four and a half hours in a full sixty seater bus, alighted in a rural village and blindly made our way into the mountains on foot for an hour of fast walking to find the falls. The return journey was slightly faster and after leaving in the very early morning, we returned to Maseru in the dark.

The personal connections between very different people were initiated. Principals from foreign African countries ended up sitting next to each other for hours on end, or ended up walking with someone who, in real life, they would never have met. I walked through rural Lesotho, a lone white woman, deep in conversation with two Basotho principals and surrounded by Basotho people young and old, all who greeted me in Sesotho, as a fellow human being. I was unaware of my difference until a young child stopped, stared and burst out laughing. Only then did I realize that, yes, I had a white skin, and that the child probably had never seen someone like me!

I returned to Maseru, and then to Cape Town, humbled by my experience, and with the thought, again, that our Pinelands North pupils are so privileged to be at a school like ours, in South Africa in 2010. Walk through our doors – you will love what you see and feel!