When asked about the character of SAHETI, I often use the words ‘family’ and ‘community’ to describe who we are. These words speak to our character more than our impressive list of achievements, of which there are many. Families are places where individuals may be nurtured and where the uniqueness of the individual may be celebrated. Families are also places of growth as we learn from each other’s successes and failures in a climate of respect, trust and love. Providing a holistic education is not simply about results, but about the character and values that we, as a school, aspire to develop within our students.
I believe that role models of ethical leadership are sorely lacking in our society presently. No doubt, Generation Z will be called upon to ‘fix’ this leadership vacuum. I trust that our students all have a sense of solidarity within the community as they explore our school motto of ‘know thyself’. It is out of this ‘knowing’ that we, as individuals, begin to understand fully the needs of others, and our co-existence with other human beings. I strongly believe that our Greek ethos is what grounds us and draws us together around common values and traditions. This year, we have given greater attention to our educational programme around values.
Additionally, we have also re-evaluated our disciplinary structures, to ensure that consequences for defaulters are just, fair, and for the betterment of the entire SAHETI family. It is in the space of community that we educate citizens of the world who are ‘competitive globally in their ability to think critically, independently and creatively’.
I take this opportunity to thank all of the teachers and the auxiliary, and admin staff for ensuring the success of SAHETI. I am privileged to work with colleagues who are professional and who are willing to go beyond the call of duty. 2017 has been a good year all round.
On an academic level, our Grade 10 Study and Assessment Module (SAM) project has proved to be very meaningful and noteworthy in terms of developing 21st century skills. The Primary School has also focused on cross-curricular work through the project “Education Beyond the Classroom”. It is essential that we maintain our focus on international trends in education and are willing to try out new ideas and innovations.
Michael Chui, a partner at the McKinsey Global Institute, has this to say: ‘I don't think there's any way we can accurately say what skills and competencies students will need 15 years from now; that's why it's incumbent that we prepare young people for a world of constant uncertainty.’ Through our holistic programme and by creating an environment of belonging, I know that SAHETI is preparing our students for way more than just the basics.
The University of Pretoria awarded SAHETI a Certificate of Excellence in Mathematics for being ranked among the top 30 performing schools nationally in the 2016 matric exams. I look forward to the Class of 2017 similarly achieving top results in their final exams. They have shown some strong leadership and have displayed a commendable work ethic. I know that they will make us proud as they end one part of their journey in the expectation of a new one .