EXECUTIVE HEAD, IVANKA ACQUISTO, REFLECTS ON 2019
In his poem, “In praise of the shades”, South African poet, Chris Zithulele Mann, wrote the following:
‘When all I ever hear about these days
is violence, injustice, and despair,
or worse than that, humourless theories
to rescue us from our human plight,
those moments in a bakkie on a plain
Make sunflowers from a waterless world.
Whatever our influence is, ‘let us make sunflowers from a waterless world’
Some sunflowers that St Andrew’s made at the start of 2019 included publications of our Strategic Envisioning for our community.
Our six visions statements:
Whole Girl Development
Innovation in Learning and Teaching
Diversity, Inclusion and Cohesiveness
Embracing our Role in Local and Global Communities.
The vision of focus in 2019 has been sustainability. As a school, we are so aware of the downward turn of our economy and the social cry against gender-based violence, xenophobia and its consequences.
We are also aware of our privilege and of doing something good with it. There is an even deeper call to ‘give back’ or ‘pay it forward’, particularly in education. We want to be that school that inspires hope.
The good news is that uBambiswano, our Saturday School programme, is celebrating its 30th birthday in 2020. We are looking forward to celebrating and supporting this wonderful achievement. uBambiswano ‘makes sunflowers from a waterless world’.
St Andrew’s has embarked on the construction of the amazing STEAM Centre, which will be completed in the second term of 2020. As we know, girls are significantly underrepresented in the fields of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). Our new STEAM Centre will give them a platform to develop these skills and to learn about the array of relevant study pathways available to them; thereby uplifting women and creating gender equality in the STEAM fields. Our STEAM Centre is an educational facility which demonstrates our desire to further efforts to stay green. This project will utilize solar panels, natural ventilation and light to generate solar power and water harvesting on the rooftop garden.
The graduates of the future will need to be able to reframe problems and imagine new possibilities in an ever-changing world and become active members of the workforce, participating in, and shaping, the conversation around innovation. The concept of STEAM provides an integrated approach to education that will help girls develop the critical thinking skills, creativity and transdisciplinary knowledge that they need to face contemporary societal problems. Our STEAM Centre is a symbol of hope in the future and is another way of making sunflowers from a waterless world.
Our alumni prove that girls in an all-girls’ environment, like that of St Andrew’s, can be an incredible resource for good in the world. Many Old Girls are thriving in the STEAM fields, of which we are very proud. They, too, make sunflowers from a waterless world.
I applaud the incredible staff from the preschool, junior school, senior school and uBambiswano, and all their support staff. They work exceptionally hard, in the foreground and background to make this happen and to make our girls the best version of themselves. They make sunflowers from a waterless world, too.
Thank you to our parents, the Board and Trust for their loyalty and dedication for the good of St Andrew’s. We thank God for blessing and protecting our girls through their school years into the future.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR LEADERS
Joining St Andrew’s School for Girls has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Soon after arriving at St Andrew’s, it became my ‘home away from home’ – something for which I will be forever grateful. Our teachers and girls provide a sense of belonging; and I have felt honoured to be part of the St Andrew’s community in which you are motivated to achieve your very best, I do feel that St Andrew’s has truly equipped me to be ‘Skilled for Life’, by empowering me with the knowledge and tools to succeed after school. What I will treasure the most, however, are the memories and friendships which I have made, which will last long after I leave the safe haven of this campus.
Deputy Head Girl
Throughout my St Andrew’s school career, I have learnt so much; not just academically, but also socially and personally. St Andrews has become like a second home because of the warm environment and the sense of community that exists within these grounds. The multiple opportunities and facilities provided by the school helps to ensure that every girl is indeed ‘Skilled for Life’.
I can most definitely say I am not the same person who walked into St Andrew’s School for Girls for the first time. Through my senior school journey at St Andrew’s, I have grown, developed and changed immensely. The wholesome environment, opportunities, challenges, incredible staff and my friends have moulded me into the person I am today; and for that I am truly grateful. My favourite part about St Andrew’s, and I know I will miss it deeply, is the sisterhood amongst the girls and the sense of community. I will always appreciate the beautiful school grounds, buildings and the people within it who make it a ‘home away from home’. I am so privileged to be a part of this amazing school.