From the principal’s desk

A privilege of being an educator is to be part of change, to direct change and to assist change. 

In 1964, Bob Dylan wrote the song The Times They Are A-Changin’:
Come gather ‘round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin

At Collegiate, the times are a-changin’, keeping the firm foundation of our values and traditions, while seeking to be a diverse space where understanding flourishes and inclusivity unites us. 

This year Collegiate celebrates its 150th birthday. Plans for extended celebrations during that year are under way as it is important that we mark such a milestone in Collegiate’s life in a fitting way.

However, with a school as old as Collegiate we must make sure that we keep moving forward and remain relevant in all that we do. Our digital technology strategy of recent years certainly proved itself visionary in 2020 when we were able to implement online teaching and learning from the start of the lockdown. Blended learning strategies, so necessary for developing lifelong learners, are now an accepted norm and the use of the MS Teams platform is a way of life for all at Collegiate. We are on our way to being an Apple-device school, with Apple TVs in all teaching venues and all Grades 8, 9 and 10 learners making use of iPads. A mix of Android and iOS continues in Grades 11 and 12.

What is important to us as educators is education for life – that our learners leave Collegiate equipped with the thinking skills, the physical skills, the heart skills and the spiritual skills to lead a meaningful life in a humane society in which all are treated with dignity. This year, apart from our academic, sporting and cultural programmes, we will continue to focus on wellness and developing the ability to face the challenges of life with an attitude of gratitude and community. We must all attend to our mental, emotional and spiritual strength, and we must all support one another in our Collegiate community.

Central to all that we do are our five values: good work ethic, responsibility, respect, compassion and integrity.

These values are key to the objective of our Comfortable in our Skins Policy, which is: “to create and maintain an integrated and harmonious learning environment in which difference is embraced and all members of the school community (learners, educators, management, parents and visitors) feel physically and emotionally safe; are protected from demeaning and disrespectful behaviour and expressions; are treated with due care and sensitivity; and are adequately counselled and equipped to communicate and thrive in a diverse and multicultural society.”

We are pleased to have the Simamele Forum up and running, through which learners are able to discuss and debate difficult and at times uncomfortable topics. This is part of the dialogue, reflection and courageous action necessary to make Collegiate a truly diverse, inclusive and transformed South African school for girls.

These five values are embodied in the five remarkable women whose images and words grace the wall in the old blue area. In these five values lies what we need to live lives of significance and success. In these values, too, lies that which we need to make Collegiate united in its diversity, inclusive of all and a place where all feel comfortable in their skins and can be courageous in the community: doing the hard work, being responsible, showing respect and compassion to others, and always acting from a place of integrity.

Facta non verba
Mrs Louise Erasmus