2018. June. Second term nearly half way through, and it feels like the end of the year is almost upon us! I hope that you have settled well into the school routine and enjoying all those winter clothes that have been in the back of the cupboard for the last few months!
It was a great encouragement for me to see the increased level of parent involvement with various events during last term, and the uptake of our new Heritage parent / supporter shirts, initiated by the Parent Involvement Committee, reflected this. I’ve said before, and will keep saying, that it is vital that parents are as involved and supportive of their children’s education as possible.
For one, it’s good to know what they’re up to and who they’re up to it with; for other reasons, it’s really encouraging for our children to see their parents in the stands, cheering them on, and it improves the quality and fulfilment of the school experience when we spend more time with other families at school events.
I believe we all want an engaging, enjoyable and beneficial school community experience … only if we are present and engaged can we enjoy the benefit of a great learning journey!
During the second term there are many opportunities to give your support:
- come and watch the sports matches on Friday afternoon or over the weekend (and enjoy some braaied burgers prepared by our students or bring your own food to cook up!)
- join in the Half Marathon and Fun Run (yes, it’s bigger and better this year!)
- visit the Art Exhibition (see what is coming out of the Infant, Junior and Senior Art rooms)
- or even lend your assistance to one of our extra-curricular clubs if you have something to contribute in any of those arenas!
I read a commentary recently in which the author spoke about Purpose, Connection and Mastery. In the context of schooling, we can ask the questions:
PURPOSE – Why am I here?
CONNECTION – Who am I here with?
MASTERY – What am I able to achieve, and How do am I able to do it with excellence?
High school years are not a time to wait for life to get started after you’ve got some good exam results in a few years’ time … there is a lot more to be enjoyed and achieved during high school years than just passing exams (PURPOSE). Many of our attitudes, habits, opportunities and goals are developed and set (MASTERY) during the high school years, so it is important that students are given the opportunities to grow and explore. They need to be encouraged (CONNECTION) to pursue dreams and ideas that will give them direction, tools and motivation for when they move out of the shelter of childhood and into independent adulthood.
This happens within and outside school activities, and the support of parents and the school work hand in hand to provide for a successful education: well-rounded, competent young men and women who understand their place in the world, believe they can make a positive impact within their societies, and who have the motivation and vision to rise to the challenges that lie ahead of them.
Second term brings with it the mid-year examinations … a favourite for everyone! Students have been informed and directed already that our exams are being written a bit earlier in the term than they have been in the past, during the fortnight before half term.
The earlier examination schedule puts us more in line with other schools that we compete with on the sports and extra-curricular fields and also gives everyone a good opportunity to rest during the half term break … we then have a full half term to recover from the exams and ensure good progress and preparation for the end of year examinations.
Our sport programmes are continuing to see very positive outcomes for our students, not just with results, but also the impact in students’ lives: the rigours of team commitment, practice and exercise routines, time management, having to balance their priorities, are all very valuable life skills that contribute to success in all areas of life, school and work.
(KAZA is a contraction of Kavango-Zambesi, being the region covered by a multi-country conservation area that is jointly managed by Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia)
In basketball, we have seen six of our young ladies selected for the Harare Provincial squad, on the back of a very successful tournament played at St John’s High in Emerald Hill on 26 May … a big well done to the students and coaching team!
Our golfers have continued to work hard and reap the rewards of doing so. The team took part in the KAZA Schools’ Golf Tournament during the April break, finishing in first position over schools representing Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia.
Our tennis players have also been faring well, with Beverly Matsekwa winning in doubles at both the Bulawayo and Harare Junior Championships, while Kimberley and Tanyaradzwa Kaome have been travelling out the country to compete for ITF (International Tennis Federation) ranking … well done to Tanya for receiving her first ITF ranking points!
In rugby, our head of sport (Mr Gordon Pangeti) and his team, together with a number of national selection coaches, hosted the Zimbabwe U14 selections on Friday and Saturday 25-26 May: thank you also to Mrs Jiri and the staff at Acacia House for providing the accommodation and catering for the event (housing and feeding 120 boys from around the country for two days is no minor feat!)
Our Interact Club is continuing work towards building a classroom block at Tichakunda and running various events to raise funds and awareness for community initiatives they are involved with. They have made strides in improving links with other Interact clubs within Harare and I am encouraged by the vision and commitment the committee have shown so far.
Our debate teams are preparing to travel to Tanzania again to defend their Mwalimu Nyerere Invitational trophy, and were recently successful winning the St Ignatius Debate Tournament, which our team also won last year. It is rewarding to see the team growing in confidence and competence under the management of Mrs Wachenyuka and her team, including our external debate coach.
On a lighter note, Thursday 25 May was celebrated with a variety of music, food and clothing to showcase some of the countries represented by our diverse student body … and they were not outdone by the teachers’ organisation of a traditional lunch after the business of the day had been completed! There are few better ways to down tools and relax than over a shared meal.
As always, please keep in touch with your teachers and come into the office to see me if there are any queries you have or if you have any suggestions for working towards keeping our school improving.
Mr. S. Allott
Senior Department Headmaster