The core focus of the Creating Schools Programme is sustainability, not only in terms of the environment, but also in terms of the long-term success of the school. A good relationship between the teachers and the administrators of the programme is one way of ensuring that the plans put in place are maintained over the years. To this end Sibongile Jafta, the outgoing headmistress at Seven Fountains Primary School, recently submitted the following report on the school’s progress over the past year:
Annual National Assessment Results (ANA):
The ANA percentages increased from 33% in 2012 to around 60% in 2013 (we haven’t yet received the official results from the Department of Education, but this is an informed estimate). We must commend the hard work of the teachers in 2013, who held weekend classes for learners, and in some cases, even bought food for the learners as a way of encouraging them to come to school on weekends.
Health Promoting Schools:
In April last year the school was awarded the status of a ‘health-promoting school’. Internationally the health-promoting schools movement aims to improve the health of children, adolescents, and the wider school community. In South Africa the movement is also seen as a mechanism to address the historical inequalities amongst children. The assessment, carried out by the Department of Health in collaboration with the Department of Education, looked at the school’s policies and governance, as well as the school environment and community involvement.
The Grade R teacher, who was not qualified, obtained a Grade R teacher qualification, and a Teacher’s Diploma, and is currently studying towards an Advanced Certificate in Education. She has since left Grade R, and is now teaching Grade 4. This teacher has really made us proud! She joined Seven Fountains as a cleaner earning R150 a month, and was then asked to cook for the children and was paid R300. As a teacher in Grade R she earned a salary of R1500. She has worked her way up from the lowest rank in the school to where she is now.
The School Excellence Awards is a locally run annual competition for teachers. Out of the nine teachers that we entered into the competition last year, six won awards. We are hoping to enter the school into the competition this year, for the title of Best Managed School.
We have recently employed someone to work full time in the garden, and are selling some of the vegetables that we produce. We haven’t managed to win in the local schools garden competitions yet, but we are working towards that!
The Creating Schools Programme would like to say a big thank you to Sibongile Jafta for her hard work and dedication to the Seven Fountains Primary School over the past few years. It’s been a wonderful journey and we wish her all the success for the future!
Photo courtesy of gkm-ga.blogspot.co.nz