Is your daughter Making a Difference? As a 21st Century St Anne’s Old Girl she will… The staff at St Anne’s Diocesan College are collectively intent on…
Preparing girls to make a significant, positive difference to 21st century society, particularly in South Africa
Developing the girl’s innate abilities in order that their impact on society can be maximised
Reinforcing Christian principles that underpin our transformation initiatives
Relevance, Critical thought, Technology driven, Emotional Intelligence
Good education is principally about becoming a particular sort of person rather than simply acquiring a set of ‘skills’. While preparation of our girls for optimal performance in their National Senior Certificate Examinations is a primary focus, our girls will only thrive in tertiary education & the workplace if good marks are underpinned by genuine qualities of rational, humane and critical thought supported by a capacity for clear, persuasive expression. Thus we continually assess the relevance of the curriculum, as well as the manner in which we present it.
A chief consideration will be the enormous opportunities and challenges presented by Information Technology. We need to incorporate appropriate technology to ensure that our Old Girls are enabled to compete, connect and co-operate with their peers around the world. It is also vital that our girls are emotionally intelligent to deal with this technology-saturated world and that they are media-literate in order to navigate the message-filled 21st century.
Pupils & Staff represent diverse society
Old Girls’ influence on a diverse society will be maximised if they themselves represent this diversity in terms of race, personal skills and economic status.St Anne’s is committed to increasing the diversity of its pupil body, cognisant that this commitment has many implications. Increased diversity in terms of economic status requires an increase in bursary funds.
A diverse staff in terms of age, race, gender and areas of expertise will most optimally facilitate the preparation of a diverse pupil body. St Anne’s is intent on creating a teaching environment that is attractive to staff representative of this diversity.
Educate, Awareness, Personal Responsibility
“Global surface temperatures rising, glaciers melting, oceans warming, sea levels rising, rain forests burning, coral reefs dying, old-growth forests disappearing, deserts spreading, the world’s population increasing, and species vanishing at the highest rates since the extinction of the dinosaurs ……” are characteristics of the world in which our current pupils find themselves. Our girls must not graduate from St Anne’s and continue to contribute to this deterioration of our environment. We need to prepare them to be responsible environmental citizens.
Apart from the benefits of environmental education for the environment and its inhabitants, there is also increasing evidence of the link between environment and learning. “The more studies are published, the more they agree: exposure to nature raises test scores; increases creativity, co-operation, and self-confidence; reduces stress; and enhances cognitive abilities.” We need to ensure that our buildings and campus best facilitate a 21st Century appropriate education, and that all future development of our campus honours our commitment to exemplary environmental practices.
We are currently in a race against time with regards to preserving our planet. We cannot afford to lose this race and thus need to equip our Old Girls to be “environmental winners”.
Self-belief, Positive Collaboration, Respect
The chances of our Old Girls significantly impacting on society are minimised if they underestimate their value as females. Doctor Ailsa Stewart Smith summarised the challenges facing women in the workplace into two categories: those involving men and those involving women. She referred to these categories as the “glass ceiling” and the “stiletto ceiling”.
With regards to the first challenge, we have to prepare our girls to approach the workplace with a strong self-belief rather than a sense of entitlement, brave in the knowledge that what they have to offer is crucial to a balanced work environment. We need to ensure that our College’s norms and traditions do not reinforce subservience to males in any way.
In addressing the “stiletto ceiling”, Dr Smith likened a stiletto to a “weapon of miss-destruction”. Our education of our girls needs to continue to encourage positive collaboration and general respect for the leadership skills of other females.
Christian ethos, Synonymous with St Anne’s,
Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.” (Matthew 25, v 40; Holy Bible: New International Version).
As a Christian school, we have an imperative to demonstrate God’s presence.
Social Responsibility initiatives are thus relevant not only because they benefit the recipients of our programmes and have educational value for our girls, but also because they are a response to Jesus’ imperative.
St Anne’s needs to transform to the point where “social responsibility” is seen as synonymous with being a member of the St Anne’s community; an integral “part of” our fabric. It is our intention that a St Anne’s girl, who has been socially responsible while at school, will be well-equipped to make a difference in society as an Old Girl.
To better prepare our girls to impact positively on 21st century society.
“The question is not ‘Can you make a difference?’. You already do make a difference. It’s just a matter of what kind of a difference you want to make during your life on this planet.”Julia “Butterfly” Hill, Environmental Activist