From the head’s desk: 24 May 2019

This week saw the culmination of our IQAA evaluation, which presented us with the opportunity to assess how our school is doing. The effectiveness of such an evaluation is that it is not a comparative exercise but rather requires an internal assessment and contemplation of whether or not we are meeting our own standards and expectations.

The broad expectations of our community is that this place of learning and this place of women will use its resources to provide an education that will best serve each girl as she chooses her field of interest, study and her future work; an education that will provide awareness, develop self-confidence and empower her for her chosen future.

More than this, we have an expectation that our girls will succeed in a society where everything is subject to comparison: a standard that we strive to uphold, nevertheless, balanced by the desire to find a best self. Over the past fortnight I have watched the St Mary’s girls participate in classroom activities, at sporting fixtures, perform on stage and support one another at these activities. I have also hosted Old Girls from across the generations at functions in the Cape. Observing all these individuals, I was struck by how different and yet how similar St Mary’s girls are. Individual success is one of the common aspects but, where St Mary’s girls really make an impression, is in character. Aristotle linked excellence to character, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” and includes the positive mark that one leaves on other people. My impression is that St Mary’s girls honour, respect those around them, and place great value on growing in character, which is an endeavour in excellence. As the significant adults in the lives of the St Mary’s girls, our responsibility as parents and teachers is to guide our girls on their paths to developing in character.

The Statement on the Educational Philosophy of St Mary’s, reminds us:
“Our reason for being is that when girls leave St Mary’s, - They will seek opportunities to fulfil their God-given potential”.

Deanne King
Head of school