Message from the head of school - 6 July 2018

Before half-term, I travelled to Accra, Ghana, to visit St Mary’s Senior High School to develop our exchange programme further with them and to meet up with four St Mary’s girls who had spent a fortnight at the school. St Mary’s Senior High School is a Catholic school for girls, established in 1950. It is a well-run school with a welcoming atmosphere and the clear purpose to educate women for a changing world. Although the school has limited resources, I was impressed by the professionalism and energy of the teachers.

Ghanaian hospitality is warm and generous and the school treated us to a trip down the coast to visit the rainforest and one of the historic castles, which is a Unesco World Heritage Site. I had time to observe our girls as they navigated the delights and challenges of travelling. They showed a deep interest in and respect for the history and the culture of Ghana. One of the girls had a keen photographer’s eye. I was aware that their classmates were back in South Africa writing mid-year examinations but I was never in doubt that the learning and experience of the exchange was significant and valuable. Not only was it an opportunity to find the best within themselves, but also to value and respect a different culture and perspective. Ultimately, it was an experience that will equip the girls for their future studies and work, more effectively than any examination scores.

Activities beyond the classroom offer opportunities for self-discovery, for encounters that help to breakdown stereotypes, for developing deep and mutual connections and for balanced learning which includes mental, physical, social and spiritual development.

In Benjamin Franklin’s words: “Tell me and I forget; teach me and I may remember; involve me and I learn.”

Deanne King

Head of School

Navigating the swing bridge in Ghana with Ms King and Miss Mason