Academy of Excellence Independent School in Bloemfontein was buzzing with the promise of potential this week at the reopening of schools on Wednesday. While the year is a new start for all the learners at the school, it is particularly eventful for grade one learners as this will be their first time entering the school system, while for grade 12 learners, the year is their last year before they pursue further opportunities for study or seek employment.
The school’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Hansie Engelbrecht, who was at the shoot gate welcoming parents and learners alike, often even directing them to the right classes, said he is excited about the prospects 2017 holds. Key areas of focus for the year include ensuring that a learning culture is adopted and promoted among the learners of the school across all grades and not only with the matrics. He said support in the form of extra classes will be provided for learners who have problems understanding or learning certain subjects and these will be available for all subjects in the afternoons and evenings at the school.
One parent, Bianca Fredericks, a mother to two boys, who took her son, Kaileb, to the class as he was beginning grade R, said: “I am very excited and nervous at the same time. The school he was in before this one was a small school and this one, in comparison, is a big school, so it’s a new adventure for me and for him.”
Another parent, Motale Maqabe, whose seven-year-old daughter was starting grade 2 and who was also starting school in Bloemfontein for the first time as she was in Winburg previously, said he was excited about the new year and hoped that his daughter would be able to cope with changing from one school environment to another. He also thanked the school for their efficiency as well as accepting his daughter and said he is looking forward to his daughter’s education at the school.
One of the teachers at the school, Pattie Hartzenberg, said being a mother herself, she finds that she has a lot of moments where she’s emotional about the difficulties faced by learners who have to make the transition from being at home to coming to school for the first time. She added that she is excited at the start of the new year because as a teacher, she is vested with the responsibility to “be able to inspire and change children’s lives”.
Hartzenberg also added that she uses her experience as a mom to young kids to show the grade R and grade one learners what an exciting environment school can be. The school’s head boy, Thabo Molibola, who is in matric, said: “I’m actually happy about everything. I want to help the learners with their education and as a Christian, I want to use the platform to teach them about Jesus Christ and His teachings, how to be nice to each other and also be respectful to the teachers and their parents as well. So I’m looking forward to the year.” – Pulane Choane