"Our schools are made up of Generation Z students, a whole new breed of young people. Smarter than previous generations and equipped with more knowledge and skills to utilize one of the most significant tools of our time, the Internet ,Generation Alpha, children born in 2010 along with ipads, iphones and apps have started school and will be entering universities and colleges by 2030. Social researchers claim that babies born into Generation Alpha will be the most formally educated generation in history and truly the millennial generation. Born and shaped fully in the 21st Century, they will be the first generation that in record numbers will see in the 22nd Century whilst being significant catalysts for change along the way. It is therefore imperative to ask ourselves some urgent questions.
These questions are a challenge to all of us in education but particularly so to us in South Africa are in the midst of a social revolution. #Fees must fall and its aftermath has forced us to revisit long held assumptions. If South Africa is no longer to be one of the most unequal societies in the world, we must be ready to confront change and to make costly compromises for the sake of a new and better society.
During 2016, despite our relatively high fees, increasing numbers of parents have seen value (like Woolworths) in our offering. Every day, every teacher and employee at Mitchell House aims to add value to what we do here. The confidence that our parent community has in us is testified to by the number of applications we have had to enter the school. For this reason we have taken the decision to increase the number of classes in Grade 0 and Grade 1 from 2 to 3 to ensure manageable class sizes. As this expansion is rolled out through the subsequent grades we feel that we will create a stronger school community and provide a much-needed boost to our society at large. We have embarked upon thoughtful initiatives like the introduction of e-textbooks, more flexible classroom spaces and a review of our homework policies. Having introduced Sepedi at JP and College levels, we have recently appointed a teacher for the IP. We will are offering History as an elective subject in the College for the first time and that will give our children a further opportunity to follow their passion. 2016 saw the completion of four new classrooms in the IP that has allowed us to be more sophisticated about how we do Science and Music and to return the IP to the IP Block.
On the cultural side, we have continued to have three choirs and some 55 choristers attended a three-day residential workshop in partnership with the Drakensberg Boy's Choir. We always produce a play at one of the Phase levels and for the first time we were able to witness our Grade 12's practical movement studies.
We have never played better sport at Mitchell House with some 26 children gaining their Provincial Colours across all the sports codes. We even produced a South African High Jump winner in Davon Smit, a first for us. Boy's hockey was introduced in the Prep and was taken up with enthusiasm. Our festivals at every level have been the envy of other Sports Departments who acknowledge that we lead in this sort of organization.
Developing partnership with those around us has seen us provide advice to the Future Comprehensive School, to Siloe School for the Blind and to some 50 teachers sponsored by African Bank to develop reading resources. We are regularly visited by state and other schools to discover the systems that we have in place to ensure that we produce the best we can. We have provided a Spring Mathematics and Science residential camp for rural schools from Anglo-American mining communities. This has led to 9 children being provided with full boarding scholarships to attend Mitchell House for their full secondary education
Congratulations to the Matrics of 2016 with 100% pass rate! Tamron Saais and Khanyisa Baloyi each earned 6 distinctions and the group earned 39 distinctions overall. 21 of 23 learners earned a Bachelor's Degree Pass. Tamron was in the top 1% of nationwide learners in Afrikaans and Life Orientation and Tshego Rampedi was in the top 1% of learners in Business Studies.
Without a competent and visionary Management team and Board of Governors these significant and bold initiatives would not have been possible. We are determined to maintain the quality of our teaching staff, without question the most important single element in the success of any school. We have really felt, as our Mission statement has it, that with the help of Almighty God we have been able to make tremendous progress during 2016 and look forward to another great success in 2017.
Pam du Bruyn
Uniformshop and Boarding House Matron
Intermidate Phase Administrator