Where to from here?
As we reflect on our first group of young learners in Grade 1 and look towards their future– we may well ask: Where to from here? The envisioned future is what we aspire to become, what we intend to achieve, and how we plan to create a world-class preparatory school in a boutique-style environment. We will remain small, relative to some of our large neighbouring schools, but that does not mean we will not offer similar high-quality, educational programmes of excellence. The initial phase of the school’s development will be something that will require significant change and progress to attain – but we have a committed and dedicated team of professionals ready and willing to honour every boy and girl in the school setting and we will ensure that our learners are viewed as equal to their peers from any other ISASA school as we will be fully compliant with the National curriculum requirements.
As we evolve and consolidate the vision we will afford you glimpses into that future when we are able to do so and once it becomes a reality – this group of learners will be the intrepid pioneers venturing forth as the very first Class of learners of Sandhurst Preparatory College. Thank you their parents for being brave and trusting enough to place them here. You will be so glad that you did. We wish to honour these learners’ pivotal roles as founding learners by burying a time capsule later this year with drawings and views expressed by each of these founding Sandhurst children and then when they are in Matric in 2025– each one will be invited to return here to Sandhurst to unearth and open the time capsule and read their Grade 1 vision for themselves, their school and their community and see how far they have come in realizing it. They will then each be encouraged to review their life visions at that juncture and rebury their time capsules with adult visions and then revisit – exactly 20 years from our formal opening date on 15th January 2014 – i.e. 15th January 2034 to see how they have fulfilled their ambitions and dreams. We will forever remember these our first class of Grade 1’s.
Since the passing of Nelson Mandela in early December 2013 we, as a people, have had time to reflect on the life of Tata Mandela and our progress as a young evolving democracy and nation. It was with a great sense of pride mingled with sorrow that I watched as the entire world mourned Tata’s passing but at every even people also celebrated and reflected on Madiba’s very unique and special brand of magic and his amazing ability to gently influence and positively affect all those around him.
It is so important that we as parents, teachers and members of the wider society celebrate and acknowledge so many great men and women who have had an influence on the creation of our nation. South Africa is proud to have 4 Nobel Peace Prize winners: Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela. Our children need to learn about the importance of leaders in changing the world. After all they are our future leaders.
Nelson Mandela said the following: “I am what I am both as a result of people that respected me and helped me and of those who did not respect me and treated me badly”
Our school motto is Constant and Fearless – it is derived from the Hemphill family motto which was originally used in its Latin form: “Constanter ac non timide“
What does Constant mean? Unchanging, continuous, true and faithful
What does it mean to be Fearless? Fearlessness is not the absence of fear. Rather, it’s the mastery of fear.
“Courage, my compatriot” Socrates argues, is the knowledge of what is not to be feared. which is to say, there are things we should be afraid of — we want to stay alive, after all. We will never completely eliminate fear from our lives, but we can definitely get to the point where our fears do not stop us from daring to think new thoughts, try new things, take risks, fail, start again, and be happy.
Fearlessness is about getting up one more time than we fall down. The more comfortable we are with the possibility of falling down, the less worried we are of what people will think if and when we do, the less judgmental of ourselves we are every time we make a mistake, the more fearless we will be, and the easier our journey will become.
We are also guided by the principle “Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu”A person is a person through other persons.
It is a traditional African philosophy that offers us an understanding of ourselves in relation with the world. According to Ubuntu, there exists a common bond between us all and it is through this bond, through our interaction with our fellow human beings, that we discover our own human qualities. We affirm our humanity when we acknowledge that of others.”Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu” has its roots in humanist African philosophy, where the idea of community is one of the building blocks of society. The South African Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes Ubuntu as: “It is the essence of being human. It speaks of the fact that my humanity is caught up and is inextricably bound up in yours. I am human because I belong. It speaks about wholeness, it speaks about compassion.
A person with Ubuntu is welcoming, hospitable, warm and generous, willing to share. Such people are open and available to others, willing to be vulnerable, affirming of others, do not feel threatened that others are able and good, for they have a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that they belong in a greater whole. They know that they are diminished when others are humiliated, diminished when others are oppressed, diminished when others are treated as if they were less than who they are. The quality of Ubuntu gives people resilience, enabling them to survive and emerge still human despite all efforts to dehumanize them.”
In the memory of Mandela and all those who have committed their lives to a peaceful South Africa, we salute your young boys and girls who will influence the future of their own families and wider community by becoming Change Agents always honouring human rights – they will be young people who actively engage with a ‘can-do’ attitude and they will be willing to roll up their sleeves to make a positive difference in their society.
These young girls and boys here at Sandhurst Preparatory College inspire in me hope for our future. I firmly believe that here at Sandhurst Preparatory College– Tomorrow’s leaders will be nurtured and educated – while they remain constant and fearless in the face of all challenges. They can only do it with the loving support and guidance of you – their parents.