Featured image: Durban Girls’ College
Schools have had to adapt to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they’ve done an amazing job! We find out more about some of our schools on the East Coast and look at what the new year holds for them.
Established in 1924, Clifton is an independent boys’ school in Durban from Grade R to Grade 12. Clifton provides an educational environment that is designed to facilitate forward-thinking learning and assist in developing young men of character who share an uncompromising belief in the power of family values, thrive on competition, delight in discovery, exercise compassion, and are courageous in their choices.
Clifton believes in nurturing boys with the care and attention they need to write their own story. Each grade and each of the milestones at Clifton intentionally contribute to the building of young men of significance. Clifton strives to give boys the education they deserve as they develop into successful young gentlemen, ready to face adulthood with pride and confidence.
As the only independent boys’ school in Durban, Clifton offers a full co-curricular programme including Sport and The Arts. Growing out of a need to constantly provide exceptional learning spaces, their new Prep and College technology centres are currently nearing completion. With dedicated podcast rooms, green screens, camera equipment and computer labs, technology through the curriculum is fully utilised by the staff and the boys.
In addition to the on-campus sporting facilities including an Aquatics Centre, High Performance Centre, junior swimming pool, floodlit sports field and basketball courts, the boys make use of Riverside Sports for hockey, rugby, cricket, soccer, tennis, and basketball. Squash is played at Durban Country Club and their golfers make use of local courses. Canoeists train at the Duzi River and surfers and lifesavers use our beautiful Durban beaches. Having their own buses, Clifton conveniently offers transport to and from all external activities and the school runs a morning and afternoon bus service covering Hillcrest, Westville, Pinetown, Umhlanga, Mount Edgecombe, Virginia and Ballito.
Due to COVID-19, many events had to be cancelled in 2020, but because of the school’s IT infrastructure, learning continued via online classes, live-streamed events and recorded lessons. The Cultural D@ze week, Founders’ Day Assembly, Live in Lockdown panel interviews, and more took place online. Instead of the annual Grade 7 play, the staff and boys produced an excellent movie titled “What the World Needs Now”, which was such a success that they may do another this year!
Technology has been essential in keeping the teachers, learners and parents connected and this continues in 2021. The annual Clifton Water Polo Tournament, that attracts the top teams from South Africa, had to be cancelled in 2020, but it is anticipated that the tournament will be bigger and better this year to make up for it!
031 312 2147
Durban Girls’ College
Durban Girls’ College was founded in 1877 as the ‘Durban Young Ladies’ Collegiate Institution’. In 1905, DGC moved to Musgrave Road, its present site, located on the Berea with spectacular views of Durban. The beautiful original school building is a monument to the spirit of excellence upon which the school was established. Over time, the spacious campus has been extended and developed and the present pupils enjoy world-class academic, sporting and cultural facilities.
Durban Girls’ College is an independent Christian school that inspires girls to realise their potential through a unique educational journey built on tradition, innovation, diversity and excellence, aimed at enriching our world. We believe that education should be relevant – extending beyond the pursuit of academic excellence to instil in each girl the values of commitment, confidence, courage, integrity and empathy.
DGC has embraced change by adapting the school day to adhere to COVID-19 protocols. Throughout 2020, we focused on developing the overall well-being of our girls and are proud of the way they have gracefully adapted to the “new normal” with compassion and maturity.
Technology has always been an integral part of everyday learning where understanding, knowledge and skills are key. When the lockdown commenced in March 2020, the transition to online communications and learning was fast and seamless, with our girls showing admirable self-regulation and our teachers, immense dedication.
During this challenging and uncertain time, we have all learnt to be more resilient, adaptable and independent. The increased use of online learning and online communication has become the silver lining of the pandemic and equipped all of us with new skills appropriate for the Fourth Industrial Revolution world we face. We bring these new skills into 2021!
Our girls are also able to spend more time outdoors enjoying the beautiful Durban weather. Outdoor lessons using iPads and Wi-Fi are interactive and sociable even with physical distancing. The daily outdoor activities have become a favourite part of each day, helping our girls to relax, enjoy the sun and fresh air, and learn many new skills.
While COVID-19 regulations prevent us from holding our usual open day events, we invite you to come and meet us for a more personal tour of the school. Visit our campus, not only to see our world-class facilities, but to experience the school spirit that makes Durban Girls’ College such an exceptional school.
We encourage our girls to take their stance as independent and courageous women of our society. We teach for life – not for the classroom.
A girl’s educational journey into womanhood starts with us.
031 268 7200
St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls, Kloof
As the whole world found themselves in the midst of a pandemic last year, schools needed to be agile, flexible and adaptive. St Mary’s DSG, Kloof committed to continue providing excellence in our teaching and learning programmes through our online teaching from Grade R to matric.
Being a Google school and having a specialised app that we already used in Junior Primary, we were technologically prepared and our teachers embraced the online programme with compassion and professionalism, allowing us to deliver our curriculum and not miss a school day during the lockdown in 2020.
So, when the government asked schools to delay the start of physical school this year, we were able to accede to that request and do our part in the fight against the second COVID-19 wave. Our teachers were able to step up and deliver the first lessons of term one 2021! With the use of technology like Purple Mash, Mathletics, Quizzes, Oxford Owl, Explain Everything, Kahoot and Epic Online Library to enrich the educational programme in Primary School and then Google Classroom and Meet amongst others in High School, we were able to pivot into the online space very quickly.
We are delighted that our girls have been able to return to campus, enjoy face-to-face lessons and see their teachers and friends (whilst adhering to COVID-19 protocols). What is evident from 2020 is that schools need to invest more in mental health services and in lifestyle activities, to address the authentic needs of children, where stress and uncertainty are higher than they have been in decades. Our programme at St Mary’s has time dedicated to cultural literacy and understanding diverse perspectives. Schools which embrace these will be producing the game-changing leaders in business and society in time to come.
*All photographs taken pre-COVID-19.
031 764 9800
St John’s D.S.G.
St John’s D.S.G. is an independent, medium-sized Anglican school situated in Pietermaritzburg. From Grade RR to Grade 12, it offers a liberal education on the foundation of a strong Christian ethos. It provides a caring and value-based educational environment for boarders and day scholars.
Being smaller than our competitor schools, we are a close-knit community, which allows our girls to feel a real sense of comfort and belonging.
We have a big heart. We cherish individuality. Each girl is special in her own, unique way. We have just completed a 14-month build and it’s looking fabulous! It will provide us with 12 classrooms, a lecture theatre, a fabulous resource centre, a team-teaching venue (which will be able to accommodate a full grade), staff offices, a meeting room, and a beautiful reception area. We will also be the first school in the country to have human-centric (or circadian smart) lighting. Human-centric lighting is said to benefit the biological and emotional health and well-being of people. This is achieved by dimming the LED light source to mimic the levels of sunlight throughout the day. Higher motivation, increased productivity and an improved sense of well-being are some of the documented effects of human-centric lighting that our students and teachers will be able to enjoy. Bring on 2021!
77 New England Road, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg
033 392 8090