The summer term at St Mary’s is filled with sport, oratory activities and preparation for the school play. Basketball, diving, equestrian, rowing, squash, swimming, tennis and water polo make up the sport offering. Public speaking, debating, music and the school play are bolstered with smaller cultural events, including, Writer’s Circle, sewing, photography, philosophy, Cropping Board and the English Olympiad.
I felt proud watching the St Mary’s girls and coaches at the South African Schools’ Rowing Championships last weekend. The St Mary’s girls are committed, disciplined and they work together not only on the water but while looking after the boats. Their achievements are worthy of celebration but so, too, are their routines.
Schools have a distinct advantage as far as building character through the co-curricular programme. Cultural activities offer a safe space to develop and grow in creativity, confi dence and self-expression and sport offers valuable and lasting life-lessons. Service activities are a space to develop altruism and compassion.
There is a sense of community that builds around supporting these activities and a belief that they contribute towards better health, fulfi lment and stability for our young people. It is often in these activities outside of the classroom where our children build resilience and capacity for life.
This is why we encourage these activities and why the girls participate so widely.
Head of School