Identifying Excellence

22 September 2017 | Youth

Like human beings, schools have different characters; but also like human beings, there is an identifiable set of characteristics which raises an excellent school over and beyond good schools.

An excellent school holds consistent, high expectations and is very ambitious for the success of its pupils. Signs of success will be seen in many ways. St Paul’s national examination results are one measure, but success in the final year is built on a culture of consistent recognition of effort and achievement. It is vital to ensure, throughout a student’s high school career, that they have a solid foundation and understanding of their work.
Furthermore, the school constantly demonstrates that disadvantage need not be a barrier to achievement. Failure is not seen as a defining quality. Instead, children are encouraged to believe that mistakes are a vital part of the learning process, and the willingness to evaluate why something was a mistake is where learning takes place. We encourage children to have the courage to persevere. Accordingly, a student’s mastery of a subject or aspect of work with which they had previously experienced difficulty is always greatly praised.
An excellent school is robust and rigorous in terms of self-evaluation and data analysis with clear strategies for improvement. St Paul’s collects a wealth of data about the way the school is managed and we seek opinions from others such as the Independent Quality Assurance Association, run through the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa, to ensure a high standard.
Moreover, the school focuses relentlessly on improving teaching and learning. It spends time examining itself and seeking ever more successful strategies. St Paul’s encourages staff to reflect on their practice through subject meetings and by attending training sessions. Teachers constantly aim to improve their standard of teaching. They are eager to try new, innovative ways to teach students and keep lessons interesting. One pupil commented, “I really enjoy teachers who find new ways to challenge us because it allows us to develop and improve different ways of thinking and gives us a chance to look at the material we learn in new, absorbing ways.”
A school with an excellent standard is expert at assessment and tracks pupil development. We use our regular testing to inform students, parents and teachers of the progress a student makes. Every student’s progress is also presented on the school’s student and parents’ portal, enabling parents and pupils alike to monitor progress at any given time. Students see where they stand in terms of their academic performance and can asses which areas of their learning need more attention. Such regular tracking also ensures that students will know, in advance, which work they should focus on when studying for a big test or examination. It gives them time to consult teachers about concepts they struggle with.
An excellent school has complete regard for both the academic and personal development of each pupil. Heads of Grades in the High School continuously monitor academic and personal well-being. Students in the High School may approach the Guidance Counsellor to discuss their concerns. The members of the Student Management Council (SMC) are also willing to advise and aid the students of the school. This is essential as many students may feel more comfortable speaking to people of their own age.
St. Paul’s develops individual students through promoting rich opportunities for learning both in and out of the classroom. Our school runs a wealth of sports, cultural and outreach programmes. Students become well-rounded and gain new perspectives on the world around them. St Paul’s teachers commit time in the afternoons to supervise countless activities and sacrifice weekends and holiday time to accompany pupils on school trips and tours. Additionally, students are given the opportunity to be leaders in the SMC. Voted for democratically, the SMC members act as the bridge between students and teachers and represent the student body at senior management meetings. Our pupils are given a voice.
Finally, one can tell an excellent school apart from good schools by observing its students. When you go into an excellent school, you see students engaged in their studies. You hear the hum of purposeful activity in a classroom or the excited noise of happy children during a break time. You are met with young men and women who are courteous, have great ambition and the will to achieve their goals.

Similar News

 

The rose among the thorns

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | People

Justicia Shipena It would be difficult to meet anyone who is as passionate about food and educating people about a vegan diet than 25-year-old...

A peek into the HR world

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | People

Julia MushellengaThere are a few initiatives one can use to empower employees, but my main preference is through engagement. It’s important to create engagement platforms...

Bank Windhoek assigns Muukua with CSI and Stakeholder Engagement...

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | Society

Bank Windhoek has appointed Veripura Muukua as its new Communication Practitioner, tasked with Corporate Social Investment (CSI) and Stakeholder Engagement, effective Wednesday, 15 January 2020.In...

Investing in the people

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | Society

Mariselle Stofberg“A new decade signals a time for reflection and focus on new opportunities that lie untapped before us. A decade passed teaches of victories,...

Commit to be fit

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | People

Mariselle Stofberg It takes exceptional perseverance and determination to continue to chase your dreams despite adversity and complications that may arise. Jonathan Mweneni Mwafangeo has...

The value of the journey

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | People

Mariselle Stofberg“So many times I focused on what I wanted to become, neglecting the process required to get there. As I matured, I realised the...

Attitude determines altitude

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | People

Mariselle StofbergPull quote: The urgency to act on climate change is growing, and financial institutions play a crucial role in providing financing to Green projects.When...

More than one chip on his shoulder

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | People

Elizabeth Joseph Kristof Lerch has been a financial intermediary since early 2019. After completing his school career at the DHPS in Windhoek, he developed a...

100 pints saves 300 lives

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | Health

Elizabeth Joseph George van Straten, who recently made his 100th blood donation, has donated blood for more than 30 years and says he will continue...

Latest News

A peek into the HR...

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | People

Julia MushellengaThere are a few initiatives one can use to empower employees, but my main preference is through engagement. It’s important to create engagement platforms...

by Michelline Nawatises

Bank Windhoek assigns Muukua with...

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | Society

Bank Windhoek has appointed Veripura Muukua as its new Communication Practitioner, tasked with Corporate Social Investment (CSI) and Stakeholder Engagement, effective Wednesday, 15 January 2020.In...

by Michelline Nawatises

Investing in the people

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | Society

Mariselle Stofberg“A new decade signals a time for reflection and focus on new opportunities that lie untapped before us. A decade passed teaches of victories,...

by Michelline Nawatises

Commit to be fit

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | People

Mariselle Stofberg It takes exceptional perseverance and determination to continue to chase your dreams despite adversity and complications that may arise. Jonathan Mweneni Mwafangeo has...

by Michelline Nawatises

The value of the journey

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | People

Mariselle Stofberg“So many times I focused on what I wanted to become, neglecting the process required to get there. As I matured, I realised the...

by Michelline Nawatises

Attitude determines altitude

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | People

Mariselle StofbergPull quote: The urgency to act on climate change is growing, and financial institutions play a crucial role in providing financing to Green projects.When...

by Michelline Nawatises

More than one chip on...

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | People

Elizabeth Joseph Kristof Lerch has been a financial intermediary since early 2019. After completing his school career at the DHPS in Windhoek, he developed a...

by Michelline Nawatises

100 pints saves 300 lives

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | Health

Elizabeth Joseph George van Straten, who recently made his 100th blood donation, has donated blood for more than 30 years and says he will continue...

by Michelline Nawatises

Namcol awards scholarships

3 days ago - 24 January 2020 | Others

Tunohole MungobaLast week Friday, the Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) granted young people, including inmates of the Windhoek Correctional Facility, scholarships to study at...

by Michelline Nawatises

Load More