There is a new kid on the block

Reflecting on the short 6 years of the school’s history, it is almost unreal to observe the speed at which Gansbaai Academia moved to become  a  school  to be reckoned with. As a non-fees school we always  believed that we should be measured with the best. The average of our matric results for the past 5 years is 92%, massive for a school which is under-resourced.

With the results came incentives from the Western Cape Education Department. We were first invited to join the Mathematics, Science and Technology initiative of the WCED, as the ONLY non-fees school together  with  schools  such  as Hermanus High, Overberg High, Bredasdorp  High  and De Villiers Graaff.  With this incentive  we  received interactive whiteboards, data projectors and document viewers. This led to the learning culture changing.

Academia has always tutored learners with barriers to learning. This was formalised in October 2014, when we became the only Inclusive school in the Overberg district, with the appointment of a special learning support educator, Anneri Harding-Male. This means that we can now more readily accommodate those students with barriers such as dyslexia and dyscalculia, who amongst other things do oral examinations with teachers transcribing their answers to paper. Anneri Hardin-Male also do collaborative teaching as well,  helping all learners with barriers in  Mathematics.  Our grade 8 learners are also on a program to improve their comprehension and reading skills by teaching them thinking strategies.  This impacts on all subjects and improves learner’s understanding. At Gansbaai Academia we believe that every learner can learn.

Last year  the WCED converted a further 11 classes to smart classes by fitting each one out with an interactive whiteboard, a document viewer, e-beam and data projector. The smart class educators also received a laptop with pre-loaded curriculum content. Now educators can bring the real world to the class. This impacted massively on our teaching and learning experiences. Soon broadband would be installed and this will bring the whole school in touch with very fast internet. In February this year we received 24 tablets from the WCED in another incentive. Learners are using these tablets in classes with pre-loaded e-content which entails all subject content. These were followed  up by another 24 tablets for learners needing learning support. In less than 6 years we moved from a under-resourced school to a school that can compete with long-established schools in the Overberg.

We  are  making  huge inroads on the sports fields. Apart from a number of Boland and South Boland representatives, we also had our first Springbok last year in Melandi Steynberg. Last month we hosted a triangular athletics meeting and on the 12th of March we have our first sports interschool day against Eben Donges High. We will compete in Rugby, Netball, Hockey and Chess starting at 12h00. Expectations are also high for our  o/19 rugby team  that won 9 matches on the trot in 2015.

As  a  school  we  believe that the impact of Gansbaai Academia in the  Gansbaai  community  and surroundings must never be underestimated. Many of our old scholars are making a mark all over the country. We are proud of Sharkies such as Bianca de Koning, Sivive Yuyu, Andisiwe Wulana, Monique Grebe, Simphiwe Yana, Michelle Hayes  and  Michelle Le Roux  who  all do distinguish wordk at universities and abroad.

Although the local businesses support the school by donations and by contributing to fund-raisers such as our golf day, it has not been possible for us to purchase our own school bus. There is a huge need to  transport  our  learners  outside  the  boundaries of Gansbaai. Currently it is a struggle and expensive to participate in sport against other schools or attending activities such as plays in Cape Town. The  belief  is  that  a  school  bus  will  have  a  huge

 impact on our learners by allowing them to attend events outside of Gansbaai.

We  project that 250 new grade 8’s will be accommodated in 2017. At the moment there is room for just 18 places in Afrikaans classes and 8 in English classes. We urge you to register your child now to ensure that your child can attend Academia next year.

Tommy Wilson Principal Gansbaai Academia