Three Western Cape educators come out tops in National Awards
Yesterday, three educators in the Western Cape won National Teaching Awards.
We congratulate them for this excellent achievement!
They have done the Western Cape proud. Competition is tough, as there are thousands of excellent school principals and teachers who are nominated in the various Provinces each year. We are extremely proud of all eleven of our Provincial Finalists that made their way to the National Finals and even more delighted that three of them won!
The following educators won in the categories as listed below:
- Winner of the National Teaching Award for Excellence in Grade R Teaching
- Ms Michelle Swart - Hermanus Pre-Primary
- Winner of the National Teaching Award for Excellence in Primary School Leadership
- Ms Landeka Diamond - Westlake Primary School, Westlake
- Winner of the National Teaching Award for Excellence in Secondary School Leadership
- Ms Wendy Horn - Protea Heights Academy
Western Cape Provincial Minister for Education said: “Very well done to all our finalists and to our three winners. We are all very proud of you. May you continue producing excellence for the benefit of our children”.
Head of Department, Brian Schreuder, said: “Congratulations to our three Western Cape Education Department winners! All eleven of our Provincial winners make me very proud. They epitomize excellence and great dedication. They ‘Entered to Serve and Continue to Learn’ – our mantra for Educators in the Western Cape,” he said.
“What great, inspirational examples to all. Congratulations and Thank-you. The WCED looks forward to the arrival of the winners home and I am sure that this will create much excitement amongst the learners and educators of their schools.”
“More importantly, may it motivate and inspire other educators to commit themselves to ensuring Quality Education for every child, in every classroom, in every school in the Province,” said Schreuder.
Please see below motivations of each educator and attached photos and cell numbers.
Excellence in Grade R Teaching
Nominee: Ms Michelle Swart
School: Hermanus Pre-Primary
District: Overberg Education District
Ms Michelle Swart has been teaching for 15 years and for the past four years she has been a Grade R teacher at Hermanus Pre-Primary School. She is a qualified early childhood development practitioner and has a BA (HSS) psychological counselling degree as well as a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Foundation Phase, which she completed in 2018.
She is an enthusiastic and passionate teacher who is innovative and creative in her teaching methodologies − she makes learning fun! Ms Swart fulfills her teaching and leadership role with loyalty, dedication and support to other teachers at school and throughout the entire circuit. She renews her skills constantly and attended several training courses, including The Happy Handwriting and Early Identification to Learning Barriers courses, as well as Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) training courses and the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) Emergent Literacy Project.
She implements diversity and inclusivity in her teaching by supporting all learners from different backgrounds, abilities, cultures and religions. She is solution driven, diligently puts interventions in place for all learners with barriers in her class and encourages parent involvement in the process of intervention. Ms Swart believes in learning through fun and play. She meticulously plans and arranges her classroom space for optimal and sensory stimulation. This creates great learning opportunities for language development, mathematical thinking and social skills development, such as taking turns and problem solving.
Ms Swart has an exceptionally print-rich and well-structured classroom, thereby creating a conducive learning environment for her learners. She instils a sense of worth in her Grade R class to ensure that learners’ reception year is an introduction to an exciting educational journey. Ms Swart believes in genuine, honest and consistent positive reinforcement. She has the ability to work under pressure and still produce work of an exceptional standard. Not only is she an example of excellence in all areas as a teacher, but also as leader in the school and community member. With her strong leadership, excellent organisational and human relations skills, Ms Swart, as member of the school management team, plays an active role in school planning.She is a worthy nominee for the Excellence in Primary School Teaching Award.
Excellence in Primary School Leadership
Nominee: Ms Landeka Diamond
School: Westlake Primary School, Westlake
Cluster: Metropole Central and Metropole South
District: Metropole South Education District
Ms Landeka Diamond is the founder principal of West Lake Primary School in 2011 and subscribes to a situational leadership philosophy.
In her career thus far she spent nine years of planting the seed of education in the impoverished community of Westlake. She is leading a diverse and multicultural school consisting of learners with 13 different home languages from all over Africa.
Her school community consists of homes plagued by high unemployment, poverty, gangsterism, alcohol and substance abuse. Not only do these social issues impact directly on her learners’ lives, but they also influence teachers’ efforts to improve teaching and learning at the school. Ms Diamond, however, has high expectations of her school and strongly believes that poverty and current social circumstances will never determine the intelligence of the learner. She also believes that these learners can rise above their current situation and circumstances with the necessary encouragement and support that they receive from the school.
She is very passionate about her values-driven school environment as well as her values-based leadership and management approach to education. Ms Diamond exercises a consultative and egalitarian approach in the belief that active and equitable participation of all role players in decision-making processes will lead to improved results and dynamic team spirit. She engages in diligent strategic planning that includes teachers, non-teaching staff and parents to bring about positive change at school and the creation of a healthy and safe working environment to support teaching and learning on a day-to-day basis.
Ms Diamond has a Master’s Degree in Education Administration, Planning and Social Policy and develops education managers in her capacity as deputy chairperson of the Education Management Association of South Africa. She is currently also involved in other organisations, such as Spirit of Africa, the American Embassy and the British Council, to assist with the hosting of international audiences from all over the world so that there can be engagement on matters of educational interest, whilst providing insight on the South African education system.Ms Diamond leads by example and is an innovative and future-focused leader and manager who is a worthy nominee for this coveted award.
Excellence in Secondary School Leadership
Nominee: Ms Wendy Horn
School: Protea Heights Academy
Cluster: Metropole North and Metropole East
District: Metropole East Education District
Ms Wendy Horn started her teaching journey in 1992 at Parktown High School for Girls. In June 1994, she progressed to and accepted a post at The Settlers High School where she was the Departmental Head for Mathematics, Physical Science and Technology for Grades 8 to 12. She was later promoted to Deputy Principal at the same school. She established herself as an educator of note who displayed and continues to display tenacity and rigor in the teaching of Science and Technology.
In October 2014, Ms Horn was appointed as the founding principal of Protea Heights Academy, responsible for establishing a newly built school and ensuring readiness to start teaching and learning to learners as from the first day of school in January 2015. This entailed putting all measures in place for the management and governance of the school.
The school’s shared vision is to provide globally superior education, focusing on Mathematics and Science supported by advanced technology, in pursuance of well-balanced learners who will make a positive impact on the community. The school envisions catering for learners who have an interest in coding, programming, information technology, engineering and commerce. Ms Horn actively promotes the use of information and communication technology (ICT) and eLearning. Learners are supported emotionally, physically and mentally, and the skills required in preparation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are developed. To this end, all aspects of teaching and learning, strategic planning and administration of the school are supported.
Ms Horn maintains high standards of performance at the school and ensures that the academic outcomes for the year are met so that learners are prepared for success in tertiary education. This goal is achieved through structured monitoring and moderation. Comprehensive and up-to-date records of a high standard are kept.
Staff training, mentoring, support and guidance are conducted in such a manner that teachers are encouraged to do more. Teachers experience a wealth of training to support their teaching and growth. Ms Horn inspires colleagues and engenders trust.
A wide variety of extramural and co-curricular activities are offered at the school, thus catering for the diverse interests of the learners and ensuring the education of the whole child.Ms Horn is a leader par excellence who has achieved top awards such as Top 50 Global Teacher Award Finalist and the 2013 National Teaching Awards winner for Excellence in Physical Science Teaching. She is also a member of the Varkey Teacher Ambassador Programme and is nominated as a worthy recipient of this coveted award.