Heideveld Senior Secondary celebrates 40 years of teaching excellence this year, and are looking for past pupils to help celebrate the achievement.
The school was established in July 1978 and was initially built for 800 children but can now accommodate 1 180 pupils.
Although the school is based in Heideveld, pupils also hail from areas such as Bonteheuwel, Manenberg, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha.
The school will be celebrating their 40th anniversary with a thanksgiving service on Wednesday July 25 and is inviting past pupils of the school to join them.
Deputy principal of the school, Ingrid Tennant, said the school has been blessed to have achieved 40 years of teaching and the service is meant to thank everyone for playing a role in the school’s rich history.
“We just want to give thanks for the 40 years and for all the things that we are able to do. We are very fortunate to have so much, we also have a great staff and pride ourselves on our extramural activities which has kept our children away from gangs,” she said.
Extramurals at the school include athletics, softball, soccer, netball, rugby, cricket, basketball, cross-country, and pool. The school also has various clubs such as a hiking club, debating society, moot court, peace club, steel band, and a choir.
Ms Tennant said the community has been a great pillar of strength as they have always supported the school. She also said challenges at the school were that many of the parents cannot afford to pay school fees and many of the pupils have absent fathers which affects their learning.
She said that some pupils also don’t study at home or read over their work, and that gangsters in the area had previously tried to sell drugs to the pupils.
“We believe that with our vigorous extramurals and sport it has kept our pupils safe and away from crime. We have had a 90% pass rate for the past few years. Each school must strive to have extramurals to keep the children away from social ills,” she said.
Part of the 40th anniversary celebrations will also include a sports day in September where different schools will be invited to participate in various sport games.
Life orientation head of department, Emmalda Fouldien, who has been at the school for 40 years, said over the years the school has produced great pupils who went on to pursue careers in accounting and medicine. “Back then children were hungry to learn and some of them struggled to learn so we put them into sports and they excelled. We also had a strong connection with our parents, we were a team – the pupil, the teacher, and the parent – and that made us academically strong,” she said.
Principal of the school, William Meck, said over the years the school has stuck by their motto “A child in sport is a child out of court.” “Academically the school has been able to keep its head above water despite the deteriorating circumstances of our parents and the violence in the community. It has always provided a safe haven of study, and this is an ongoing challenge, given the recent spate of gang-related activities in Heideveld and the surrounding areas. The school is willing to take on whatever challenges it faces, with enthusiasm and a positive spirit,” he said.
To find out more about the school’s thanksgiving service, call 021 637 8530.