Home Headmaster HM Newsletter: 6 Aug

Dear ParentsHM June 2012

Recently a prep school girl living on campus and her friend baked biscuits and sold them to staff on the property as part of their contribution to community service for Mandela Day.  They raised an impressive amount which they donated to the Howick SPCA and the photograph that recorded the presentation of the gift captured the delighted smiles of their achievement.

It is late Sunday evening in the Midlands and the Housemasters, Dean of Pastoral Care, Second Master and Head are enjoying a meal together. It has been an intense cerebral day of engagement and debate in shaping our pastoral care approach and the food is much appreciated.  Despite the prospects of another tough day to follow, the banter is fueling the camaraderie and the Cameron van der Burgh Gold Medal win adds to the positive vibe amongst the group.  Day two adds the importance of values-based education from a pastoral care perspective and is blended into the discussion.  We leave mentally tired but united in direction and inspired by the fresh input of ideas.  There are contented smiles all round.

Ideas and dreams continually inspire the human race, but arguably what sets achievers apart from the rest, like the Olympic athletes, is that the medal winners make it happen.  Yes, they are talented but we do not observe the blood, sweat and tears associated with the endless hours of practice to “make it happen”.  However, we do see the ecstatic smiles on the podium.

We did not see the hard work that the girls put into baking the biscuits, but we did see the smiles in the photograph as they handed over the money. T he girls made it happen.  We did not see the effort that went into the Housemasters’ Indaba but we do see the renewed energy, increased focus and unifying smiles shared amongst the team. They made it happen.

On a daily basis we do not see the effort that goes into the brilliant lesson, the homework, the practice, the research, the planning, but we do see the smiles when it all comes together. They make it happen. Achieving excellence is founded in the process, the practice and the hard yards behind the scenes and away from the cheering crowd.

A “culture of excellence” embraces being willing to streamline the processes that make Hilton College a renowned educational centre, changing the processes that are outdated, making excellence a priority that involves everyone, and most importantly basing excellence on our values.

Aim to keep making it happen by turning words into action wherever you are engaged.

Have a great week!

G Thomson