Project days in December
The first project days of the DSK under the motto “social responsibility.”
A school year at the DSK is filled to the brim with tuition. This often leaves very little time for the learners to look outside their everyday lives - and realise that their daily routine can be so very different to that of many other fellow South Africans.
Is this not part of our assignment at the DSK – part of our mission and vision? Our strategy document 2025 – the product of the collaboration of the entire school community – states, that as a school it is our aim to offer each child a platform, on which to accept responsibility and grow individually as well as socially according each one’s personal interests. As a German International School in South Africa, based on Christian and humanistic values, we strive to build bridges between different societies and cultures. In this, we value our diversity and encourage outstanding social and environmental commitment as well as open-mindedness and mutual respect.
Our great dilemma though: where to find the time, in a hectic school year, to dedicate to such important yet delicate matter? To me, the end of a school year seemed the perfect time. After the reports have been finalised and the curriculum is done, some teachers and learners find it hard to motivate themselves to start something new before the year is out. Even the parents can often only find enough strength to hunt for that perfect bargain travel arrangement – and that’ s how many a learner spontaneously finds himself booked off “sick” just a few days before school ends.
To start something new at the end of a hard working year, when everyone is rightly exhausted, is hard for everyone. That is why I was even more impressed to have so many members of the DSK ready to roll up their sleeves and get involved in the project days.
Our work started in the second term of 2016 when we defined the desired topics: environmental protection, renewable energies, recycling, species conservation, the school garden, social awareness and development of leadership. We proceeded by gathering different project ideas, which had to develop into tangible project tasks with externals as well as internal school “champions”. The fourth term got us even closer to the start of our project days: our learners were allowed to choose their specific projects and our teachers were allocated as champions. The process was facilitated by an IT system specifically designed for this purpose by Richard Gosnell. Now everything was good to go for our first project days from 5 to 7 December.
Looking back, it was an amazingly positive experience for the learners – and an adventure at the same time. Each and every one had to participate in their own way and be actively involved without the safety net of their class community. They became part of a society that works together to uphold and improve our lives in South Africa. The three days came and went like a whirlwind.
Unfortunately, there was no time for an official closing ceremony and only the assembly on the last day of school offered a short de-briefing of our first project days. The feedback team was kind enough to distribute a short questionnaire to all involved. This will assist us in evaluating, whether there is a demand for the project days to be repeated.
In closing I would like to thank all of you again for your dedication and efforts – the project days team, my colleagues Marina Vucorevic, Marlen Merkel und Ramona Bachmann. Many thanks for your amazing commitment!
13 December 2016
Paparazzi team articles & photos
During the Project Days a "Paparazzi team” accompanied some of our fantastic project teams. Read more about the projects that happened and see more beautiful photographs here.
Project Days 2016 Video
The 2016 Project Days took place in December last year, our talented learner, Iren Mihova, has been busy and put together this video showcasing how successful this initiative was. Enjoy it!