Drakensberg Primary School from a contender to a leader

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Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Producing steadfast moral values, continuously endeavouring to uplift its learners, Drakensberg Primary School has transformed from a contender to a leader over the years. And this transformation is set to continue when speaking with the school’s principal, Pieter Hanekom.  

Working closely with the School Governing Body (SGB), Hanekom reflects on some of the school’s accomplishments since taking up his post in April 2014.

Firstly, without proper nutrition, it becomes difficult to educate children; therefore, the principal says, “I helped set up the feeding scheme, that is supported by members of the community and organisations such as the Rotarians.” Furthermore, he states that the feeding scheme aims to assist less fortunate children in enjoying a hearty meal and not endure the clutches of hunger pains. And when diving into a few of the successes enjoyed during his time thus far, the following must be noted.

Starting at the front of the school:

  • Modern entrance gates
  • A biometric entrance
  • Electronic notice boards

And when strolling through the school, one will note the bell tower, established in January 2019, introducing a new tradition where Grade 7s ring the bell on their last day of school and Grade 1s ring it on their first day—signifying their journey at Drakies.

Additionally, improvements to the sports facilities, including the school’s dual-purpose court, have been redone, enhancing the netball and hockey grounds.

Staying on school’s sport, Hanekom points out that he is incredibly proud of the way Drakensberg Primary has come up. “Seven years ago, we weren’t competitive, but now we compete in 99% of sports activities.”

Giving testament to this, the Department of Education has even awarded Drakies with a trophy for the school’s excellence in sport.  This was awarded based on the amount of national and provincial sport participants.  And when honing in on a few of the school’s accolades, it is clear Drakies is not just attending, but dominating.

  • Drakensberg Primary 1st Netball team was undefeated during 2019.
  • The school’s 1st Girls hockey team was also undefeated in 2018.
  • Drakensberg Primary’s u/11 soccer boys were the Newcastle League champions in 2018, while the u/11 girls took the title of the Newcastle League champions in 2019.
  • The 1st Cricket team was the Pro 10 and NKZN league Champions in 2019.

Academics have also seen extensive improvement, with Drakensberg introducing robotics in 2019 and electronic whiteboards in classrooms.  The learners have taken part in SAOU and AMESA math competitions and excelled.

Culture:

  • Learners have participated in the ATKV Redenaars kompetisie, a few of them going through to the final rounds at national level.
  • Our choirs have taken part in Sing in Harmonie competitions and have won trophies at national level.
  • SALA:  Our learners excel in public speaking and reading, also taking part at national level.

Hanekom emphasises that the school promotes a sense of unity by implementing a robust set of values, with everyone working towards a common goal. “I like to refer to it as the triangle, where the teachers, parents, and children work together. Through teamwork, the learners can excel and see themselves rise above any obstacle placed before them”. Adding to this, he says, “At Drakensberg, we are blessed to have a great management team, an exceptional SGB, and the right type of staff working with the children.”

The reason for this, he highlights, is because there is a right way to do things and a wrong way, and when it comes to the community’s children, only the correct path will be accepted. “We are all working together and everything that is decided is for the best of the children.”

Having achieved several accomplishments over the years, Hanekom says the school is determined to continue improving its facilities. This will include assisting children with learning disabilities and focusing on the academically inclined learners, as well as the sporty and artistic children, ensuring they are all able to flourish with their respective gifts and talents.

Concluding he says, “We are all different and need light to shine on us, which is why we want to give all our children the opportunity to be the best that they can be.”

As Drakensberg Primary School works towards creating Newcastle’s next generation of leaders, what are your thoughts on the popular primary school? Share your views in the comment section below.

This post and content is sponsored and provided by Drakensberg Primary School

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