Welcome back to Hout Bay International School and the start of a new academic year. A special word of welcome to our new families – I trust that you already feel at home. May I also take this opportunity to thank you all for the warm welcome I received this week. I was especially impressed by your delightful children, who immediately embraced me as the new Head of School with their spontaneous and sincere engagement.
As I mentioned in my first assembly, people take note of achievements – of individual people, groups, companies – and are attracted to these individuals or want to belong to these groups. In education it is the same: students across the world compete for places in universities like Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale, knowing that graduating from these institutions will give them a head-start in life.
Places in the top schools in South Africa are similarly sought after by parents who want the best education for their children. Students in these schools are exceptionally proud of belonging to their school; as their school is associated with excellence, achievement and success.
I see it my role, as Principal of this school, to ensure that Hout Bay International School, is one of those exceptional schools – offering the best world-class international education to its students in its academic, sporting, cultural and community service programmes.
You may say, but we already have a good school with an excellent reputation. And I agree. However, as Thomas Huxley said: “The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.”
Over the next few weeks, I will be spending time discussing with students and parents what you perceive to be the strengths of our school and what you feel can be improved upon.
I’ve already met with the staff and the administrators to get their feedback. We will then be able to put together strategies to build Hout Bay International School into one of the most sought-after schools not only in Cape Town, but in the world.
This requires a commitment from all of us. As Reggie Leach said: “Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” I look forward to working with each of you as we continue to build our school together.
I would like to congratulate last year’s DP students and their teachers for “setting themselves on fire” in achieving the following excellent IB final results: