Now at Runnymead Campus | July 2015
The difference between school and life?
In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test.
In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.
Now that the great move has been completed, the dust has settled and the piles of rubble are slowly beginning to dwindle, I have been pondering on the value of the new campus. Not only the financial value (which I know is pretty big) but.. what value lies in the buildings that can’t be quantified by a bank or that isn’t tangible and can be seen with the naked eye?
The value lies within the precious qualities that are so prevalent within the boundaries of the school grounds. Unity College has been blessed with that special quality and aura of care and support. Never a day goes by that I don’t observe a staff member (whether they be administrative, ground staff, drivers or teachers) actively engaged in some act of kindness or genuine care about what one of our children are saying or experiencing.
I’m at the school, involved in its life. I too have had my tests and learnt my lessons and will continue doing for some time.
Progress | May 2015
90% finished…… 90% to go…
As the new campus develops further and construction draws to end, what once were the show pieces of the site, seem drab when compared to the bright new development.
It’s almost time when you will hear the request for “All hands on deck!” in an effort to meet our June completion. To complete the picture and bring it to life, we require a few last licks of “make-up.”
The area that was previously an overgrown location for the French drains, has now been reclaimed and is ready to planted with roses. If any parents have access to the supply of roses, please contact us so we can crack on with the planting. Also trays of winter seedlings will be appreciated to brighten up our garden areas.
This construction process has certainly made a wiser man of me. Through this process I have learnt a few things which I would like to share with you:
- Solid teams are the backbone of success – my sincere thanks to my team for the wonderful support afforded during my frequent absence.
- Fortitude is a blessing. None other than Henry Botha is testimony to this in his tireless efforts in this project.
- Patience is a virtue. Despite champing at the bit, we’ve had to sit and wait for the order that arises from chaos.
- Necessity certainly is the mother of invention. Having to be as frugal as possible during this development, lets one look at a pile of second hand bricks in a totally novel way. They’re not bricks … They’re definitely a retaining wall!!
Once again I offer an open invitation to visit “The Jewel of Chartwell”, assess the site and ask yourself “How can I be of help?”
Progress | January 2015
My wishes for a prosperous, happy and healthy 2015 go to you all.
In the Chinese Horoscope Calendar, 2014 was the “Year of the Horse”, and it certainly was. Pace was at times swift and unrelenting. It was destined to be so as we received the news of our Landlord’s impending development of our current location.
The location, purchase and ensuing development of the Runnymead Campus raced ahead with great strides. With one’s eyes firmly fixed on the vision in mind, one may sometimes neglect one of the secrets of change – INFORM, INFORM, INFORM.
It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.
Well, the dye has been cast. Progress at the new campus has moved along even more than when you had the opportunity to view it in November. Mr. Botha is now permanently stationed there and invites all parents to visit and have a personalised tour of the facilities.
In an effort to keep within the very tight budget for the development, we have and will continue to “recycle” certain commodities from our current site. So, if you notice paving being uplifted, grass being removed, or our beloved pre-fab buildings being dismantled, you definitely will see them again on the new campus.
“When will this long awaited move take place and will it be in one fell swoop?”
- We are planning to move in phases. As we dismantle sections of our pre-fab buildings the need for classrooms arises. Our senior phase will be the first to move to the new Campus, their classrooms will then be taken over by the Intermediate and Junior classes.
- Upon completion (+- 4 months) of the new intermediate and junior complex they too will move and we will bid Cedar Road farewell.
All this will take place with the utmost sensitivity and awareness of our children’s view and difficulty to cope with change. Through a series of fun and informative visits and programmes,they will own this change and look forward to it!
And …. “How will this affect me and most importantly my child?”
- Not at all – The new Runnymead Campus is mere 4.2km or 5.4km from our current location (depending on route chosen)
- Very positively – large brighter classrooms, ample ablution facilities, totally wheelchair friendly, ergonomically designed for ease of movement, among many. But… still retaining and even enhancing that special “Unity feel good and loving” atmosphere.
- More comfortable – With the addition of a dedicated After Care center, children will enjoy a more comfortable after care experience.
- Brighter future prospects – with in excess of 5 extra classrooms, the way is clear for the introduction of new activities, curricular offerings or expansion.
- New “Family Members” – as part of the Chartwell North Residents Association, Unity College can enjoy the freedom offered by this fully secure complex when going on walks or attending Association activities as well as their support for our events.
Despite all this activity and change, Unity College still remains at the cutting edge of educational excellence and serves as model for other institutions to emulate.
In closing and returning to the Chinese Horoscope – 2015 is thankfully the “Year of the Sheep”. A time for consolidation, reflection and less hurry scurry. It is going to be a relatively wrinkle free transition to the change that has been knocking on the door for years.
I am available at any time to answer any questions you might have.