Swart appointed head

2019-09-25 06:00
photo: suppliedAndre Swart appointed head of Junior Northfield Manor Boarding Establishment at Wembley College.

photo: suppliedAndre Swart appointed head of Junior Northfield Manor Boarding Establishment at Wembley College.

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ANDRE Swart has been appointed head of Junior Northfield Manor Boarding Establishment at Wembley College for 2020. The school is looking forward to his arrival next year. We caught up with Swart and asked him a few questions about his view on life and education.

Swart entered the educational field after matriculating at Maritzburg College in 2002. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life and ended up working in hotel management for a number of years. After realising that this was not the career path for him, he decided to travel and see the world.

His travels took him to a small country in south-east Asia called Cambodia. Once he arrived in the capital city of Phnom Penh, he decided to teach English. He was assigned a classroom full of children aged between two and three years old, who did not speak English, and for the first time in his life he knew that that was where he was meant to be.

Swart stayed at the school and taught various grades, focusing mostly on English language skills. He was promoted to head teacher of the English department and shortly afterwards he became academic director, in charge of developing curriculum.

This was all before he had done any formal training in education. After five years, he made the tough choice to move back home to South Africa to study towards his Bachelor of Education degree.

During this time, he was able to continue working in a school environment at Clifton Preparatory School in Nottingham Road where he worked as assistant housemaster of the boarding establishment, teaching a wide variety of subjects and coaching sport, while also being involved in the school band.

Swart’s view on leadership is that he believes no leader is an island. In order to lead, you need to understand those who follow you.

Ten people walking together up a mountain is always better than one leader trying to drag nine people to the top.

Swart enjoys all forms of expression. He thinks that we are privileged to live in a world and a time where we are all allowed to freely express ourselves in whatever manner we choose, and with this great power (to paraphrase Voltaire and Uncle Ben from Spiderman) comes great responsibility. We must use our voice and our expression to leave the world a little better than we found it.

He recently did a poetry lesson in which he filled 20 small tubs with different flavours, from lemon juice and vinegar to Bovril and popcorn spice, to chocolate sauce and syrup.

Each child had to close their eyes and randomly pick a flavour and then write down eight adjectives to describe their flavour. They used various poetic devices to turn their experiences into poems.

Wembley is looking forward to Swart’s arrival where we are sure he will continue to inspire, nurture and educate our pupils.

— Supplied.

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