A school in Manenberg can expect major changes from next month. Officials of the provincial education department and Sports Stepping Stones (SSS) made their way to Saambou Primary School in Ruimte Road on Thursday morning. The new partnership between the three aims to instil sports development among the learners and community members. Acting principal Angelo Valintine says it was an exciting day for teachers and learners. “As an educational institution, we are constantly evaluating the manner in which we do things to ensure that our educational programmes and projects are aligned to the development needs of the learners and the community we serve,” says Valintine. “Our objectives with sports and culture in particular are to be able to offer a variety of extramural activities to encourage, develop and strengthen learner participation, promote positive behaviour and re-enforce the school code of conduct, implementing restorative practices.”Valintine says with the education department and SSS as their partners, the school is able to address and integrate issues highlighted in a more effective and sustainable way by revitalising school sports so that all learners can participate on different levels. “We trust that this collaboration will lead to adopting and maintaining healthier lifestyles and mindsets, providing for a safer nurturing environment, instilling pride in learners and reaching our educational goals for improved learner attainment,” he adds.SSS director Boebie Cassiem says a variety of activities will be implemented at the school. “We have different coaches who will provide all types of sports to the learners. The sports include karate, netball and soccer. We have already started a marching band at the school in the short period that we have been here. Most of the volunteers of SSS assisting us on this project are youngsters who are out to make a change in society. Some of them couldn’t study further and chose to work within community development to assist these kids.”Education department representative Shahieda Majiet says she is excited for a major improvement at the school. “I am hoping the learners will take advantage of these activities at their school. As they heard, here is a wide variety of sports and coaches to choose from. We are going to track the kids’ academic performance from the start of the SSS programme to see what impact this has on both learners and teachers. I am looking forward to all the activities, especially the exhibition of the marching band,” she adds.V See pictures on page 6.