Victory Christian School: learning through caring relationships

| June 28, 2017 | 0 Comments

BY GAVIN THOMSON

As the rising sun lifts the early morning mist over Jeffreys Bay,1 the two silhouetted wetsuit warriors etch a vapour-like trail of incandescent bubbles as they twist and zip across the face of yet another perfect wave at Supertubes.2

The light fog along the beach had delayed the launch of their sunrise surfing session, and now as the offshore breeze picks up and barrels Bruce’s Beauties into perfect tubes, so Nathan and Logan realise they have to move smartly to get to school on time.

The rapid change from wetsuit to school uniform in the back of Dad’s Fortuner is partially boyhood adventure and partially an eagerness borne of the “growth mindset” approach of the teaching staff at Victory Christian School (VCS). The vehicle swings through the gates of the school as the sound of the first bell signals the start of the day. Being responsible Grade 7 leaders, the two young surfers hurriedly make a timeous arrival to carefully guide the pupils to the Church Auditorium for praise, worship and prayer.

Learning to lead through praise and prayer

Ever since his first day at VCS, Nathan has loved the modern songs of praise and worship sung by the school band at the weekly Monday assembly. Today’s gathering is excitedly distinctive, as the pupils will be given an opportunity to pray for their teachers. Nathan had already pre-planned to pray for the teachers who lead the Kingdom Alive Programme – the school’s unique biblical and devotional subject. When the occasion arises he respectfully prays for them to have wisdom, strength and God’s protection for the day. The opportunity to pray together as staff and pupils emphasises the importance we attach to caring for each other on an ongoing daily basis.

As the pupils head to class, they pass the construction site of the new classroom block, and Nathan is reminded of the many prayers that God has answered in providing finances for the establishment and completion of the school building. Cole, his friend who had recently arrived from a school in Port Elizabeth, often remarks how fortunate the VCS pupils are to have such modern and spacious classrooms, plus respected teachers who care about each pupil.

Plenty of inspiration and care

Meanwhile, Zander and his Grade 4 research team are actively displaying their museum exhibition in the school foyer following their historical tour to Port Elizabeth. There is intense interest and attention as he and each class member present their findings on artefacts they had collected from their family archives. Caring for one’s family history is important, as it is ultimately the foundation of one’s future.

Moving off to the next class, Zander passes Reece and they smile in greeting – everyone especially loves Reece, because he is a living inspiration and one who has a story about the importance of the power of prayer and faith in one’s life. Diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that causes bone marrow failure, he recently spent six weeks in post-operative isolation and four months recovering in Cape Town and is now back at school after a traumatic period in his life. He is an exceptional reminder about how to rise above the major challenges of life, and we care for him because through him we recall our own human frailties.

Turning the corridor corner, Reece clatters into Christian, who did not hear him coming. Christian is deaf. In the collision, an assortment of books and writing material scatter to all points of the compass. Those in the vicinity rush to help. Bodies are returned to the vertical, smiles and apologies made. This example of caring for others is a high-priority value at VCS and is constantly modelled, practised and habituated through the numerous teachable moments that unfold on a daily basis.

Christian continues past the Grade 6 classroom where they are writing a mathematics test – SILENCE PLEASE, it says on the door. He hesitates and wishes it was anything but silent in his world. That aside, he is pleased with the positive progress he is making in Grade 4, simply due to the dedicated love and care of his family, staff members and pupils at our school. Christian provides a daily opportunity to show how much everyone cares.

Animated activity

Taylor, resplendent in a contrasting bright civvies dress, distinct from the smart beige and white uniform, skips past Christian with a basket of cupcakes to share with her Grade R classmates to celebrate her sixth birthday. Simply said, “Sharing is caring!” And enjoying a cupcake with one’s friends is one of the first lessons in the art of caring at VCS.

In the Art Space, there is animated activity as bouquets of bright colours are busily put to paper by junior pupils in preparation for their Dare to Care competition entries. The arts, embracing music, choir and chess are equally important as the rugby, cricket, netball and athletics on offer. Art and music essentially bring a sense of creative peace and greatly influence the atmosphere in the school.

The day flashes by in a blur of activity and, in the last minutes of the school day, pupils clean and prepare their classrooms for the day ahead. Caring for their classrooms lays the basis for their outreach programme of caring for the community and for our environment. The day was hectic, but as Nathan and Logan sit astride their boards waiting patiently for that final sunset surf to shore, they feel an inner peace that they are at a school that develops excellence in learning through caring relationships that offer hope in all situations.

References:

1. The small seaside resort in the Eastern Cape – some 50 kilometres west of Port Elizabeth – is South Africa’s most popular surfing paradise and ranks among the 10 best surfing spots in the world. Source: http://www.southafrica-travel.net/eastcape/jeffreys_bay.html.

2. Dolphin Beach in Jeffreys Bay is home to the legendary surfing spot Supertubes, known as the best wave in Africa and one of the top five righthand breaks in the world. Source: https://www.safarinow.com/destinations/jeffreys-bay/beaches/supertubes-anddolphin- beach.aspx.

3. Surfing film pioneer Bruce Brown hunted the world’s perfect surf spots in the 1960’s cult film classic The Endless Summer. Crowned “the father of surf films”, Brown exposed the Jeffreys Bay local swell that starred in the film and was later dubbed “Bruce’s Beauties”. Source: http://www.savenues. com/things-to-do/easterncape/search-for-the-perfect-wave/.

 

Category: Winter 2017

About the Author ()

News posts added for Independent Education by Global Latitude DMA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *