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South African Mathematics Foundation
Mr Maurice Dicks, Preparatory School Principal receiving the award from Dr Nico Govender, President of the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa.
It was with a great sense of pride that I attended the South African Mathematics Foundation annual awards evening in Cape Town on 11th October. The Foundation is made up of many of South Africa's leading mathematical minds including many of the country's leading professors of mathematics.
The evening was a glittering affair with the Foundation celebrating ten years of excellence. Dignitaries and invited guests were treated to music items and were introduced to the South African Maths Olympiad team that represented the country at the International Mathematical Olympiad where they had outstanding results. The top South African finished third out of 560 contestants from over 100 countries!
The highlight of the evening for us was when the "Best Performing School" in the South African Mathematics Challenge (AMESA) was announced. We were very proud to hear "Cornwall Hill College Preparatory School" being read out and I had the tremendous privilege of accepting the award on behalf of all our pupils and staff.
This was a remarkable achievement for our school. Well over 500 schools participate in the challenge that we all know as "AMESA". The challenge focusses heavily on problem solving and thinking skills and is honestly "challenging" as many a parent can attest to, having attempted to help their children in preparation for the challenge!
Credit must, and has, been given to our children for this achievement. It has not been a quick journey to this summit. Internal structures at Cornwall are unique in that we have a curriculum committee comprising senior teachers from Pre-School through the Junior Preparatory and into the Senior Preparatory phase. The Principals of the Pre-School and Preparatory School also sit on this committee. Their role and influence cannot be understated in this recognition bestowed upon us as a school. Although this is a mathematical award, comprehension skills are vital in successfully tackling the papers. Each teacher, from the Pre-School through to the Senior Preparatory have made up the team that has achieved such deserved recognition. Thank you!
Each team needs leaders and in our case we have two Deputy Principals to thank. For many years, Ms Jill Harrison has driven the AMESA Challenge and this has continued in her post as Deputy Principal. As the Head of our Mathematics and Science departments, as well as being the Deputy Principal Academics in the Senior Preparatory, Mr Paul Hoffman has also been instrumental in elevating our Mathematics to these lofty heights. I am obviously sincerely appreciative of the award and prestige bestowed upon our school. More importantly however, I am humbled by the ingrained belief that they both continuously adhere to that "it is not about the award, it is about the children!" Indeed, and it is to our children that I say: "Well done, keep it up! We are proud of you every day!"
M. S. Dicks
Principal: Preparatory School