PLAY & LEARN
Dear public, media, parents and current-, past- and future learners
The photograph of our matric class of 2018 posted on the SWPS website wherein three of our former learners are seen raising their right arms in a salute akin to that of a Nazi salute has understandably caused widespread public outrage.
We apologise unreservedly to the public at large, and all groups and individuals that were victimsof the Holocaust. We also acknowledge that referring to the gesture as a “Roman salute” wasmisjudged and we apologise for the additional offence it has caused.
We recognise that just like other symbols of oppression, the Nazi salute has absolutely no place in society. The Holocaust was a heinous crime against humanity, and we should never ever forget the pain and suffering it caused to millions of people.
The posting of the photograph was done with no ill-intent and certainly was not aimed at offending anyone. However, we understand that this is little comfort to those that were offended and hurt by the image.
Our school does not tolerate any actions or practices that impair the dignity or rights of others. We are committed to creating a school environment that is tolerant and respectful for all.
As immediate action, we undertake to educate the former learners depicted on the photograph, as well as our current learners and staff about the offensive nature and insensitivity to the use of Nazi imagery and symbolism. Today, more than ever, we have come to realise that prejudice and marginalisation of any group is unacceptable and goes against the grain of our cherished Constitution.
We have today met with the Directors of the Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies and the Cape Town Holocaust and Genocide Centre. We have accepted and committed to their offer for our learners, educators and parents to visit and engage in an educational program at the Cape Town Holocaust and Genocide Centre.
Further to this, we have committed our school to join the Cape Board’s “No Place for Hate”campaign and to introduce their material into our school environment. We look forward to further positive engagements with both organisations in the future.
We as a school are committed to ensuring that all our learners leave with the knowledge, understanding and empathy to not only avoid a situation like this in the future, but to be active participants in making South Africa a better and more tolerant country to live in.
SOMERSET WEST PRIVATE SCHOOL
Somerset West Private School originated from the successful provision of extra mathematical tuition offered by the current principal. The demand of these classes and the success thereof, led to the opening of SWPS in 1998 that provided learners with confidence in succeeding in Mathematics.
SWPS is currently situated in the heart of Somerset West and attracts learners from the Helderberg basin and beyond. We currently offer classes from Grade 7 to Post Matric level. The Post Matric group consists of learners who are wishing to improve their Grade 12 results, most of whom have been referred to SWPS by Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town upon failure to meet the minimum Mathematics and Science requirements on application for certain degrees. The Post Matric course continues for one year.
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We are very grateful to SWPS for being such a fabulous school
We are very grateful to SWPS for being such a fabulous school for our daughter. Nikola joined 4 years ago and has flourished. She has a natural love for Maths and this love has been nurtured and encouraged. She has been able to work ahead and is now already a year ahead of her peers. Her teacher has always been available for any questions she has had. The Maths teacher has motivated and challenged her, which made her work even harder and achieve even more.
All her other subjects have also improved a lot and she is achieving excellent results. Her English has improved dramatically and she has become a book worm, which is wonderful. All her other teachers have also been excellent, teaching her not only the set work, but also lessons for life. She has become a confident and self motivated teenager, ready for any challenge.
We can truly say that SWPS is a fabulous school and we applaud the teachers who go out of their way to assist the children wherever possible.
The teachers were a great inspiration
Eric’s First Year at the University of Cape Town:
2007 was a good year for me at the University of Cape Town, and I have Somerset West Private School to thank. They prepared me better for the world of varsity studies than I believe any other school could have. The school gave me freedom to a larger degree than most schools, and that helped me adjust to university quickly and efficiently.
Also, since I completed Grades 11 and 12 in one year, 2006, I was already used to the kind of workload one has to handle in Electrical Engineering at UCT. The teachers were a great inspiration to me to work hard, and it has paid off and will continue to do so.
I have never regretted joining the school
After being at SWPS for a few years, I have never regretted joining the school, for various reasons. I have been encouraged and supported to complete the Grade 11 Maths syllabus while being in Grade 10. I have never been bored, new interesting work is always found and time is always made to explain the concepts to me which I don’t fully understand.
Every day I am taught about the world around me and what is currently in the news. These issues and events are discussed and researched: this is what makes the schooldays interesting. I all my subjects my teachers are very supportive and encourage me to do my best. The teachers have a good sense of humour and we often laugh together. All this makes it a school which I enjoy attending every day.