Morris Mtisi Post Correspondent
HOW easy it is to forget when one sees a great house, wonderfully made, that it all started at and with a rock-solid foundation!
All the great people we know, doctors, engineers. Lawyers, engineers, politicians, business men and women, robotic scientists and the rest of them basking in various forms of fame and glory are who they are because of the education foundation they received. This is where it all begins.
One of the greatest education theorists of the 20th century, John Dewey, says education is Preparation, Growth, Unfolding and Formal Discipline.
While many Preparatory schools talk and promise, Hillcrest delivers. And delivers an inimitable brand of education!
Last week The Manica Post featured Hillcrest College, the star that continues to shine. The Hillcrest DNA is made at the Hillcrest ECD AND Preparatory school and when students become best in the world or country, we forget where the success bug was born.
When this week The Manica Post-education coverage team visited Hillcrest Prep School, the story of how to teach children as if they were what they-ought to be and help them to become what they are capable of becoming was retold.
Read on this wonderful story as proudly narrated by the school head, Mr Joshua Mutangadura and Mr Godwin Nyakudzuka:
Hillcrest Preparatory is a co-educational independent private school. It is a member of the Association of Trust Schools (A.T.S) Zimbabwe and offers both day and boarding facilities in an ambient and academic environment. Classes range from ECD up to Grade 7. A double stream in the junior school promotes dedicated attention to learners as our average class ratio is one teacher to 20 pupils.
Our founding fathers (and mothers) from diverse cultures and economic backgrounds brainstormed on the need to establish an all inclusive quality school away from the hustle and bustle of the city. In 1983 this dream came to fruition guided by the following vision and mission statement.
“Hillcrest aspires to be an innovative, supportive and caring educational family in which stakeholders unite to produce well rounded successful citizen of tomorrow”.
“Hillcrest will provide pupils with opportunity to achieve their personal best by using a broad academic, cultural, sporting, technological and innovative curriculum whilst maintaining Christian values”.
The education coverage team of The Manica Post was there. We heard, we saw and we were satisfied.
While many school heads eloquently recite their visions and missions as empty prose-poetry, Mr Joshua Mutangadura like the Biblical Joshua resembles the ancient Jewish leader in his word and determination to lead the children of Hillcrest cross the educational River Jordan into educational Israel.
Deputised by Mr Godwin Nyakudzuka both leaders have wide experience in public and private education. Mrs Francesca Rupiya is the infants Teacher in Charge-Academics.
Answering the question, ‘We know the Hillcrest College star continues to shine. How bright is the Hillcrest Preparatory School star?’
The following was a chronicle of achievements revealed by the school head and his deputy:
Cambridge Primary Checkpoint is offered in English Language, Mathematics and Science and progresses to Secondary Checkpoint, IGCSE, Cambridge International AS and A Level at Hillcrest College. National Zimsec examinations and Chisz (Heads of Independent Schools in Zimbabwe) examinations adequately prepare learners for High school.
In all the above pupils are expected to compete with him/her-self due to their individual differences. Allowances for special needs pupils, are in place to empower them attain their possible best through ICT applications.
Hillcrest Preparatory School attained the following results from its class of 2016: In-line with the our vision of aspiring to mould a well rounded and successful citizen of tomorrow, our learners participate in a wide array of sporting disciplines, cultural activities and undertake structured and comprehensive educational, environmental and industrial tours.
Hockey: Hillcrest consistently makes notable achievements. In 2016, six of our girls made the backbone of the South Eastern Districts (S.E.D and ATS Zone). Our coach Mrs Julia Madzudzo was the provincial team manager.
Boys Hockey: At the Inter Provincials held at Khumalo Hockey Stadium, Christian Muchemwa was the highest goal scorer and led his team as vice captain.
SED Girls Hockey Rep – Proper Chiundo; Shakara Muchine; Sharon Makore; Ruvimbo Matanga
SED Boys Hockey Team – Christian Mchemwa; Shingirai Manyarara
Swimming: Eight boys and girls qualified for the Zimbabwe National Junior Competitions. Tabeel Phiri was awarded a bronze medal. At the Manicaland Championships, Padraig Ratcliff won the Best Swimmer for his age group.
Rugby: Nine boys made the squad. The S.E.D won the Plate Event trophy in 2015. Mr Alex Ndangana has coached and managed this group, Tatenda Chayayi is now playing rugby in South Africa on scholarship. Shingi Manyarara has made the Zim U14 squad. Mr Ndangana, Zim 7’s player (4 years) coaches/manages the S/E/D team at the Inter Provincial Tournaments.
SED Rugby Team – Kupa Chitembwe; Tapiwa Mukono; Zvinodaishe Bere; Seth-Jesse Kodzanai; Tadiwanashe Ndangana; Shingirai Manyarara; Tadiwa Pasipamire
Tennis: Our first team tennis has maintained a high winning rate in their past fixtures last year and beyond. Allana Dourado won the U8 singles tourney at Harare Sports club this year. Mandlenkosi Mthethwa came 2nd with Musa Mthethwa coming 3rd at the highly contested Manicaland Open.
Golf: Kundainashe and Kumbiraishe Mugwagwa made us proud when the girls played at the Hillside Golf Club and the MARUSP Junior Golf at Warren Hills, Harare.
SED Cricket Team reps – Christian Mchemwa; Shingirai Manyarara; Zvinodaishe Bere
Notable Sporting Alumni
David Ewers – Exeter Chiefs U.K
Samson Musiyarira – Club rugby U.K
Emmanual Dozva – Club rugby S.A
Jaques Leitao – Zim rugby
Tinotenda Mawoyo – Zim cricket
Genious Mutsira – Wanderers Cricket Club Namibia
Our senior choir has scooped over the years several Honours grade at the Eisteddfod. The Marimba group continues to show progress and enjoyment. We expect greater things to come from them.
Cinderalla 2015 and Lion King 2017: these plays received rave receivers from the audiences. The Annual Infant plays too, have always left the audience clamoring for more.
The ECD Nativity
The ECD Nativity plays were probably the highlight of the year, as parents were left at a loss to express their appreciation of this production. The ECD went on to be awarded an Honours grade at the Allied Arts in Harare. They won the Best Display Award and Hillcrest Preparatory as a whole has won the Best School Display the Manicaland Agricultural Show in as many years apart from 2016.
Partnerships with Middlethorpe Academy (UK): Hillcrest and the Stars of the Sea (S.A) underwritten by the British Council enabled our learners to showcase various aspects of our culture and curriculum. Visits to our partner countries, by staff and pupils are in the pipeline. The school heads have visited each other and laid the ground work.
Kids Can, a children’s charity that sponsors pupils with cancer treatment is one of the pupils annual recipients of funds they raise. Strickland Lodge and Zororai Old age Home annually receive clothing and groceries worth several hundreds.
Science/Social Projects Display
Individually every child in the junior school researches and compiles a Social or Science project based on a topic of their choice. They are expected to open a file, construct models, display and give a talk on their project findings.
ICT and teaching
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) offer teachers and children educational tools and resources which extend their learning environment. Contrary to what we often think, ICT is not simply about computers but includes anything that requires an input of instructions to produce necessary outcomes, e.g. answering machine, DVD player, washing machine, etc. Computing capability is an essential skill for life and enables learners to participate more readily in a rapidly changing world. Hillcrest Schools aim to instil the necessary skills that each child requires in use of ICT so as to be an essential member of the online population.
Adoption and use of ICT in teaching and learning via the use of new technology continues to pay dividends. Individual progress reports are now generated on soft copy.
The schools newsletter is now available to all. Hillcrests website and Facebook ensures free flow on information.
Afro Culture Evening
Last Wednesday the 24th of May 2017,- parents and pupils donned their African attire and celebrated Africa through dance, drama, poetry and food sampling from different cultures. This was a night to remember.
Open Day- Friday 2 June 10:30 am
Prospective parents, pupils and the community in general are invited to come and have first hand experience of Hillcrest.
A dedicated team of experienced and keen staff have continued to raise learners’ aspirations as they hone their skills through additional qualifications, workshops, ICT etc. Our loyal ancillary staff has continued to perform beyond expectations over the years and is appreciated by all.
The Board of Governors has the responsibility of formulating policy and vision for managerial leadership.
The incumbent committee chaired by Mr Denford Ndakavaambani has made strides in an effort to develop and improve infrastructure, learning and teaching. It’s always refreshing to have former pupils as parents who play an active role in this committee.
Hillcrest Preparatory School looks forward to hosting the renowned Owen Davies Inter-Provincial U13 Rugby Festival, 4th – 5th August 2017. The ATS (Association of Trust Schools) Rugby Festival has been held countrywide for over 20 years. Hillcrest Prep for the first time ever has this year been honoured to host this premier annual U13 Boys Rugby Festival at which the best rugby players from ATS schools in Zimbabwe battle for the coveted Owen Davies Rugby Trophy.
The Manica Post education coverage team, owing to this visit, is convinced and satisfied that Hillcrest Preparatory School solidly and proudly maintains the Hillcrest brand. This reporter particularly learnt that the child’s mind is not an empty vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited. Indeed you can pay teachers to teach, but you cannot pay them to care. Hillcrest Preparatory School cares and makes education for children a joy, management of self less of a burden and learning not only fit for future purpose, but also easier and appropriate.
Hillcrest Preparatory star shines not less bright than the Hillcrest College star. Nothing can be more new-curriculum compliant! Minister Dokora and his curriculum lieutenants will surely smile to know that there are schools that have squarely strengthened their visions and goals with the up-dated curriculum. Hillcrest is one of them. And the Hillcrest curriculum machinery sings from the same hymn book with the Minister of Primary and Secondary education!
It is the passionate hope and wish of this reporter individually and on behalf of the people’s newspaper – The Manica Post that all schools in Zimbabwe teach children, “AS IF THEY WERE WHAT THEY OUGHT TO BE AND HELP THEM BECOME WHAT THEY ARE CAPABLE OF BECOMING.”
Lest you forget! The current Hillcrest college head-girl and 2015 best student in the world- Travel and Tourism ICSGE examination, Rachel Muyambo, and best in the world- History, Gabriella Mashiki are both products of Hillcrest Preparatory school. Many more have made into the world wielding the Hillcrest flag.
Pamberi ne Hillcrest brand! Long Live Hillcrest Brand!