Opening of the Cambridge & Nonpareil Academy
The official opening of the revamped and upgraded Cambridge & Nonpareil Academy was held on the morning of Friday 15 February.
The opening was attended by DHS Foundation Trustees and staff, sponsors of the project, DHS Governing Body members, representatives from primary schools, staff of DHS and invited guests.
Mr Louis Ardé, CEO of the DHS Foundation, opened the ceremony, welcoming the guests and thanking Mr AD Pinheiro, Head Master of Durban High School, whose initiative the Academy was. He also thanked Mrs Carolyn Dickinson, Head of the Academy, for her professionalism and drive and for her role in the planning of the centre, the maintenance team, headed by Mr Gerhardt Aylward, for their hard work and input, Mrs Lynne Worth, Head of IT, for her considerable input and he thanked the companies involved in the construction of the Centre. Finally, Mr Ardé expressed a special thanks to the Trustees and staff of the Foundation for their significant contribution.
Mr Ardé then handed over to Mr Pinheiro who echoed Mr Ardé’s thanks and paid tribute to the sponsors of the project:
The Victor Daitz Foundation for the new digitised telephone system, the new intercom system which reaches every single classroom, the cameras in every classroom and around the campus, and the new biometric system;
Sabvest and Datatec who, through Mr Chris Seabrooke, sponsored the IT upgrade and iPads for the school; and
DHS Foundation Trust for funding and managing the upgrades.
He thanked Mr Spooner and Mr Owen of the Governing Body for their support of the projects and their input.
The Academy which now houses 76 boys, up from 40 in 2018, already has a high demand for the 2020 intake.
Mrs Dickinson then spoke on how the impact of the Academy, in the short space of a year, had advanced the academic achievements of the boys with its focus on boy-centred learning, the different approach used with autonomous and self-directed learning. In addition, she shared how the training and experience the educators received had spilled over into the mainstream classrooms and benefitted all the boys of Durban High School.
Guest Speaker, Mr Craig Duff, CEO of NewBridge, the new university campus on the DHS property, spoke on the changes which needed to be made to education to make it relevant by 2030; how the youth, through autonomous learning and using critical thinking can be assisted to be prepared for success in an ever-changing world, for careers that do not yet exist.
Both the Cambridge Nonpareil Academy and NewBridge shift the focus from teaching to learning, actively engaging with content instead of rote-learning; learning instead to solve problems and develop new ideas through a combination of divergent and convergent thinking.
Teachers remain the most important part of the autonomous classroom, providing guidance and feedback, teaching error analysis and assisting the learners to use their mistakes as learning opportunities.
The newly renovated Centre is a magnificent learning area, especially designed and furnished for optimal use.
Light and airy, with wooden floors, it has different learning areas – cubicles for independent work, clusters of desks for group work, desks for laptop use, data projectors and whiteboards. It is also air-conditioned.
This is a ground-breaking time for Durban High School … the school with a proud past and an exciting future.
Thank you to the DHS Foundation, sponsors and staff for turning the vision into reality.