Wynberg Girls reflects on past, looks to future

Wynberg Girls’ High School principal Dr Jennifer Wallace, middle, with head pupil Shakeelah Williams, left, and representative council of learners chairperson Layla Poole.

Wynberg Girls’ Schools celebrated their 138-year history at a founder’s day ceremony last Friday.

“We are celebrating the founding of our school, but it is obviously tricky. The school was not always open to people of all races, and it was very patriarchal many years ago,” said Wynberg Girls’ High School deputy principal David Burrell. “So we try to break away from that and look at the more modern history and how things have changed both in facilities as well as more significant changes that have been made in terms of making people feel more included.”

In 2020, the school revamped its entrance hall and memory room to reflect not only its history before 1994 but also its history since then.

Recent developments include a veggie garden, solar panels and a science lab that is expected to be completed next year.

Guest speaker Liz Mills, from the class of 1972, said: “I would like to acknowledge all of you who lead, transform, teach and serve here and you who chose to school here. All of you who ensure that this remains an attractive and worthwhile centre of learning.”

Dr Jennifer Wallace, the principal of Wynberg Girls’ High, said it was vital to recognise where we come from and how we get to where we are today.

“We celebrate those people who have helped us reach this point in time and history. Also recognising that it has been a very difficult, painful past. At the same time, we celebrate who we are today and where we are going in the future.”

The school wanted to retain traditions that unite and discard those that divide, she said.

Wynberg Girls’ Junior School pupils light up their cellphone torches while performing Keep Holding On by Avril Lavigne.