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Roedean Academy

Changing Lives through Education

The Roedean Academy is an initiative spearheaded by Roedean School (SA) that aims to provide additional tuition for Scholars from under-resourced schools.

We have established a world class training environment which is sustainable and which is having a significant influence on South Africa’s English, Mathematics, Physical Science and Accounting education for girls from under resourced communities. We have partnered with the neighbouring Barnato Park High School. We provide tuition in Mathematics, English, Physical Science,Accounting and English to Grade 10- Grade 12 girls and tuition in Mathematics and English to Grade 8 and 9 girls. In total we have 100 girls at the Academy.

During the School year, girls attend the program on various afternoons per week. Keeping the class size to a maximum of 20, the girls are tutored in Mathematics, Physical Science and English by dedicated Roedean staff, using Roedean’s facilities. Time is also set aside to use the computer room for research and to complete school assignments.

Launched in 2009, this is a life changing programme and the success of the academy has been encouraging. Five of our past students have been awarded full bursaries for tertiary education. Other girls have gone on to study Education with the view to becoming teachers. These girls have been able to use the platform of the Academy to launch the start of successful careers.

We also reflect with pride the measured improvement that we see in English, Mathematics,Physical Science and Accounting marks, as we track our girls’ progress over the years. The Academy changes lives; each pupil receives individual care and attention, and the resulting development is difficult to measure adequately, but very inspiring to witness.

The Roedean Academy is sponsored by donations from companies wishing to invest in the future of education. We extend particular thanks to Bidvest Bank,The Fraay Institute,Anglo American Chairman’s Fund, DRA and Mills & Otten Environmental Consultants,South African Old Girl Association (SAORA) and Roedean Families for their very generous donations. Without our sponsors support, this would not be possible.

What we provide at the Academy

  • • We provide additional tuition in English, Mathematics, Accounting and Physical Science.
  • • Enrichment afternoons are arranged once per term
  • • Our Grade 10 Leadership Camp
  • • Our Grade 11 pupils participate in psychometric testing to assist with career choices
  • • Our Grade 11 pupils attend a careers evening
  • • Our Grade 12 pupils attend a 5 day study camp
  • • Use of computer tablets are provided for the girls
  • • Use of the Roedean School (SA) library
  • • Assistance with University and Bursary applications
  • • Transport is provided for the girls
  • • All girls are given a hot lunch
  • • An all weather jacket is provided for all pupils from Grade 10 upwards
  • • Stationery is provided
  • • Study Guides are provided
  • • Access to IT including internet and library
  • • Access to resources used in teaching English, Mathematics, Accounting and Physical Science
  • • All girls attend a training session in HIVAIDS
  • • All Grade 8 and 9 girls will partake in a careers programme that will be based on assisting with subject choices.
  • • Prize giving and a certificate of participation at the end of the year

In 2013, we extended the programme in Mathematics to Grade 8 and Grade 9 for Barnato Park High School girls. They have now been attending Mathematics lessons twice each week. These girls are making progress using the MyMaths online programme as well as with extra lessons given by Roedean teachers. In 2015, we have extended the Grade 8 and 9 programme to include English as well as Mathematics

The Next Step Programme

In addition to The Roedean Academy, we have started a new programme called “The Next Step”.
This is to assist Academy girls once they have matriculated. The aim of this programme is to cover the following:

  • A University Bursary and a monthly stipend for a deserving student
  • Educational assessments for learnerships
  • Stipends for learnerships (if not paid by the company)
  • Transport to and from interviews

Our Academy changes lives and we want to ensure that all the girls who have been part of the Academy are secured in the next step of their careers and can start making a difference to their families and to their community.


Comments from the Academy pupils

“Thank you for believing in us and in our dreams. This is a life time opportunity and I am so happy to be part of this.”

“I feel privileged to be part of a programme that has enhanced and shaped my life in all sorts of ways”

“Thank you for the opportunity to experience a high class education. It has given me the chance to improve in most of my subjects and especially in Science”

“I sincerely thank you for the love and care in building a firm foundation for my future. The Academy has opened my eyes to view the world positively”


The Roedean Academy Prize Giving

The Roedean Academy Prize Giving took place on 5 November, 2016, in Founders Hall at Roedean School. It was a wonderful occasion, filled with much celebration, as the girls delighted in their own achievements, as well as the achievements of their friends.

The Academy Director, Ms Sandi McCallum, spoke about the Academy and outlined its achievements during the course of 2016. She congratulated the prize winners and encouraged all present to always be reading. Following the speech, the Executive Headmistress of Roedean School, Mrs Mary Williams, handed out the certificates and book prizes to the delighted recipients.

“Thank you” speeches by the girls followed the prizes. This was a highlight for all of the guests as the girls spoke so beautifully and sincerely, thanking their various teachers. Guests were inspired by the by the passion and eloquence of the Academy pupils tributes to the dedication of their teachers.

After the speeches, there was a message to the Matric girls by Mrs Caroline Green who imparted great advice to the girls. Mrs Agnes Nugent announced the winners of the Realema teaching bursaries and Mrs Brett Jury from Bidvest Bank announced the bursary for the top Roedean Academy Grade 12 student for 2016. This bursary includes study and accommodation fees, and it is certainly a life-changing opportunity for the lucky recipient of this remarkable award.

Following the Prize Giving, the Academy Girls, teachers, parents, and guests were treated to a sumptuous tea in the beautiful Roedean Gardens. It was a very special day and all present left with a sense of fulfilment and achievement.

The Academy Camp for Grade 10 and Grade 11

Our Academy girls have never experienced a camp before, so in April, 40 very excited Grade 10 and 11 girls boarded the bus to attend a 3 day leadership camp at SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE. Whilst many children take camps for granted, this camp provided so many firsts for our girls who live in difficult and often over-crowded city conditions.

The girls were divided into 4 groups with their own group leaders who seem to have resonated with so many of them and imparted valuable skills into their lives.
For three days, the girls built go-karts, did abseiling, rock climbing, obstacle courses and enjoyed the beautiful outdoors. It was a life changing experience for so many as they learnt so much about themselves and conquered many fears. They have spoken about many of the simpler things in life that so impressed them – things like seeing so many rocks, seeing fire flies for the first time, wading in muddy rivers, having fruit available to them whenever they wanted it.

What did the girls think about the camp?
“Rock climbing was beyond amazing”

“I really enjoyed being outdoors especially in a place of nature because of the sounds of the birds and the insects and the trees blowing. It was so peaceful and I got the chance to stop thinking about everything and focus on myself and be happy”

“Going on a camp has always been a dream to me. I honestly never thought that it would ever turn into a reality”

“Cabin 4 vibes were fantastic, and learning to know my strengths and all about leadership was awesome – I wish I could go back”

“I can’t begin to explain the intense anticipation and excitement that was in me from the moment I got there. I think it is because my soul just belonged. I felt so fresh and happy in the most deep way. I have never felt so good”

“I could watch the millions of bright shining stars that formed different shapes in different sizes”

“I fell in love with the beauty, the sound of nothing but little insects and birds and how pretty the stars glowed at night. It melted my heart as I stared”

“I did not know that fire flies could be so enchanting”

“Rock climbing was my favourite activities – when I looked down my insides turned to mash”

Swimming Lessons:

Every year, Roedean School (SA) runs a very successful water-polo tournament which is sponsored by Old Mutual. The pre-requisite for playing in this tournament is that each participating school must have partnered with an under-resourced school and be teaching swimming skills at that school. As part of an U14 outreach initiative, our Roedean girls sold bangles in order to raise additional funds for the programme. With the money from the sale of the bangles, we decided to use it to teach swimming to our Grade 9 Barnato Academy girls. This is a separate initiative that is not funded by the Academy – we just decided to use the Academy girls as part of the programme and to teach them to swim.

During Summer, the grade 9’s now come to Roedean on an extra day. This is entirely voluntary but we had 16 girls here. We split them into 2 groups and whilst one group was having swimming lessons, the other group was doing extra maths on the tablets so they even had maths practise on their swimming day. With the funds raised covering the swimming lesson and with towels, costumes and caps being donated, our little swimmers were ready for their first experience in water.

With a few very nervous starters and plenty of cramping toes (I started keeping salt and vinegar chips with me for the crampers), our girls loved it. After Term 1, 11 of the 16 are water safe. More so, the experience has been so worthwhile for them and whilst there are no future Olympians amongst them, they delight in splashing through the water.

Michaela Welcome participates in National Round Square Conference:

This year, Roedean School (SA) hosted the Round Square Africa Regional Conference for 14-15 year olds in February 2016. Round Square is a worldwide network of innovative schools in 40 countries across five continents. Round Square schools are characterised by a shared belief in an approach to education based on six pillars. These are Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership and Service.
Round Square Delegates from schools from all over the country came to Roedean. The conference focused on many aspects including leadership, service, educational events, social, adventure and discussions. Michaela Welcome, Grade 9 from Barnato Park and part of the Academy joined the Roedean team and attended the conference. She, along with the Roedean girls stayed in the Sunnyside hotel and spent an incredible 5 days on the conference where she came away inspired, excited, motivated and grateful for this wonderful opportunity.

“The Round Square Conference 2016 was an extraordinary experience for me. I had the opportunity to meet students from places like Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya. I also had the chance to learn new things from them and to look at things from a different perspective. I had lots of fun and I would not trade the experience for all of the jewels in the world”
Michaela Welcome Grade 9

First Aid Training:
30 of our girls attended a St Johns Level 1 first aid course. The girls learnt the following aspects of First Aid:
* Introduction to First Aid
* Casualty management: shock, unconsciousness, fainting
* Adult and child resuscitation
* Severe bleeding
* Medical conditions
* Secondary survey
* Wound care
* Burns
* Bone and joint injuries
* Multiple casualty management

They were so enriched by this course. They learnt new skills, leant about themselves and learnt how to help others. They absolutely loved acquiring this new knowledge.

Calculator training:
This year, Tal Moore from Sharp calculators sponsored our Grade 10 class with Scientific calculators. She also came to Roedean and gave a workshop on how to use the calculators. Our girls are extremely proud of their brand new calculators .

Grade 8 and 9 Careers Afternoon:

Due to the success of last year’s programme, we did another careers afternoon for our Grade 8 and 9 class. We had 16 different career stands and the girls moved from table to table learning about the careers and filling in a quiz. Keeping it fun, the girls earned treats along the way. This year, Pinkie Ndaba, Matric 2014 who went on a successful learnership programme with Hollard Insurance and from March 2015 has been employed permanently by Hollard “manned” one of our stands and explained to the girls what insurance is all about. The girls were most inspired to have a former school mate on the other side of the table. As most of our girls have so little exposure to the variety of careers out there, they so enjoy learning about the different careers.

Saturday morning information sessions:

On two Saturdays per term, the Grade 10 – 12 girls come to Roedean for life skills training. The girls have been finding them extremely helpful. The following topics have been covered:

Study Skills
Stress Management
Effective Communication
Dealing with Grief

Matric Study Camp:
On Sunday, 26 June, 2016, 16 Roedean Academy Grade 12 girls and 20 St Johns Academy Grade 12 boys left to go on a 5 day study skills camp at Maretlwane Outdoor Campus in Magaliesburg. This camp is structured around the pupils receiving intensive lessons in English, Mathematics, Science and Accounting by St Johns and Roedean staff. Together with the organised studying, they also go a lovely hike and enjoy some traditional camp activities. On the first three days, additional lessons are held from 7:00 – 19:00 daily so it is an intensive studying time where the pupils learn, revise and practise their various subjects. On the remaining two days, extra lessons are interspersed with the camp activites. This camp is vital for their final preparation for their matric exam.

Science Practical Day:
With the building of the five new Science labs last year, the Roedean Academy pupils are now able to enjoy their lessons in the new Science labs and get to experience state of the art equipment. As time is always a factor, the girls also come to Roedean on various Saturdays during the year for practical workshops. These special practical workshops provide an opportunity for exposure to practical work for pupils who have only limited exposure to scientific experiments. Feeling like proper scientists in their white gowns the girls can enjoy seeing the reality of what they learn in theory. Science becomes a living subject!

Ways to Help

How can you help?

Bursaries and Learnerships
Most of our Academy girls cannot afford tertiary education. We require companies to assist in placing some of our learners in internship and learnership programmes or to sponsor some of our girls to study further in tertiary institutions.

The Roedean Academy is sustained by sponsorship from companies and individuals who wish to invest in the future and in changing young lives. You or your company can either give a once off donation or for as little as R100-00 per month, you can contribute towards sponsoring the education of a learner at the Roedean Academy or sponsoring The Next Step Programme.

If you or your company wish to be involved in any form of sponsorship, or if you wish to attend a presentation and learn more about the Academy, please can you contact Kate Lowings on or (011) 647 3200.

We are able to supply a letter from independent auditors stating that the beneficiaries of the Roedean Academy are 100% black females

Roedean Academy Video