Winter school snuck up on us this year, and not in an unassuming king of way, kind of when a loud bang goes off next to you when you least expecting it kind of way Yes… just like that!

160 learners, 40 tutors, 3 busses and loads of enthusiasm, excitement and passion charged their way down the N2 to UCT Middle Campus for 10 days of learning, discovering and fun.

It’s hard to believe what we work so hard to plan for months before all ends seemingly faster than when it began! And with SO many amazing workshops, challenging tutoring times and passion from all the volunteers and learners it’s hard to give an overview of what happened this year, but I’ll try!

–      Grade 11 and 12 chemistry workshops in the UCT Chemistry Labs – facilitated by Thobela Bixa, check out his incredible achievement here

–      Tutoring for all the grades working through past exam papers and Answer Series books. With over 40 volunteers we achieved a ratio today of 1:4 learners per tutor! Talk about an intense time!

–      PSH (Peers in Sexual Health) ran self-awareness workshops, while Sunstep got involved making alarms and facilitating other experiments with physics students.

–      Rose, a volunteer from Stanford is working this week on a photography workshop, while other students got involved in deep debate.

–      Andreas and his team from ERM, and Matthew from Cape Leopard Trust made sure the students got to grips with our environment, learning about how to make their immediate environment more sustainable, going for walks in Tokai forest finding a few wild animals along the way..

–      Capitec ran some financial literacy training workshops, have a read about how they went here

–      Nadia ran a very creative workshop where learners molded their own pots from clay (a little messy, a LOT of fun)

–      Nkuli and the guys from Live Magazine were back this year for some photo shoot action, as well as creating content for their YouTube channel

–      South African Astronomical Observatory ran workshops about what’s happening in our solar system, while the week ended off with Joy from UCT Wellness Centre putting our students through their dramatic paces presenting various health issues

Not to forget while this is all happening the Grade 11 & 12 students all ran through Operation Fikelela, a computer literacy program, while tutors set projects, homework and feedback sessions for all the grades.

Tuesday (26 June) in the first week also marked the one-year anniversary of the passing of Mphumzi Klaas, our friend, our confidant and a huge part of the Makhaza branch. We began the very emotional day with a very moving memorial service with a few people speaking, a video being show and most poignantly the choir singing moving the room to fresh tears as if one year ago was yesterday. And while the Ikamvanites once again balance grieving and all the madness that winter school brings, they did this instead of with incredible sadness and heavy hearts, but with a spirit of tenacity and perseverance they threw themselves into tutoring and workshops, with a renewed commitment to making this the best winter school possible, to show that through adversity and sadness, good can come, that people when united can make the impossible happen.

 

WOW! With so much happening, the biggest winter school IY has ever had finished with bang, and almost as fast as it arrived it was all over, classrooms packed up and cleaned, busses full to bursting on a day with some of the biggest downpour Cape Town has seen this winter, I can only begin to think of all the fun and excitement we can expect next year! Only after a loooooooooooong rest though…

A huge Huge HUUUUUGE thanks to ALL the workshop facilitators, tutors and learners – Your passion, commitment, excitement and leadership shown over these two weeks make this one of the best winter schools ever! Also to Lolita, Deidre and all that UCT for availing the space to us, BIG UP!!!