Danville bases its leadership programme on a servant leadership model...working together to enable each person in the school to be the best that they can be. We encourage our girls to embrace leadership opportunities whether as class captains, monitors, mentors, chairs of societies or prefects. Our new leadership model was developed over 2 years and implemented in 2011 in response to the growing need for girls to specialise and serve each area of the school. We modelled our structure on a diamond – with each area of school life being represented by a facet : Academic, Media Centre, Culture, Community Service, Environmental, Pastoral Care, Class and Sport.
Aspirant prefects are invited to apply for the position of prefect in a formal application process that begins in June. Applications are scored by a panel of teachers; the senior school votes for their leader choice; and applicants are interviewed and appointed in September. They undergo an extended period of training for 4 months to equip them to lead the school both by personal example as well as by inspiring those in their facets to be the best that they can be. The overriding philosophy is for the prefect to be seen as “a wise sister” rather than a “policewoman”.
Representative Council of Learners
The RCL members represented each grade in the school and are voted into position in a democratic election. The RCL serves the very important function of building school spirit through participation and encouragement as well as bringing issues of the student body to the attention of the school management. Each member of the RCL is committed to working alongside her team to ensure the success of projects such as Fun Day, Founders Day and the Matric final assembly.
At Danville, the mentor is seen as “a trusted and wiser older sister.” Whether serving as an Academic Mentor in Mathematics, Afrikaans and English to build the confidence of their peers or as Orientation Mentors to enable the Grade 8’s to settle into their new high school comfortably and happily, the mentors gently walk alongside those needing support until they are confident enough to cope on their own.
Our monitors are our “doers” ... the girls who often work quietly behind the scenes to ensure the smooth running of important aspects of the school. Whether they are assisting in the Media Centre or Art Studios, operating the sound and projection systems in the Hall or making sure the worms in the worm farm are kept fed and healthy, these young ladies give willingly of their time and energy.
Each class is served by a class captain who is assisted by a vice class captain. These captains serve a vital role in communication within the school as they liaise between their class, the teacher and the Front Office. They have a powerful opportunity to lead from the front as they organise and motivate class participation in various school events and also join in the fun as one of “team”.
Danville has many societies who serve specific interest groups within our Danville family. These societies are ably led by a senior girl who is mentored by the supervising teacher. Their creative ideas, fresh approaches and wonderful energies have steered the societies into meaningful directions.
Challenging young people to move out of their comfort zones and explore their potential strengths is the intention of the prestigious international President’s Award. Under the patronage of the Duke of Edinburgh and in South Africa, of the late Nelson Mandela, the programme requires the participants to complete modules in sport, service, learn a new skill as well as completing an adventurous journey. When President Jacob Zuma took over patronage from Nelson Mandela, he quoted Danville gold medallist, Suvarna Indermun:
‘In the words of Suvarna Indermun fom KwaZulu-Natal who achieved her Gold Award on 23rd September 2010: “You start off unsure, but then you get to know this person you already had inside of you and then you realise that you are nobody but yourself... The President’s Award has taught me to always remain positive and to do the impossible, and then, even when there’s a voice inside me saying ‘You cannot do it’, I go ahead and do it anyway because then the voice is silenced and I have achieved my goal. The Award has pushed me far beyond anything I could ever have imagined myself doing.”’