Bright horizons for Golden Hours School

Arul Padayachee (acting deputy principal), Rowan Hornby (principal), Sindiswe Memela (acting HOD) and Lucinda Mohamed (HOD) could not hide their excitement for the future of the humble little school.

NEW beginnings are imminent for staff and pupils at the Golden Hours Special Needs School as they announce the promotion of two staff members.

Former deputy principal, Rowan Hornby (52), has now been promoted to principal, after Gordon Brown retired last year. While Lucinda Mohamed (43), was thrilled to learn that she had been selected to oversee the duties as the new head of department.

Both of the passionate educators are keen to bridge the gap between the school and the local community. “We are hoping to bring the school back in touch with the community. We want to create more awareness about the school and what we do here, and also to make the children more aware of the community, so as to broaden their horizons,” said Hornby.

Hornby, who joined the school almost 23 years ago, said that she has never felt so blessed and had always gravitated towards the needs of the differently abled. “I find it incredibly rewarding to watch these special young people progress, grow and develop a sense of self esteem. It has also been rewarding in the sense that I have worked with some of the most phenomenal group of people. It is such an honour to be a part of the Golden Hours family. Once people join the family they never want to leave,” said the proud educator.

Mohamed, who began her career as a mainstream educator, found her passion for special needs children after completing matric and volunteering at a school for the deaf.

“I always wanted to get back into special needs education, so when this opportunity presented itself, many years ago, I was thrilled. The challenges are very different from mainstream education, but it is much more rewarding. It is not just about the educational needs. It is about watching that child develop from someone who does not have the ability to speak and then to hear that child call you teacher,” she said.

The wife and mother has dedicated six years of her life to the school and it’s pupils. “One of my dreams is to teach our children about uplifting the community. We want to teach them about people who are less fortunate than themselves and how they can, in turn, help these people in their community,” she said.

According to Hornby, plans are also being developed to start a pre-vocational unit at the school, which will cater for children aged 18 to 17 – helping them to gear up for employment. There are also plans to build a pre-school and after-care centre at the school.

“Children with disabilities often find conventional nursery schools stressful, so we are very excited about providing pre-school and after-school care,” said Hornby

Golden Hours is a special needs school that currently caters for 185 children with various disabilities.

According to Hornby, the staff do not merely see to the education needs of the children but are also passionate about providing pastoral care and emotional development.

Mariclair Smit

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