Founders’ Day of 2003 marked the implementing of the changes in the leadership structure of the school. On the morning of 12 September, as the school moved down to the hall to listen to the impassioned and visionary speeches of those who had applied for the position of Head of School, so they all became participants in growth, vitality and change within the school.

In part, the changes were a response to Wynberg’s need to find a way of giving due recognition to and harnessing the leadership of girls at the school, but it was also a way of enabling Wynberg to remain a caring community. As the size of the school increased, so it became easier for students to remain anonymous, and for their needs to be neglected: the vertical house and tutor group system, which came into effect in 2003 and 2004, worked towards making this anonymity more difficult, and was an effort to consolidate the pastoral roles of the student leaders within the school.

The vertical system involves strengthening and promoting the four pillars around which the school is organised – academic, sport, service and cultural activities – and a head student is appointed for each pillar. Equally significant is the Representative Council of Learners (RCL), which, because of its representative nature, is voted into position by the student body only. A head of each of the eight houses is appointed, whose responsiblities include the support and motivation of the members of the four tutor groups in her house. Overseeing all of these positions, are the top two positions of the school for the pupil body: that of Head of School and the Chair of the RCL. All of these positions – the Heads of School, the Pillar Heads, RCL and Heads of Houses – offer considerable areas of responsibility and together they make up the Wynberg Girls’ High School Council. The Matric Leader at the head of each tutor group plays a vital part in the functioning of our vertical tutor group system and of the student leadership as a whole.

In 2004, the school was restructured to revert to the eight houses formerly had in the school: Apsley, Wellington, Wellesley, Copenhagen, Silverlea, Kirsten, Constantia and Cavanagh. At the start of 2004 all students were re-assigned to a house: it was the vision of the school that within these houses, the growth and nurturing of all girls within the school could take place.

The leadership system that has evolved is one based on job-descriptions, for which girls have to apply and be interviewed. We believe that it is a system which  teaches necessary lifeskills, holds our leaders accountable to others for their job. We also believe that this is a system that moves Wynberg further into the twenty-first century. In effecting these changes in 2003, we believed that we were better enabling our students to meet the challenges facing young women in a democratic society. Wynberg is a school which embraces a healthy combination of tradition and modern thinking. From September 2003 therefore, opportunities for student leadership within the school included:

  • The School Council
  • The Representative Council of Learners
  • Matric Leaders
  • Hostel Leadership
  • Matric Committees
  • Leaders/Captains/Chairpersons/Presidents of the various sports, clubs and societies.