Rationale and Purpose
In fulfilment of BRIDGE’s vision for school leadership in the country, BRIDGE supports Communities of Practice for principals at a district level in Gauteng. The position of a principal is often described as a lonely one, and these communities give principals the opportunity to network and give each other mutual support in a framework of trust.
Ekurhuleni North was the first of such Communities of Practice to be established in 2012.
The principals meet every month in facilitated sessions. These are guided by issues and topics they themselves identify as key to improving their effectiveness. The principals often share resources, advice and assistance in a space they have come to regard as safe and enabling.
Since its establishment, wonderful impact stories have come from this Community of Practice and the effects on their schools and shared community have been great. Understanding this space to be more than just a forum for sharing, the principals have made great strides in developing solutions to common problems. In 2013, after sharing frustration at declining mathematics marks, the principals came together to conduct a maths analysis test for their previous Grade 7s in an effort to identify gaps in teaching. Using the results that BRIDGE helped to collate, they initiated maths workshops for their Grade 7 teachers, in which various methodologies were shared so that teachers could see how others were introducing certain concepts in exciting and fun ways. Many similar examples of building and creating best practice continue to come from this Community of Practice.
Link to the BRIDGE Knowledge Hub for meeting highlights, presentations, tools and documented working practice from this Community.
Established in 2012, the group contains nine schools that, while sharing geographical proximity, have been deeply affected by the segregation of the historical education system with the result that some schools have been historically under-resourced while others not. Working in the same town, these principals have come to develop deep trust and camaraderie through their participation, and the impact of their leadership capacities through communal support continues to flourish.
Because of its sensitive nature, the work of the principals is closed for public contribution. However, some of the learnings and stories are shared on our platforms with permission from the relevant group.
To find out how you can assist these principals, or want to know how you can start your own group, contact Info@bridge.org.za for more information.
Camaraderie among us [principals] is great. We don't hold back; our facilitator listens and picks up our problems instantly and we reflect. It's really a heart to heart.