Once upon a time, in a College in the Hilton valley, in KwaZulu Natal, there was a chaplain who cared for people so deeply. His caring on a daily basis created relationships that were inter-woven into the everyday activities of the College. Day and night he looked out for people left behind, sick or poor. Then he left, moving on and working into communities. The College recognised the relationships built over time and set their feet to walk the same path.

A year on, in 2004, the College employed a woman to specifically follow on from the work of the chaplain. This woman began to weave the relationships together. Slowly as people got to know each other, the relationships formalised into partnerships. Those partnerships grew as they were tended to with honesty, love, patience and time. They grew into relationships that benefitted more than just the one person, but rather the many. The impact of the partnerships began to be felt through schools, communities, government and the College itself. What began as one man with one other person, blossomed into many partnerships with numerous communities.

Today, the College houses STEPP. The St Anne’s Education in Partnership Programme, which partners over and over again with many in need who strive for excellence and access to education. The College willingly and lovingly shoulders the responsibility of being a community resource through relating with their surrounding community and growing in stature together.

In a short decade, the staff and girls of the College have committed to serving their community by making excellent education accessible to all South Africans. The current demands have focussed their efforts on early childhood development, literacy, Maths and Science with pre-schools, junior schools, high schools and teaching staff. Now there are three women who work tirelessly to co-ordinate the opportunities that come their way in delivering excellent education to all who venture into the life of the College.

Community partnership in education is seen as the responsibility of the College through the vehicle of STEPP. It is no longer left to one man, but has become the joy of all who come in and out the gates of the College. And in years to come it will be said that, “Once upon a time there as a College, that had the opportunity to make excellent education accessible to all South Africans. And they took up that challenge with open arms and enjoyed the fruits of that act for years thereafter”.


  • Partnerships


    The vision of STEPP is to make excellent education accessible to all South Africans


    Umusa Wenkosi Pre-School, God's Little Lambs and Nkululeko Crèche partner with STEPP. The focus of these three Partnerships is to prepare the children for Grade One in:

    • Number and colour recognition
    • Puzzling and conceptual matching of colours, numbers or shapes
    • pencil control
    • Fine and gross motor skills
    • English literacy

    The ECD partnerships meet every week of the school term. The number of volunteers on the weekly visits allows for Small learning groups and greater attention to detail for each of the pre-school learners.

    The remarkable bond that forms between volunteer and learner enables learning, socialisation, citizenship and role Modelling to take place in a reciprocal relationship. You can see in the pictures that much concentration is required at This age to complete the tasks and that the expectation of the learner is that they master the skills.

    The volunteers are trained for their role through the following workshops:

    • Pre-school observation in local schools
    • Psychomotor
    • Planning and administration
    • Reading and literacy

    ECD Monitoring and Evaluation:

    In the partnerships, pre- and post-tests, observation and motor skill assessments are used to assess the children's School readiness. The following developments were noted in the partnerships with Nkululeko Crèche, God's Little Lambs And Umusa Wenkosi Pre-School:

    English Literacy

    Identification and verbalisation

    Identify pictures and name them in isiZulu and English



    Increased vocabulary and better contextual use of words



    Spelling out the alphabet and words in relation to pictures



    Spelling out words from their knowledge of the alphabet



    All of the children’s colouring-in skills have improved and
    Consequently their pencil control. Most of the Grade R children
    are now able to colour in the lines



    The children are now able to use the correct colours that the
    worksheet has instructed them to use without help from the
    girls and are not hesitant as they work


    Shape recognition

    Recognised very few in the beginning of the year. The Grade
    R children learnt all the shapes and colours by the end of the
    Year. (The most difficult to learn was the triangle)

    Readiness Skills

    Pictures from the first and third
    term are compared

    Pencil control and muscle strength have improved
    considerably over the year


    They had to draw in the parts
    of the face, and tell us what
    each part was

    Learning different parts of the face. At the beginning of the
    year we did a similar exercise on parts of the face, and the
    Children got very confused between the nose and the ears. At
    The end of the year they got them right.


    After drawing we sang ‘Heads,
    shoulders, knees and toes’
    in the English and the isiZulu

    Demonstrated their understanding of the words in practice,
    This was also fun.


    Mathematical skills

    Number recognition was easy with much less hesitation



    Greater numbers recognised and verbalised than in January



    Ability to count further without aid



    Add and subtract



    Volunteers understand greater number of isiZulu words

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