Archdiocese of Windhoek
Roman Catholic Church
Windhoek      Holy Cross Convent School
Holy Cross School
97 Werner List Street
P.O. Box 203
Windhoek, Namibia


Tel: (264 61) 235129
Fax: (264 61) 248008

holycross@iway.na
   
  Holy Cross Convent  
click on images for larger view
Holy Cross Entrance

Library & Needle Work can be fun!
Holy Cross Campus
Namibia's future Musicians!
View from School grounds

Namibia's future Chess Champions!

Drama tapping into other talents

Learning computers is alot of fun!

Namibia's future Athletes!
Step 1: Application: The School is open to all races and creeds. A form with essential information is completed by the parent/guardian on the School premises on a set date (usually mid August). A copy of the child's birth certificate is attached. The correct age is essential for entry into Pre School and Grade 1 in particular. The child must have attained the age of five / six years by 31 December of the preceding year.

Step 2: Interviews & Testing: Applicants are submitted to tests (English and Maths), compiled by Holy Cross Staff.

Step 3: Grading / Selection: Provided the age is correct and the test results are satisfactory, we give preference to a sibling of a child already at Holy Cross or a child of practising Catholic parents; remaining places are filled with other successful candidates.

Step 4: Within a fortnight of testing, parents are informed by phone whether their child has been placed for the following academic year or not.

Step 5: Registration: In order to secure the place (in fairness to the School Management and other successful candidates) we encourage a speedy non-refundable deposit of N$500.

The Holy Cross Primary School in January of 2004
We started the year with an enrollment of 470 pupils, two parallel classes per grade, Pre-school to Grade 7. There are twenty-three teachers on the staff, including five Sisters. We follow Curricula prescribed by the Namibian Ministry of Education and greatly supplement them. School hours of formal learning are from 7h15 - 13h00 and afternoon activities are conducted from 14h00 - 16h00. Pupils and Staff are encouraged to avail themselves of every opportunity to enter competitions organized by the Ministry of Education, Business or any Private Sector. All afternoon activities are monitored by a member of the staff. Classes and Activities are:

Morning
Religious Education
English (medium of instruction)
Afrikaans (from Grade 2 upwards)
German (from Grade 5 - 7)
Mathematics
Natural Science, Social Studies
Computer Literacy, Chess
Craft and Technology
Music, Art, Library
Physical Training

Afternoon
Motorics
Athletics, Tennis, Netball, Swimming, Soccer
Choir and Drama, Percussion Instruments
Environment Club, Young Scientists' Club
Brownies and Girl Guides
"Window of Hope" (HIV, AIDS)

Our Vision Statment and Mission Statement as formulated by the Staff, Board of Governors and PTA

Our Vision statement: The Holy Cross Convent School, Windhoek, is a Catholic Educational Institution, which is characterized by its ecclesial and cultural identity.
It continues to be a place of holistic education of the person by focusing on Christ as its foundation, animated by Gospel Values. It shares in the Evangelising Mission of the Church.
The school highlights the relevance of Faith to life and contemporary culture in its service to society.

A School Community on Mission:
• We offer quality Catholic Education that embodies the development of Christian attitudes and values that will, in the long term, contribute to a just society.

• As Holy Cross Sisters we conduct our School in collaboration with a dedicated, caring, committed, stable and well qualified staff who will bring Christ into the classroom by example and through their teaching.

• The continuous presence of the Sisters on the school premises gives a sense of security, permanence, freedom and peace.

• We provide an environment conducive to the development of the whole child through opportunities for learning and growth in the Spiritual, Moral, Social, Intellectual and Physical spheres.

• Parents are recognized as the prime educators of their children and we maintain communication between the school, the pupils and parents. We create opportunities to foster understanding, co-operation and involvement within the school community.

• By admitting children of a great variety of backgrounds we strive to instil values that will strengthen and increase understanding and acceptance between diverse people.

• By outreach programmes we teach responsibility towards less fortunate people, (especially children) and the care of the natural environment.

• We focus on skills and knowledge that will foster self-confidence and success and thus contribute to the pupils becoming morally responsible, competent and productive citizens.

• Our belief in a multiracial education has borne fruit. Our school is undoubtedly regarded as a proven example of a democratic teaching institution. Its composition of pupils, coming from a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, representing seventeen main languages, is a true reflection of the Namibia of today.

• In order to support a child in its struggle to find its Namibian identity in an English medium school, we offer free Remedial Service to pupils in Grade 1 and 2.

• We are a non-profit institution. We take great pains to keep the school fees as low as possible in order to give access to a superior education to as many as possible.

In our context "Private School" does not imply a school for the elite. We try to obtain donations in order to provide limited financial assistance to deserving, promising children from less fortunate families. A recent development is the securing of a sponsor for such children.

CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS AT THE HOLY CROSS CONVENT 1906-2006

SOME HISTORY

It is difficult to believe that this vibrant and exciting institution is one hundred years old - only the clothes worn by the Sisters, teachers and children in the old photographs indicate that the Holy Cross Convent has been in existence for a long time. Even the well-preserved buildings do not look that old, which only goes to show that the Holy Cross Sisters who planned so long ago, planned with vision and common sense for the future.

When one walks along the beautifully wide and spacious corridors, (not really found in modern school buildings any more) and one passes the large, light and airy classrooms with their old-fashioned desks, ( which were made to outlast all of us), one knows that one is in a place that has been loved, cared for and preserved for many generations. One is immediately aware of the lovely atmosphere that exists here - sweet, young voices are almost always singing or chanting something or the other, the occasional raised voice of a teacher and the sound of laughing children. This is a place which is alive with learning, where children find the right conditions to develop their potential.

Those of us who work here, consider ourselves most fortunate to be part of the fine tradition which was initiated by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate of Huenfeld and then put into action by the Franciscan Sisters of Nonnenwerth. They started the Hohere Tochterscule (the Girl's High School) in 1906 and enrolled 7 girls. The Sisters persevered and sacrificed much to keep the school going, especially during the First World War. Despite all their difficulties the school's enrollment had increased from 7 to 125 by 1919. By this time the school had gained an outstanding reputation for both academic as well as cultural excellence. However, the Franciscan Sisters, after a great deal of deliberation, decided to withdraw from the school because of the many problems that were being experienced. 27 Sisters had come to South West Africa but not all went home - some of them are buried here.

The search was on to find an organisation to take over the school and fortunately, Monsignor Meysing and Father Arnold heard about the Holy Cross Sisters who had started schools in Cape Town, George and Aliwal North. They traveled to South Africa and were able to persuade the Mother Vicar, Theresia Naegeli of the Holy Cross Sisters, to send two Sisters to Windhoek, for one year only. Sister Pia and Sister Gertrudis arrived in Windhoek in 1921 and the rest, is history. Needless to say, the two Sisters remained much longer than they were supposed to, so with the aid of a subsidy of DM 10 000.00 from the German Government and with more Sisters, the foundations of a new school were laid in 1926.

The German Government continued to support the school throughout the 1920s and 30s, helping to build a swimming pool in 1936, a new kitchen in 1937 and 3 new classrooms and a dormitory for small girls in 1938. But with the outbreak of the Second World War, all of South West Africa was placed under martial law and all public buildings placed in the hands of the South African Police. For the second time in less than 40 years, no Sisters were allowed to come from Germany and no material help came from overseas.

After the war, the school continued to grow and in 1951 the school was registered with the Education Department as the 'Holy Cross Convent School' for the first time, with English as its medium of instruction. By 1954 a brand new building was erected to accommodate 364 pupils. The building included a new hall, senior dormitory, toilets, bathrooms as well as a brand new gymnasium. The school enjoyed enormous all round success in many fields during the 50s and 60s - e.g. in 1960, the girls achieved 100% pass rate at Matric and JC. During the 60s the first lay teachers were employed, due to a shortage of Sisters.

During the 70s the school went through another very difficult but exhilarating period. Bishop Koppmann informed the Director of Education that as from January 1977, the Catholic Church would open her educational institutions to all population groups. The Education Department responded by withdrawing its subsidy to the school. This punitive measure could have led to the closure of the school, but German Catholics made up the loss by donating R15 000.00 annually to the school. Both St Paul's and the Holy Cross Convent schools were excluded from participating in sports and cultural activities.

During the 80s the school was registered once more, but this time with the Department of National Education. Since then, the school has received a termly subsidy. Then in 1985, the school closed its high school section, created a pre-school and started to phase out its German stream. Since Namibian independence, the primary school has gone from strength to strength and at present there are 472 children enrolled here.

It is obvious from the above, that this school has survived to the present time with its wonderful reputation in tact, only through the dedication , commitment, sacrifice and sheer endurance of the Sisters of the Holy Cross. They have breathed, suffered, prayed and lived their motto and ethos - IN CRUCE SALUS - IN THE CROSS IS SALVATION. Those of us who follow, cannot hope to fill the shoes of the Sisters, but we can continue their dream of providing quality, but affordable education, to as many children as possible.

PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES FOR THE CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

1. Saturday 1st April - Fun Day / mini bazaar. Starts at 10h00 and ends 17h00.Everyone is invited to join in the fun. Tombola, bingo, disco, lots of games for the children. Lots of good food to eat - Curry and rice, Portuguese food, Asian food, hot dogs, desserts, tea-room. Second hand clothing stalls. Beer tent.

2. Raffle will be on sale - 50 wonderful prizes.

3. Centenary yearbook - Will be available on 5th September. Any old scholars who would like to contribute articles need to contact the office before 4th July. Phone 235129. Speak to Mrs Stuart.

4. Monday 11 th September - Performance of 'Frank Ass' (Francis of Assisi). Produced by Sister Arnolda. For the school population only.

5. Tuesday 12th September - Performance of 'Frank Ass' for parents and religious.

6. Wednesday 13th September - Performance of 'Frank Ass' for parents and religious.

7. Thursday 14th September - Feast of the Holy Cross. Mass at the cathedral at 7H30 for all the children, teachers, parents and well-wishers. Ceremonial walk through the city led by band. Picnic at Parliament gardens after official address by Honourable Minister of Education, Mr. Mbumba.

8. Friday 15th September - Reunion Day for all old scholars and teachers. Details to be announced. Call Mrs Steffen. 235129

9. Saturday 16th September - Mass at the cathedral at 9h00. Everyone welcome. Dinner dance - 20h00 Raffle draw and auction. Call Mrs. Stapelberg for tickets and details.
Roman Catholic Church Namibia