Wendy Horn

Protea Heights Academy

South Africa

Wendy  Horn

Wendy is passionate about Science and technology, and especially about empowering girls to become leaders in these fields. Seeing the struggle of both learners and educators in understanding and applying Science concepts galvanized her to reach out to more than learners but also to other educators. Now as well as teaching students, she talks to educators about science, how to teach it, how to engage earners, how to use technology, and how to make it hands-on, practical and relevant. So to achieve good results at the end of Grade 12, she recommends they focus on instilling a love and natural curiosity for science amongst the learners from Grade 8.

Wendy is the principal of a new school, started in 2015. Seven of the ten educators were beginner teachers and, through her mentoring and guidance, many of them have taken on expanded responsibilities. Wendy also assists with schools in underprivileged areas, where learners come from impoverished areas and backgrounds, and with teachers who do not have the same resources as her school, to improve their Grade 12 Physical Science results.

Her approach to learning is rigorous and practical, with demonstrations to ensure that abstract ideas are made visible and more accessible to the visual and kinesthetic learner, and videos and quirky science songs to engage the auditory learner. Her classroom is a challenging place – she wants to create problem solvers and doesn’t believe in “can’t do it”. She has embraced two  “game-changing” strategies: an e-learning strategy in teaching and learning and increasing the number of learners that obtain quality results in Mathematics and Physical Sciences on exiting school. Wendy sees the need to develop critical and analytical thinkers with good problem solving skills in the next generation, so they can collaborate across different cultural groupings in a world that’s shrinking with the use of social media platforms and the internet.