Education must be about a holistic foundation for lifelong learning

Education must be about a holistic foundation for lifelong learning
Education must be about a holistic foundation for lifelong learning

Academic instruction is one of two key components to successful education. The second, equally as important, are the non-tangibles that shape learners and nurture a foundation of lifelong learning, said St. Martin School acting headmaster Warren Venter.

Venter said: “A well-rounded education prepares students for success not only academically but also in all aspects of their lives. While academic knowledge is essential, it is not the only factor that contributes to a student’s success and well-being.” He explained that a focus on the intangibles, such as social-emotional learning, health and well-being, and civic engagement, can positively impact a student’s academic performance and future success.

Values like courage, kindness, inclusion and empathy are important in the learning cycle.

“It is our intention to build the people who build tomorrow,” Venter added. He said that lifelong learning is the continuous pursuit of knowledge and personal growth throughout one’s lifetime. “And for us, it starts here, where we are able to lay solid foundations and a love for lifelong learning.”

St Martin School recently merged its high school and primary school campuses to create a consolidated learning environment. Venter believes that a single geography for primary and high school creates a more positive transition between scholastic stages while also allowing a greater measure of role modelling between older and younger learners, in line with the school’s lifelong learning philosophy.

He added: “Lifelong learning is essential in today’s rapidly changing world, where new technologies and innovations are constantly emerging. We want our students to develop a love of learning and to be curious about the world around them. By instilling a commitment to lifelong learning, we are preparing our students for success in a constantly evolving global economy.”

“Our students learn skills that result in a holistic education, we are nurturing a foundation that will serve our students well beyond their time in the classroom,” Venter said.

The school also emphasises the importance of entrepreneurship, critical thinking and  community service and has developed several initiatives to instil this as part of the school’s greater cultural milieu.  Students are encouraged to participate in projects, discourse and volunteer work, both within the school community and beyond.

“We want our students to understand that they have a responsibility to make a positive impact in the world,” Venter said. “By instilling a sense of confidence, ambition and civic engagement and a commitment to service, we are helping our students develop the empathy and leadership skills they need to become responsible and contributing global citizens.”

By creating a safe and inclusive learning environment where students feel supported and valued, learners develop the confidence and skills they need to succeed academically and in life. Venter said that he believes students must take away more than a set of marks when their scholastic career transitions to tertiary education and later, a career.

Venter said that this is an interpretation of true outcome-based education.



St Martin’s is a reputable South African private school with world-class facilities, highly-qualified teachers and a notable alumnus. A beacon of excellence, St Martin’s offers students a holistic learning experience and has a reputation for outstanding academics, culture, and sport, as well as for nurturing students to make a positive impact on the world. With fully equipped co-ed boarding facilities, St Martin’s is trusted by parents from all over Southern Africa, to provide their children with a quality education from preparatory to Matric.