MEET THE STAFF - Part Ten - Physical Sciences

August 08, 2018 | Girls’ College


Zoe Bibbings

Zoe is a motivated, proactive educator who loves her teaching career.  She is passionate about education and the development of young people.  Zoe is the Head of Physical Sciences at Girls’ College.  Before deciding Ishe needed a new adventure in her career, she worked as Co-Principal at Cornerstone College.  Before that, she served 12 years as Deputy Principal until my promotion.  She completed an HDE Physical Science (WITS) and a BEd Honours in Science and Maths education (Pretoria University). Zoe is very interested in developing Thinking Skills in learners. She truly believe in the words of Einstein: ‘Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think’, Albert Einstein. 

She is not only passionate about education, but is also an avid sportswoman.  Zoe has her 3rd Dan black belt in Ju-Jitsu and won the Ju-Jitsu World Championships on three occasions. She believes it so important that young people be equipped with some vital defensive knowledge and is presently conducting a basic Self-defense course to different leadership committees at Girls' College.

Zoe is currently on the Executive Committee of Rhino Powerlifting South Africa, serving as technical Director.  She still competes in powerlifting and have 2 World titles under my belt and has broken six World records over the last few years, the most recent being the squat world record in her division at nationals this year.  She prides herself on being a gifted communicator and is a confident and effective public speaker. She has not only acted as 'emcee' for many local events, but also 'emceed' at the Powerlifting World Championships in Las Vegas 2015.  He greatest achievement is being a mom to three amazing children.  


Jennifer Orsmond

Jennifer Orsmond is a physical science teacher at the Girls’ College. She attended University of Natal where she majored in mathematics and chemistry. She also completed a Higher Diploma in Education and then a Master’s degree in Chemistry.  Although she enjoyed research, the classroom has always been Jennifer’s favourite place.  Jennifer has taught for about 20 years – both mathematics and physical science.

Jennifer’s interest and passion for teaching is fuelled by the never-ending challenge she gives herself to “do it better” every year. The joy of seeing the light of understanding in a student’s eyes and the development of confidence in their ability is her reward.  Her dream is that every student should feel that they are smarter and more capable than they realised.

Jennifer likes trying different techniques to increase the students’ understanding, including physical demonstrations of concepts, making her own videos as “previews” to lessons,  making posters and models to hang up in the classroom, as well as note packs for the younger grades with plenty of pictures in them.  She believes that this generation is a “visual” generation who need to “see” as much as possible.  For this reason, she also loves using her Smartboard and Google Classroom.

Jennifer has two daughters (both at St Stithians). Some of her favourite pastimes are taking singing lessons when time allows, reading, doing puzzles, and long chats over coffee. 


Elana Shaw

Elana Shaw started her teaching career at the age of 22 teaching Physical Science.  She obtained her BSc Botany and Chemistry degree from University of Johannesburg followed by a PGCE. Elana joined St Stithians Girls' College in 2011 where she has been involved in quite a variety of activities not just teaching science. From managing hockey and diving teams, organising athletics meetings and being head of Kenwyn house, Elana is now head of Environment committee and represents the Girls' College on the campus Footprint committee and the Staff Forum. 

Elana is married to Andrew and they have two beautiful children, Samuel and Olivia. Asked why she chose teaching as a career she replied, "I love Science, kids and holidays."  Elana is currently on long leave and look forward to joining the College again in September.


Netshedzo Mavhungu

Netshedzo Mavhungu was born and raised in Matsa Village (Venda, Limpopo province). He is a first year Thandulwazi intern based at the Girls College Physical Science Department under the mentorship of Ms Bibbings, observing and teaching Physical Science. Has a BSc Chemistry degree from University of Cape Town where he was a first year Physics course class medallist and a mentor to 1st year Science Faculty students. Netshedzo is currently a PGCE final year student at UNISA, specializing in Physical Science (FET) and Natural Science (senior phase)

He worked at UCT as a Science Faculty Orientation Leader, as a Lab research assistant synthesising organometallic catalysts at UCT Chemistry department and also worked at the UCT Geology department preparing rock samples for chemical analysis. He also worked at National Health Laboratories Service and also as a Maths and Physical Science tutor for various tutoring companies where he developed great passion for education.

Netshedzo is talented in visual art work and poetry. He is naturally curious, enjoys writing, dancing, listening to music and loves adventurous outings such as camping, excursions and hiking.