The Education Project

We assisted 405 foundation phase learners of the school on our literacy programme during 2012 and realized we needed to expand the programme to cover more areas. We also wanted to allow for more children to be added as we found the impact on the foundation phase children was extraordinary. We agreed with Open schools world wide to use their methodology going forward and in doing so could add numeracy to the current literacy support. We further planned to add school readiness as module as 80% of the grade 1 learners in the village are not school ready when they entered Grade 1. We were also approached by Tru-Cape and a consortium of businesses to develop a curriculum for sustainability and initiated the roll-out of this curriculum to the learners at the school. All of the above required more infrastructure. We therefore started on the 1st of July 2013 with the building of classrooms for the programme. 10 classrooms were erected to assist with the need to grow the programme in the school. We completed the building during October 2013 and initiated some of the sustainability program for the foundation phase and pre-school learners during November 2013.

a) Research and development

As well as researching links with our community we are exploring international and national developments in aid policy and practice. These will inform our practice and encourage awareness into the most well informed models as well as partnership opportunity.

b) Evaluation of pilot programme

In 2011 we partnered with Tina Cowley Reading Centre and ran a pilot project with 66 learners from Grade 3 and Grade 6. These learners were transported to the Reading Centre in Somerset West. As the programme only allows for a maximum of 11 children to be taught per lesson each child was taught at their own pace, received individual attention and progress was monitored. The results were phenomenal with some reading speeds doubling and tripling with very good progress in comprehension and memory activities as well.

c) Literacy Centre

We opened a branch of the Tina Cowley Reading Centre in Sir Lowry’s Pass Primary School at the beginning of 2012 and we boosted the reading of all 405 foundation phase learners (Grade 1-3).  We saw an improvement of 400% in the Litnum examination from October  2011 to October 2012.  We saw a further improvement from of 30% in Literacy and numeracy between October 2012 and October 2013. 

d)  Schoolreadiness programme

We realised that school readiness is a further key in the development of the children.  We will introduce this during 2014 as module for all the pre-school children age 3-6 years.  We base the need on the fact that 80 percent of the learners in grade 1 failed to pass the standard in 2013.  We aim to reduce this number to 5 percent or less over the next 5 years.

e) Sustainability Programme

Sustainability is not currently taught as subject in the South African schooling system.  We were approached  by Tru-Cape and a number of other businesses to develop the module and with that a curriculum as part of the Life Skills subject.  The aim is to pilot the module during 2014 and liaise with the Department to consider it as formal subject in the future.  The subject /module cover the ecological-, social- and economic resposibilties within a value based framework.  We aim to develop children to assess their environment holistically and in such way to consider the overall impact of their choices/decisions. This will also be a practical course as we will teach children
  1. Gardening as part of food security
  2. Water and the importance of healthy water
  3. Reduce re-use and Recycling of materials
  4. Renewable energy and the impact of these  on the environment and society

f) Long term strategy

We believe we can assist the school over six years to build a strong literacy base through helping all the children in the school. The key performance indicators for the school and pre-schools will be:
  • Improve the current literacy and numeracy rate of 7 percent to 50 percent over three years as measured by the National and Provincial Education program. (Litnum and ANA tests)
  • and thereafter to 80-90 percent literacy and numeracy over a further 3 years as measured by the National and provincial Education program. (Litnum and ANA tests)
  • Become the best previously disadvantaged school as measured by the National and provincial Education program and compete with the affluent schools in the Helderberg basin.
  • The pre-school target will be specifically to ensure school readiness at the age of 6 when they need to enroll for grade 1.
The following will be the key performance indicators per learner:
  • reading speed to improve to one level above their current grade by the end of their attendance of the literacy programme
  • comprehension of 80% or more at the level of reading.
  • Effective writing skills
  • School readiness for the pre-school learners.
  • Numeracy improvement to the national standards and levels set for each age group
We measure the learners on a continuous basis while we also receive reports from the school on their progress in class.  These are our quantitative measurements. The qualitative measurements are also received via the input from teachers, our therapists in class and the Principal.  We measure learners’ improvement in: listening skills, discipline, self esteem and confidence. School-readiness will aim to reduce the children not ready at the beginning of grade 1 to less than 5% over 5 years. Sustainability will aim to develop a formal curriculum for the South African schooling system. It will aim to develop a system to train non teachers to teach the modules. It will aim to teach children specific skills an abilities to assess their environment holistically It will aim to develop specific skills in gardening, renewable energy, water usage and recycling of materials.