Autism Introductory Classroom
The Willow Tree Class
This classroom is designed to provide maximum support to younger learners with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The use of visual aids and sensory equipment are central to providing a consistently highly structured environment, where the learners can feel safe and successful. Their programmes are geared towards establishing and maintaining their pre-requisite skills; such as eye contact, symbolic representation, imitation and joint attention. These skills undergird all learning, and set the children up to be independent learners.
The Willow Tree Team is led by Teacher Tarma Freeman, who has special interest and training in ASD, and Teacher Assistant Constance Gumbo who has an innate ability to connect with each child, and provide the necessary structure and stimulation to see them flourish.
Teacher : Tarma-lee Freeman
Teacher assistant : Constance Gumbo
Autism Primary Classroom
The Oak Tree Class
This classroom is designed to provide maximum support to older children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The use of visual aids and sensory equipment are central to providing a highly structured and consistent environment, where the learner can feel safe and successful. Alongside the maintenance of pre-requisite skills, foundational literacy and numeracy skills are incorporated into the learners’ programmes, and additional consideration is made towards their learning styles and special interests.
The Oak Tree Team is led by Teacher Colani Homan who has a desire to usher ASD learners into their full academic potential and Teacher Assistant Valeria Mapimbiro who is naturally intuitive to the needs and communication styles of ASD learners.
Teacher: Colani Homan
Teacher assistant: Valeria Mapimbiro
The Palm Tree Class
This classroom caters for learners with mixed-abilities, such as Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Global Delays and some undiagnosed conditions. It is a beautiful space where each learner is free to learn within a careful balance of structure and creativity. Due to the variety and wide range of needs and abilities in this class, each child follows a highly specialised programme, which is creatively merged and managed throughout the school day.
Teacher Courtney Caulfield leads the Palm Tree Team and has a special interest in the varied diagnoses amongst these learners. Teacher Liezel Engelbrecht is Teacher Support for the class and enjoys encouraging early literacy and numeracy skills with the older learners. Teacher Assistant Ceby assists the learners in this class and has a natural gift with connecting with learners and making them feel safe and loved. The Palm Tree Team is currently a large one as this is our largest class at 9 children. We are hoping to start a second mixed-ability class soon.
Teacher: Courtney Caulfield
Teacher support: Liezel Engelbrecht
Teacher assistant: Ceby
Mainstream Pre-Primary Classroom
Kingdom Kids Class
This classroom consists of typically-developing learners aged from 3 to 6 years old. The Kingdom Kids class offers the Grade 000, Grade 00, and Grade R programmes. The curriculum focuses on pre-requisite skills, as well as foundational literacy & numeracy skills through themes and exploration of the world around them. It is Christian-faith based and encourages learners to explore a relationship with God. The reception year learners work through ACE’s Grade R curriculum, which provides a phonetic foundation to reading, amongst other things. Additionally, our mainstream learners integrate with the special needs learners on a daily basis, which has been shown to reap benefits all-round. Our learners are individually taught with an Individualized Educational Development Program (IEDP) used as the basis of tracking their development and accomplishing goals.
The Kingdom Kids Team is led by Teacher Zainab Mlongo who is passionate about teaching children. Her gentle spirit, intuitive heart and overflowing creativity allows for great opportunities for ‘out of the box’ learning strategies within the classroom. Teacher Assistant Maureen Kupiso carries a peaceful heart that overflows onto young learners, easing the transition from home to school.
Teacher: Zainab Mlongo
Teacher assistant: Maureen Kupiso
This class is in its early stages of development. The aim of this class is to provide specific learners with pre-vocational skills, alongside their daily curriculum to lay the foundations needed to become involved in a vocation as they get older. This programme currently focuses on specific skill on a termly basis; for example, computers, cooking and gardening. We anticipate incorporating a specifically designed pre-vocational curriculum in the near future as this is currently being developed by another special needs organization in the Kwa-Zulu Natal area.
This class is currently held on Tuesdays to Fridays from 13h00 to 13h30pm daily. Our onsite Occupational Therapist, Ashleigh Philips, plans the programme and Teacher Colani Homan implements it in daily lessons, assisted by Teacher Support Liezel Englebrecht.