Floor Installation Students Give Back

“Although there is often sadness and disappointment at The Johannesburg Children’s Home, there is also joy and hope. There is a constant renewal of all that is good in life and windows of hope are always there to open and look out of.” – Joan Rubinstein, Johannesburg Children’s Home Director, 1983 -1994.

BEFORE (3)

As the world continued to celebrate the life of the great Nelson Mandela in the month of July, on 19 July 2016, the Sparrow FET College’s Installation of Floor Coverings students dedicated their time to helping renew the Johannesburg Children’s Home. Through the invite of one of the FET College’s corporate funders, Kevin Bates, the students spent two days installing carpets at the child and youth care center.

students wor

“It’s amazing that the whole city is supporting those in need. It’s even more incredible that we have these young people who also face challenges coming here to give back and help those in need,” says Johannesburg Children’s Home Director, Annette Brokensha.

pose

Despite this being an opportunity to do good, it was also great practical experience for the students, which in turn boosted their morale. “It was great for the students to come here and get some real work experience. They also got to see one of the former students working at Kevin Bates, I hope that will help motivate and encourage them,” says Installation of Floor Coverings Facilitator, Wayne Hendricks.

Students work
Thabiso Mbele training the students.

Thabiso Mbele, who is now a permanent employee at Kevin Bates was part of the Installation of Floor Coverings  programme in 2013.  “It’s a great feeling for me to be able to help the students that are coming behind me because I’ve been down that road.  I’ve realised how important it is to have someone with experience giving you a hand. I’m contributing to helping improve their chances of getting employed,” says Mbele.

Follow us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook.

Stimulating literacy during holidays

Help your child practice their reading and writing skills by using the play dough recipe below. Explain to your child that they will be helping you make play dough. Read the play dough recipe together with your child to help them practice their reading skills.

Try sounding out the letter sounds in words that they struggle with, e.g. “k” + “uh” + “p” for “cup”. Tell your child to write out their own play dough ingredients list to help them practice their spelling. You can help them by reading out the ingredients from the play dough recipe one line at a time.

At the grocery store, encourage your child to read out their ingredients list to you. At home, read out the directions of the recipe together. Then, let your child read out the instructions for you to follow. Lastly, invite some of their friends over and watch them enjoy playing with the play dough together.

Playdough recipe

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup cold water
  2. 1 cup salt
  3. 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  4. food colouring
  5. 3 cups of flour
  6. 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Directions: Pour wet ingredients and salt together in a bowl. Stir well. Gradually add flour and cornstarch. Knead until firm. Store in an airtight container.

Words by Candice Tu, she studied Speech Therapy at the University of Cape Town and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology with honours in 2013.

Tu forms part of the organisation’s Learner Support Unit. This is a multidisciplinary team of therapists who provide additional academic and emotional support across the organisation.

Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Remedial Therapy and Counselling is provided individually or in small groups. Standardised and screening assessment is conducted to track the progress and development of learners.

To book an assessment for your child for 2017, contact 011 482 1015.

Follow us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook.

Lions visit Sports Coaching students

There has been an increase and demand for junior and beginner sports coaches in schools and private clubs in South Africa. After identifying this need, the Sparrow FET College along with one of its partners has introduced a Sports Coaching programme at NQF 4, which officially commenced on 27 June 2016.

Lionss

As a way to boost morale, the new students were thrilled to get a visit from the Lions Rugby Union’s junior team as part of their community outreach programme. The students had the opportunity to meet, greet and film with the team for Lion’s official television show, Pride of Jozi, which airs on SuperSport TV. “We are really excited to be here and helping motivate these young people. We hope that we can help bridge the inequality gaps and inspire these students to go and gain employment,” says Lions For Life Creative Director, Michelle Diamond.

Lionsssss

The programme will be facilitated by the Sparrow Schools Educational Trust’s Head of Sports, Liam Gallagher. “I am really looking forward to working  with these candidates and developing them into potential top level coaches of the future, who will give back to the community and teach our future sporting stars,” says Gallagher.

Lionssss

The purpose of the programme is to train and develop sports coaches which will operate in the sport and physical education environment. The programme will provide access to further training in sports coaching education and international accreditation towards a professional career in a chosen sporting code.

This new programme addition follows the introduction of the Business Administration programme in January. The College prides itself in being able to grow and expand against tough economic conditions when unemployment remains rife in South Africa.

For more information on this programme and other offerings at the Sparrow FET College or to book an assessment, contact 011 482 4410 or email academics@sparrowschools.co.za

Follow us on Twitter or like our page on Facebook.

Helping A Child With Low Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is the way people see themselves. Children develop self-esteem very early in life and are shaped by their own expectations as well as the expectations of significant people in their life, such as parents, caregivers or peers.

Self-esteem is an important factor in a child’s motivations and achievements and can have an effect on their performance in school, sports, social relationships and the ability to recover from disappointment. A child’s self-esteem can change from day to day, however, their overall self-esteem plays a major role in their emotional development. Children with low self-esteem will tend to settle for modest accomplishments and may feel shame or inadequacy and are more likely to conform to their peer group and adopt their behaviours and values. Children with low-self esteem are often not able to deal with stress and failures.

To determine if a child has low self-esteem, look for the following signals:

  • A child who avoids a task or challenge without even trying or quitting at the first sign of frustration.
  • Cheating or lying when the child thinks they are going to lose.
  • Drop in school grades.
  • Social withdrawal or little contact with friends.
  • Makes self-critical comments like “nobody likes me”.
  • Overly sensitive about other people’s opinion of them.

How can you help a child with low self-esteem? In order for a child to develop a healthier self-esteem, they will need the following:

  1. Sense of security: Children must feel secure about themselves and their future.
  2. Sense of belonging: Children need to feel accepted and loved by others. This begins in the family and extends to friends, schoolmates, and other groups.
  3. Sense of purpose: Children should have goals that give them purpose and direction.
  4. Personal competence and pride: Children should feel confident in their ability to meet the challenges in their lives. This comes from having success in solving problems, being creative and seeing results from their efforts.
  5. Trust: Children need to feel like they are trusted by their parents, caregivers and other children. To help children feel trusted, you need to be sure to keep promises you make to them and give them chances to be trustworthy.
  6. Self-discipline and control: As children are gaining independence, they need to sense that they can make it on their own. Give them opportunities and guidelines for them to test themselves.
  7. Accepting mistakes and failure: Children need to know that when they make a mistake they are not defeated. When a child makes a mistakes or fails, explain that hurdles and setbacks are a normal part of life and the important thing is to always try their hardest and to ask for help when they need it. Support them with constructive criticism that is designed to help them improve, not to make them feel discouraged or humiliated.

Words by Marichen Klaver, she is a registered Counsellor/student Educational Psychologist at Sparrow Schools. She holds a B.Ed Senior & Fet phase in Mathematics and English. B.Ed honours in Educational Psychology. She is also currently completing her M.Ed in Educational Psychology.

Klaver forms part of the organisation’s Learner Support Unit. This is a multidisciplinary team of therapists who provide additional academic and emotional support across the organisation.

Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Remedial Therapy and Counselling is provided individually or in small groups. Standardised and screening assessment is conducted to track the progress and development of learners.

To book an assessment for your child for 2017, contact 011 482 1015.

Follow us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook.

Signs that your child is being bullied

The Learner Support Unit at Sparrow Schools is actively busy with programs to combat bullying in the schools. These programs vary from individual therapy, group therapy, and class interventions. Bullying is a problem in most school settings and according to Gail Dore’s book, Bully-Proof, if it is not identified correctly or in time can lead to severe psychological and health implications. Bullying can take place in one or more ways such as physical, verbal, sexual or cyber bullying.

Sparrow_010

As a parent, guardian or educator you are not with the child 24 hours a day and might not always be able to see the actual bullying, but the following warning signs can assist you to identify if your child is being bullied. Some warning signs include:

  • The unwillingness of a child to go to school and showing sudden signs of distress and fear.
  •  When a child is withdrawing from school activities and school involvement.
  • Unexplained bruises obtained at school.
  •  Missing property, for example, lunch.

These are only a few of the warning signs reported by parents and educators. If you become aware that your child is at risk of being bullied or shows signs of being bullied it is important to discreetly discuss the matter with your child. It is important to inform an educator of bullying if it occurs in the school environment so that the educator can address the problem accordingly.

Words by Rizel Venter, Social Worker at the Sparrow Schools Educational Trust. Venter holds an Honours Degree in Social Work from the North West University, currently MSW in Community Development.

Rizel Venter
Rizel Venter

Rizel forms part of Sparrow School’s Learner Support Unit (LSU). The LSU is a multidisciplinary team of therapists who provide additional academic and emotional support across the organisation. Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy. Remedial Therapy and Counselling is provided individually or in small groups.

Follow us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook.

ECD Students Ready For Workplace Experience

Various research has taught us that the emotional and social development of young children has a direct effect on the overall development of a child and the adult they grow to become. It is for this reason that the Sparrow FET College and the Deutsche Bank have been heavily invested in training those who want to enter the field of Education, Training, and Development, specifically within the sub-field of Early Childhood Development.

Since the inception of our Early Childhood Development programme  in collaboration with the Deutsche Bank in 2014, we continue to successfully train and produce qualified young professionals in the field, some going on to start their own initiatives.

On June 2016, the Sparrow FET College’s Early Childhood Development programme’s candidates completed their six months, theory and practical experience at the College. All 19 candidates have been successfully placed across different ECD centres around Johannesburg to complete their six-month workplace experience which will commence on 1 July 2016.

[WATCH]

Enrollments for the January 2016 intake have already started. Contact our admissions desk on 011 482 4410 or email academics@sparrowschools.co.za to book your assessment.

Follow us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook for regular updates.

Educational activities for the holidays

Holidays are coming up and your children are excited to have a break, relax, sleep late, watch TV, and see their friends. It is important however that your child is still doing some educational activities during these holiday weeks.

Here are some ideas:

  • Reading, reading and more reading! If you don’t have books at home then you could go to the local library. Your child should be encouraged to read stories they enjoy and that are at a level that is suitable for them. As a family you could read books together.

Monopoly-learning-board-game

  • Playing board games. There are some really great board games out there that you can play together. Games like Scrabble, 30 seconds, and Pictionary are great for spelling and increasing vocabulary. Games like monopoly are good for entrepreneurship and maths. Even simple games like cards or snakes and ladders are good for counting and learning to take turns.
  • Have a family quiz night.
  • Creating scrapbooks and collages.
  • Writing stories, creating comics, or journaling about the holiday.
  • Going on educational outings such as to the zoo or a museum.
  • Building different structures and objects using recyclable material or building blocks.
  • Practice measuring at home by letting your children help you with cooking and baking.
  • If you have a tablet or phone, you can download educational games for your child to play.
  • If your child loves TV, try encourage them to also watch some educational programs such as nature documentaries.
Father and son with laundry basket
Father and son with laundry basket

It is fine to let your kids have some TV, phone and tablet time but make sure they are balancing this out with outside play, social activities, educational activities, and helping with chores around the house.

Happy Holidays.

Words by the Sparrow School’s Educational Trust Speech Therapist, Samantha Bolton.

Bolton’s educational background:

Advanced Diploma in Remedial Education (UJ) In Progress; Post Graduate Certificate in Education – Intermediate and Senior Phase (UNISA) ; BA Psychology Honours degree; (University of Johannesburg) CUM LAUDE; BA degree Psychological Counseling (UNISA) CUM LAUDE.

Bringing Occupational Therapy Into Your Home

 

As an Occupational Therapist, I constantly feel that the children who attend therapy with me at school would benefit enormously from therapy 3 times a week! However, with a child’s busy schedule this is just not possible!

As parents, you often feel helpless with your child’s learning, and as I can well imagine, you at times find yourself feeling lost as to how you will ever get your child to understand a particular concept.

OT

Occupational Therapy encompasses a child’s abilities as a whole and explores all the individual unique skills your child possesses. So what can you do at home to stimulate skill development? Try the following tips:

  • Encourage your child to practice and learn the different shapes and colours within their environment. When your child accompanies you on a shopping trip encourage them to identify the colours and shapes of objects.
  • Once they have learnt to identify letters and numbers encourage the exploration of the identification of these components within their environment.
  • Encourage gross motor play. This is a very important part of a child’s development, and hence, a child should be encouraged to run, climb, skip and make his/her way through an obstacle course.
  • Encourage your child to use their imaginations, and create stories or ideas from pictures or situations they are exposed to. For example, “look at the picture of the cow on the milk bottle, did you know that milk comes from cows?”

Warren Thompson is the Learner Support Unit Manager at the Sparrow Schools Educational Trust.

Follow us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook.

LSU TIPS: SUPPORTING A CHILD WITH LOW SELF-ESTEEM

Self-esteem is the way people see themselves. Children develop self-esteem very early in life and are shaped by their own expectations as well as the expectations of significant people in their life, such as parents, caregivers or peers.

Self-esteem is an important factor in a child’s motivations and achievements and can have an effect on their performance in school, sports, social relationships and the ability to recover from disappointment. A child’s self-esteem can change from day to day, however, their overall self-esteem plays a major role in their emotional development. A child with low self-esteem will tend to settle for modest accomplishments and may feel shame or inadequacy and are more likely to conform to their peer group and adopt their behaviours and values. Children with low-self esteem are often not able to deal with stress and failures.

To determine if a child has low self-esteem, look for the following signals:

  • A child who avoids a task or challenge without even trying or quitting at the first sign of frustration
  • Cheating or lying when the child thinks they are going to lose
  • Drop in school grades
  • Social withdrawal or little contact with friends
  • Makes self-critical comments like “nobody likes me”
  • Overly sensitive about other people’s opinion of them

How can you help a child with low self-esteem? In order for a child to develop a healthier self-esteem, they will need the following:

  1. Sense of security: Children must feel secure about themselves and their future.
  2. Sense of belonging: Children need to feel accepted and loved by others. This begins in the family and extends to friends, schoolmates and other groups.
  3. Sense of purpose: Children should have goals that give them purpose and direction.
  4. Personal competence and pride: Children should feel confident in their ability to meet the challenges in their lives. This comes from having success in solving problems, being creative and seeing results from their efforts.
  5. Trust: Children need to feel like they are trusted by their parents, caregivers and other children. To help children feel trusted, you need to be sure to keep promises you make to them and give them chances to be trustworthy.
  6. Self-discipline and control: As children are gaining independence, they need to sense that they can make it on their own. Give them opportunities and guidelines for them to test themselves.
  7. Accepting mistakes and failure: Children need to know that when they make a mistake they are not defeated. When a child makes a mistakes or fails, explain that hurdles and setbacks are a normal part of life and the important thing is to always try their hardest and to ask for help when they need it. Support them with constructive criticism that is designed to help them improve, not to make them feel discouraged or humiliated.

Words by Marichen Klaver, a registered Counsellor / student Educational Psychologist at Sparrow Schools Educational Trust.

Follow us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook.

The Foundation School opens Science Centre

While the Gauteng Provincial Government opened the province’s first “School of Specialisation” in Soweto on Monday, the Sparrow Foundation School launched its Natural Science & Technology Centre on Tuesday. The Centre is part of a long-term infrastructure upgrade that is aimed at creating a hub of remedial instruction within the school.

Provantage Media Group and General Electric representatives Katinka Beeslaar and Mariana Jacobsz
Provantage Media Group and General Electric representatives Katinka Beeslaar and Mariana Jacobsz

The new Remedial centre now includes the Literacy Enrichment Centre, the Maths Enrichment Centre and the newly built Natural Science and Technology Centre. The new centre was made possible through the generous contributions of the Provantage Media Group and General Electric. “Provantage has always been committed to education and after we did our research on Sparrow Schools, we knew that it was the obvious choice. We knew where our money was going, we can definitely see the results,” says Provantage Media Group’s HR Manager, Katinka Beeslaar.

DSC_7232
Clients and guests observing the first lesson

General Electric representative, Mariana Jacobsz also adds, “General Electric has been involved with the Sparrow Foundation School now, we are always willing to help where we can. It is great to see the difference that is happening in the school, I have also really grown to care for the school and the children.”

Once fully completed, the Natural Science and Technology Centre will be equipped with multimedia teaching equipment that enables the teaching of lessons using content of any format. This may include online content, audio, video or digitally displayed lesson content. Screens and displays will also be located in the classroom to enable teaching from multiple positions while also ensuring that learners can access the information no matter where they are in the class.

Follow us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook.