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.


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.

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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.


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

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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.


  • 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.


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.

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