Situated in Sophiatown, The Sparrow Combined Technical Skills School is an accredited institution providing fundamental and vocational training to learners with remedial needs, thus enabling them to access jobs in which they would be trained to excel. The Combined Technical Skills school emerged as a pathway for our learners exiting the Foundation School and seeking to further their education. It also provided and opportunity for learners to enter into the Sparrow FET College.
The Combined Technical Skills School has recently received the Umalusi accreditation, which you can read about in our previous post (http://sparrowschoolsblog.co.za/2018/01/15/sparrow-combined-technical-high-school-receives-umalusi-accreditation/) this achievement ensures that Sparrow continuously provides quality education to our students and enables the school to monitor and evaluate education practices effectively in order to align with the correct framework and requirements set before the council.
Finally, at Combined, our learners are provided with the necessary occupational skills, enabling them to attain an NQF level 1 qualification within the duration of four years. Like the Foundation School, the Combined School adopts a learner-centered approach, as we teach towards potential, and are constantly mindful of individual learner strengths and weaknesses.
Sparrow Foundation School emerged as an influx of learners grew and Sparrow needed larger premises to accommodate our children as well acknowledging the demand for children coming from disadvantaged homes to have access to education, specifically children with remedial needs and barriers to learning. As specialised schools with remedial teaching and learning facilities are often not easily accessible to the community, Sparrow aimed to provide affordable education to those who are unable to access those specialised services.
Sparrow Foundation School offers accredited learning from Grades 1-7 and provides services such as an educational psychologist, counselors and onsite speech therapy which contribute to a holistic learning environment that adheres to emotional and academic progress. At the school, learners experience a hands-on approach to learning where they are assessed based on their improvements rather than a typical grading system. The school inspires to be attentive to an individual’s strengths and weakness and provide extra-mural activities such as pottery, drums, sewing and sports amongst others in order to allow our students to better their cognitive abilities and motor skills.
Sparrow Combined Technical Skills High School is part of a pilot project in conjunction with the Department of Education. Sparrow Combined Technical Skills High School aims to provide vocational training and specialised education to our learners over a four year period where learners are awarded with an NQF level 1 qualification.This General Certificate of Education is recognised by the GDE and SETA. With this accreditation, the Combined Technical Skills School offers a fully accredited occupational skills programme, enabling learners with remedial needs to gain access to educational and skills development training. The Combined Technical Skills High School also provides a pathway for students entering from the Foundation School as well as learners who may further their education with the Sparrow FET College.
The Umalusi Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education aims to oversee the activities regarding Private institutions and independent schools in South Africa. The Umalusi council aims to bridge the gap where government bodies were unable to conduct research on matters relating to private institutions and independent schools. The aim of the council is to mandate research and development for education and training as a whole as well as provide an opportunity for institutions to register and receive accreditation to deliver quality education and service for private providers of education. The Council’s research agenda and research projects are supported and critiqued by a Research Forum consisting of prominent academics and experts.In accrediting institutions Umalusi is guided by policy documents that contain criteria for accreditation for each institutional type.
Umalusi is mandated to accredit private providers of education and training and grants institutions a license to operate in South Africa. As stated in the Umalusi accreditation, all private institutions should be accredited in order to operate within South Africa. With this seen foresight, the Combined Technical High School applied for an Umalusi accreditation beforehand in order to be ahead within the industry and be a licensed training provider. Sparrow believes that accreditation is imperative in providing vocational training to our learners.
The quality assurance process attests the institution but allows for improvements in order to better education practices. The council evaluated all policies and procedures within Sparrow Combined Technical High School, from employee registration, student enrolment, teaching practices, curriculum development as well as the disciplinary processes.
Approval was granted and we were happy to announce the Umalusi received status to the Combined Technical Skills High School. This accreditation confirms the quality of provision offered and allows Sparrow to continually monitor the education practices efficiently to remain in line with the framework and requirements set before the council, therefore monitoring and evaluating performance to be compliant and ultimately enable Sparrow as an institution to provide quality education for our learners.
What started as a Saturday morning school in 1989 with only four learners has developed into an ever-growing Non-Profit Educational Trust, catering for children with learning disabilities and upskilling the youth of South Africa.
Sparrow schools has expanded into three institutions, namely the Foundation School for young learners with remedial and special needs, Sparrow Combined Technical Skills School and Sparrow FET College, catering for more than 600 youth from impoverished communities. These three projects are all aimed at empowering learners to prosper in the educational sector and thereafter in the working environment. Learners acquire the necessary skill sets offered at the institutions to allow them to be a part of a prospering society and economy.