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


  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.

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FET student promoted to Assistant Store Manager

As the South African unemployment rate rose to 25.5% in the third quarter of 2015, the Sparrow FET College continues to produce stories of hope. The FET College has managed to defy the odds against tough economic conditions.

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After failing his matric, Shadrack Dhlangamandla, like many disillusioned youth in South Africa, started feeling like his future was doomed. That was until a friend recommended the Installation of Floor Coverings program at the Sparrow FET College. After passing his assessment, he was enrolled into the Floor Installation Coverings program in January 2014.

Shadrack - Turner Peirson

He underwent six months training at the College and was placed at Turner Peirson in Booysens, Johannesburg. After displaying massive commitment, Turner Peirson employed him as a Fitter in July 2015. “I’m happy that I enrolled into the program, it gave me hope that I can still do something with my life,” Shadrack explains.


Hardly six months in, the 21 year old has been promoted to Assistant Store Manager.  “Since he arrived here, he has been very enthusiastic; he is eager and has very good nature,” says Turner Peirson’s Quantity Surveyor, Mario Selibas. Sounding quite excited, Shadrack adds, “I was a very hard worker, I knew what I wanted and I’m very excited that they chose me.”

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Growing up with a single mother taking care of five children, Shadrack has never had it easy.  His commitment and determination is motivated by the need to step in as the second bread winner at home. “I’m happy about that experience that I have gained and I am also happy that I can help my mother at home,” Shadrack says.

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The Sparrow FET College is committed to ensuring that young people gain access to quality training and education, providing them with ability to create a livelihood for themselves and their families. This is made possible through developing and strengthening partnerships with industry payers like Turner Peirson, who give these young people real world experience and opportunities.

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