What our principal’s have to say…

Leona Krishna, principal of the foundation school:  Sparrow Schools

Leona Krishna is the principal of Sparrow Schools´ foundation school, which caters for learners between Grade one and Grade three.   In her current role, Leona is responsible for aligning the school’s curriculum with the national CAPS curriculum, managing the daily activities of the school and maintaining critical relationships between the school, its supporters and stakeholders (both in terms of the Department of Education, the parents; learners and sponsors).

Having qualified as a teacher in 1993, Leona has dedicated most of her career to teaching vocational skills – mostly in the hospitality industry.  She has also worked in the private sector, as the owner of two Milky Lane franchises – both of which were recognised as national training stores.

She believes that Sparrow Schools chose her – rather than her choosing the school.  Leona was drawn to the partnership approach that exists between the school and the business world, in an effort to uplift skills development in our country.

Leona believes that everything about Sparrow School is driven by passion.  The passion to see growth, to make a tangible difference, and to see how learners’ lives can be changed.

“Each teacher at Sparrow Schools is called here to do this.  I am honoured to be part of this truly learner centric institution.”

leona

 

Bio: Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Academic manager at Sparrow Schools

Jacques Janse van Rensburg joined the Sparrow Schools team in October 2012 primarily as the academic manager, although he does have some operational responsibilities for the High School.

A qualified teacher by trade, Jacques has more than 13 years experience in the education sector.  As the academic manager at Sparrow Schools, he focuses his time and energy on critically evaluating and developing the academic programmes and assessment practices for the institution, ensuring alignment between the requirements of the Department of Education, and those of the learners that attend the school.

He believes that his experience as a national trainer and co-ordinator for a large business-to-business solutions provider, and his time at a tertiary institution, developing content, and ensuring high quality delivery thereof, has more than equipped him to bring best of breed practices to Sparrow Schools.  He combines this experience with a strength in planning, and more critically, an ability to build high performing teams committed to getting the job done.

Jacques and his team share a vision of making Sparrow Schools the foremost institution  of choice for children with barriers to learning.  We want to be renowned for world class curricula, facilities, educators and therapists.

¨I love the limitlessness of what I do – I believe we are only bound by our passion, our education, imagination and initiative.

jaques-2

LSU Manager shares his experiences at Sparrow Schools

Warren Thompson has been with Sparrow Schools team since 2012 and is currently the Manager of the Learner Support Unit (LSU)

He has vast experience in the support of individuals’ health and wellbeing, and the common thread throughout his career has been education. With qualifications in Child & Family Psychology, Social Work and assessment, he has worked at various educational institutions including the University of Johannesburg and Rosebank College, offering support and guidance to countless students.

In his role as the LSU Manager, Warren is best known for his calm and thoughtful leadership, and works with therapists across all three schools (Foundation, Combined and FET College), providing training, support and supervision to ensure that the learners and students receive the most beneficial educational experience.

Warren’s passion for ensuring students are given access to all the tools required to reach their full potential is what drives him in his daily work at Sparrow Schools.

“Seeing students change and succeed, and to be able to make a difference, not only in their lives but in the lives of their families, is an amazing journey.”

warren

Warren Thompson – Learner Support Unit Manager, Sparrow Schools

From SPARROW SCHOOLS to SAPS: The rise of past student, Boitumelo Motaung

We were delighted to catch up with a past student, Boitumelo Motaung who had an incredible and unique journey with us at Sparrow Schools. This lovely, bright young man started his studies at Sparrow Schools in 1996 and has come so far to overcome many challenges in his early life…

Boitumelo was raised by his grandmother in the township, Thokoza and experienced challenges with his education because English was not his first language. Despite the challenges Boitumelo faced due to his learning difficulties and his unsettled home life, the school and Sparrow’s Learner Support Unit were able to support his remedial, emotional and psychological needs.

The school not only equipped Boitumelo with an immense amount of knowledge and skills but he also had opportunities that were not possible for most young people from his township. Boitumelo’s talent in the school’s choir meant he was selected to travel to the United Kingdom in 2002 and 2004 as part of the Sparrow Choir Tour.

In 2007, Boitumelo was employed by Sparrow Schools as a drama teacher and gained a great reputation at the school after he organised many successful drama productions at the Sparrow. Boitumelo is now working in Pretoria, for SAPS (South African Police Service) in the logistics department, which he finds both exciting and challenging,

img_5605

however he is passionate about supporting children with learning difficulties, especially wanting to help those who come from townships and has expressed willingness to become an ambassador for Sparrow Schools in order to promote Educate-a-Child. This vital programme finds sponsors who will give financial support to disadvantaged children at Sparrow who cannot afford basic educational resources and remedial education they desperately require.

“I believe that parents and guardians need to be more aware of their children’s learning difficulties so their children can get specialised remedial assistance like the support I received at Sparrow… I am very thankful for the opportunities provided by Sparrow Schools.”

If you would like to support a child’s education, please email Carol, carolmckn@gmail.com for further information. 

The Gentle Approach

As a teacher you have a very important job, one of the most important aspects of being a teacher is being a good role model. The learners in your class look up to you and they watch your behavior very closely.

If the learners trust and respect you then they are more likely to behave better and more effective teaching can take place. The learners may not always like you when you are disciplining them but if you do it in a fair and kind manner they will respect you for it. If you develop a good rapport with your learners they will be more likely to listen to you and try to please you.

Many of the children who enter your class may be coming from very chaotic home circumstances and at school they are looking for a consistent and calming environment. Having an overall gentle presence in your classroom will help to alleviate stress and anxiety and lead to a happier more productive classroom.

Gentleness is a calm, reassuring approach to managing your classroom that communicates to every learner that you’re in control and they can relax and focus on their responsibilities.

Show your learners that you are a leader worth following.

Written by: Samantha Bolton – Remedial Therapist (LSU)

A Building Block Of Future Learning

On 10 May, the Sparrow Foundation School will launch its Natural Science and Technology Centre sponsored by General Electric and Provanage Media Group. In the last 12 months, the school successfully established the Remedial Learning Centre (RLC). This is a long-term infrastructure upgrade that is aimed at creating a hub of remedial instruction within the school. The completed RLC will comprise of three building blocks, two which have already been completed. These are the Literacy Enrichment Centre and The Maths Enrichment Centre. The Science and Technolgy Centre is the last step in completing the RCL.

The Maths Enrichment (ME) Centre

The Maths Enrichment (ME) Centre

The effective teaching of basic concepts relating to science and technology lies central to the learner’s understanding and interaction with the world around him/her. A healthy grasp of concepts related to science and technology can substantially improve the learner’s competency in processing and acquiring new concepts in other subjects.  Outside the classroom, it equips the child with confidence and ability to interact with the world in a productive manner.

As a school focussed on providing progressive, holistic, remedial and special needs education, every learning space the learner encounters must be designed to address the learner’s individual learning style and maximise that learner’s potential to learn and acquire new skills.

The Literacy Enrichment Centre

The Literacy Enrichment Centre

The Foundation School is a primary school offering LSEN and remedial educational environment to learners with special educational needs. The school prioritises learners who come from disadvantaged areas and circumstances. Typically, learners who fall in this category have extremely limited access to quality education. The needs of learners with learning difficulties are largely unaddressed in these areas.

By focussing on these learners, they are provided an opportunity to develop, learn and grow in an educational environment that understand the needs of such learner, while also endeavouring to continually develop and upgrade the learning environment.

In the last 12 months, the school successfully established the Remedial Learning Centre (RLC). This is a long-term infrastructure upgrade that is aimed at creating a hub of remedial instruction within the school. The completed RLC will comprise of three building blocks, two which have already been completed. These are the Literacy Enrichment Centre and The Maths Enrichment Centre. The Science and Technolgy Centre is the last step in completing the RCL.

Words by Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Academic Manager at the Sparrow Schools Educational Trust.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.