At Glenwood House Preparatory School we use the National Curriculum (CAPS) as the basis of our education.
We believe that learning encompasses so much more than just timetabled lessons. We endeavour to provide our pupils with a solid knowledge of the core subjects, while at the same time providing them with critical thinking, logical reasoning and practical research skills. CAPS is the foundation on which we base our teaching, however, much of what happens in our classes far exceeds National Curriculum expectations, equipping learners for the demands of Glenwood House College education and beyond.
Our classes are limited to 25 learners and lessons are presented using teaching aids in line with the latest trends in education technology. A number of our classes are equipped with computers and interactive whiteboards, bringing a world of information into the classroom. We have well-equipped science laboratories as well as an excellently resourced music centre. We boast a brand new media centre where children can access information between the pages of a hardcopy book or by searching the World Wide Web on dedicated computers.
We recruit our teachers from all around the country as well as from abroad. This ensures that all our teachers are exceptionally well qualified and experienced.
Our staff members are committed to providing every pupil with the opportunity of receiving an excellent education. We firmly believe that every learner can and should reach his or her full potential.
Underlying all of the activities at Glenwood House is a desire to help lay the spiritual, moral and physical foundations upon which children, with a healthy self-esteem, can build their futures as productive, valuable members of society.
Foundation Phase (Grade 1 – 3)
Lessons and learning take top priority. The Foundation Phase at Glenwood House uses CAPS as its foundation. It is integrated into the planning of lessons thus providing teachers with a useful yardstick by which to measure the standard of the learning material. CAPS, however, is merely a minimum requirement in our curriculum. We undertake to extend our pupils far beyond what is expected in the National Curriculum.
The Grade 1 classes start with a 7-week Orientation Programme at the beginning of the first term. Learners are introduced to Mathematics, Phonics and Reading whilst the Grade 2 and 3 pupils continue to build on well-established skills.
We believe that reading is of critical importance. ‘A book a day’ is our motto. The phase makes use of three different reading schemes. Learners are also encouraged to participate in extended reading activities.
Not all learning takes place in the classroom. The learners are taken on excursions at least once a term. In addition, some lessons, especially reading lessons, take place under the trees on hot summer days or in the sun on cold winter mornings. The award winning wetland on our school premises provides bountiful lessons too.
We encourage parents, who are experts in their fields, to present our children with interesting talks.
Our holistic approach is designed to give every child ongoing opportunities to develop their potential. Learners also participate in sports that develop skills, build character and teach life lessons. In addition, they also have opportunities to participate in arts and cultural events.
We evaluate learners throughout the year. Formal tests are also written in English and Mathematics.
At the end of each cycle, of which there are three, a cumulative mark is obtained and a report is compiled in each grade. A seven point scale is used in accordance with the CAPS document.
The Grade 1 report has a different format at the end of Cycle One so as to give parents a clear understanding of what their child has accomplished during the first cycle of the year. Thereafter, the Grade 1 report follows the same format as the rest of the Foundation Phase.
Our view is that the nurturing and growth of learners is of paramount importance. A network of teachers and supportive parents is established early in the year and valued throughout. We offer support classes to all learners who require added consolidation in English and Mathematics.
Learners who need more assistance than support classes are accommodated in the remedial class which is run on an extra-curricular basis.
The Bridging Class at Glenwood House assists learners in the Foundation Phase with specific learning needs. The role of the Bridging Class is to help learners cope with the demands of schooling with a view to reintegration into mainstream education at a later stage. We nurture self-confidence in learners to ensure that they are ready to meet new challenges.
Intermediate Phase (Grade 4 and 6) & Senior Phase (Grade 7)
In the Intermediate & Senior Phase we combine the strengths of traditional and proven teaching methods with the positive aspects of the National Curriculum (CAPS).
Glenwood House prides itself on a tailor-made programme of instruction designed to meet the needs of our children. From Grade 4, children are exposed to specialist teachers, where the emphasis is on subject teaching rather than class teaching.
In the Intermediate Phase (Grades 4-6) and in the first year of the Senior Phase (Grade 7) the following learning areas are taught: English (first language), Afrikaans (second language), Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Technology, Human Social Sciences, Art, Computers, Physical Education and Bible Education. In Grade 7, learners are introduced to Economic Management Sciences.
We have an extensive Life Skills programme which is run on dedicated days in every term. The programme covers issues like study skills, interpersonal relationships, entrepreneurial skills, personal health & hygiene and sexuality education among others. You will also find our children regularly going on educational outings. In addition, we have a variety of guest speakers and groups visiting the school to enrich the learning experience.
We use recognised and reputable international benchmarking assessments in Grade 3 and 6 to ensure our learners are on track to unlocking their full potential.
Learners requiring additional academic support are helped in small group classes every week. Children with more pressing needs are accommodated on a one-to-one basis with our qualified remedial teachers.
Our academic calendar is made up of three cycles which is followed by a year end exam. During each cycle our Gr 4 – Gr 7 learners are evaluated by means of school based assessments as well as through formal cycle tests. Cycle tests are written on Wednesday mornings from 07h30 – 08h30. Exams are only written at the end of the year in November.
At the end of each cycle the cumulative mark is calculated and a report is compiled for each learner using the seven point scale in accordance with the CAPS system.
|Cycle 1 – 3||School-based assessment||Cycle test|
|Promotion mark||Year mark (Cycle 1 + 2 + 3)||Final exam|
Academic Communication with Parents
We believe in an open door communication policy with parents. If there are any concerns parents are encouraged to contact the teachers, the head of the department or the head of the preparatory school. In addition, the school uses a variety of communication tools such as:
- Teachers communicate with parents telephonically and by e-mail regarding problems experienced with learners
- Parents’ Evenings for the junior as well as the senior phase are scheduled after the learners receive their reports and parents are notified of the date and time. Parents pre-book sessions with their child’s teachers to obtain first-hand information about their progress.
- The Senior Preparatory School also uses Panel Discussions in cases where the progress of a learner is a concern in more than two classes. (Parents as well as all the teachers are present in these meeting.) The Panel Discussion provides an overall view of progress and highlights problems quickly and efficiently.
All activities for the Preparatory School, including sport, tests and projects are communicated to parents by:
- The electronic Communicator
- Circular notices (printed)
- Weekly Planner (printed)
- Homework book
Additional information is also communicated via cell phone sms messages
Top 5 Assemblies
At the beginning of the second and third term the Preparatory school holds a Top 5 Assembly to announce the top 5 academic achievers of the previous term. They are presented with their Top 5 badges which can be pinned to their blazers. At the end of every term, these badges are handed back and students need to maintain their effort and work ethic in obtaining it in the following term.
The Top 5 achievers of every term receive points for their Houses (Montagu, Courtenay and Wellington). As with all other Inter House clashes, these points are added to the total points and the victorious House is crowned at the end of every year.
Homework, Tasks and Projects
We believe in cultivating good study habits. All class work that is not completed in the class becomes homework. Learners are encouraged to use their homework books to note homework and tasks due on specific days.
From time to time learners are required to complete tasks as well as projects. Where possible these tasks and projects will be completed in class time. Where this is not possible, learners are required to complete this at home.
As far as possible, teachers plan to spread projects evenly across the year and endeavour to prevent clashes where projects for more than one subject are due on the same day or during the same week.