At the time of placement few of our newly admitted boys are ready to be placed directly into the formal school system. They have often dropped out of school, not necessarily due to lack of potential, but because of their inabilty to bridge the huge academic/cognitive gaps without the help they need. Along with these academic challenges come physical and emotional challenges which form additional barriers to learning. This means that the boys are often much older yet less able to cope than their school going peers and this leads to high levels of frustration for both the child and the educators. The boys therefore need to receive bridging and/or remedial education on an individually appropriate level, allowing them to master the foundation skills needed to progress at school.
There was thus an urgent need for an effective alternative which addresses the root of the problem and enables the boy to become school ready before attempting placement in a formal school. The Strong Foundations School programme was launched during January 2014 and has since grown in its policies, procedures as well as add-on support services.
- Boys are assessed and enrolled for the Programme on admission, in line with their IDP. ( Individual Development Plan)
- The Programme follow the CAPS curriculum (currently used in the school system)
- The Programme can be accelerated according to the boys’ ability, with the aim to place the boy successfully in a formal school – This process could take up to 2 years
- The classes are kept small, with an initial group of up to 10 learners.
- The Programme aims to encourage self discipline, punctuality, neatness, personal hygiene, communication skills, foundational academic skills in literacy, numeracy, computer skills, reading and comprehension and creative arts to address challenges and remediate as far as possible
- The Programme aims to assess the boys regularly to allow them to progress through the different levels with the 2 year goal of placement within a suitable formal schooling option.
The learners within this programme are taught by a qualified teacher (Mrs. Sue Grant), go on regular school outings and trips, receive weekly group counseling (UCLIN) as well as robotics classes (Mrs. Natasha Saunders).