Learner Enrichment and Support Centre
~Providing Greater Value~
BISHOP BAVIN ENRICHMENT CENTRE
About Our Enrichment Centre
The Executive Head has a mantra that is said often and applied to everything that happens at Bishop Bavin School– we are big enough to make a difference, but small enough to care. Our small size, family-oriented culture and nurturing approach makes it entirely possible for this to happen, and for each child to be treated as an individual and given unique treatment.
In keeping with our ethos as a Christian school, we are aware that this cannot just apply to academically strong children – it needs to be applied more widely. And it is because of this that we have adopted an inclusive approach to education that is completely distinctive and unique. It is gaining significant attention from many quarters, and is implemented primarily through our Enrichment Centre.
At Bishop Bavin School learners have the opportunity to develop at their own pace within our Enrichment Centre. We have aligned ourselves with partners such as Brainline and The Solomon Academy to ensure that we are able to meet all the learners’ diverse needs. Not only this, but the rest of the learners in the school and the teachers benefit from having these interesting, committed young people in the school.
An Enrichment Centre That Offers More
The advantages of an inclusive education are significant for all parties:
• Families’ visions of a typical life for their children can come true
All parents want their children to be accepted by their peers, have friends and lead “regular” lives. Inclusive settings can make this vision a reality for many children with disabilities.
• Children develop a positive understanding of themselves and others
When children attend classes that reflect the similarities and differences of people in the real world, they learn to appreciate diversity. Respect and understanding grow when children of differing abilities and cultures play and learn together.
• Friendships develop
Schools are important places for children to develop friendships and learn social skills. Children with and without disabilities learn with and from each other in inclusive classes.
• Children learn important academic skills
In inclusive classrooms, children with and without disabilities are expected to learn to read, write and do maths. With higher expectations and good instruction children with disabilities learn academic skills.
• All children learn by being together
Because the philosophy of inclusive education is aimed at helping all children learn, everyone in the class benefits. Children learn at their own pace and style within a nurturing learning environment.
The Enrichment Centre has four important components:
ENGLISH LANGUAGE TUITION FOR FOREIGN CHILDREN
An innovative system which allows children with English language barriers to join our school immediately. Not only do they learn basic conversational skills and vocabulary, but there is a focus on subject-specific language that enables them to learn and integrate into mainstream schooling more easily.
Children are also exposed to different and diverse cultures within the context of strong academic, cultural, spiritual and sporting disciplines.
INCLUSIVE EDUCATION FOR LEARNERS WHO FALL OUTSIDE CONVENTIONAL SCHOOLING
Children with physical disabilities but strong intellects are often excluded from quality education because schools aren’t able to manage their physical challenges. Other learners fall out of conventional schooling because of personal, family, financial or other issues, and often never go back to complete their schooling. We offer them the opportunity to work at their own pace using the Brainline approach and resources whilst still being able to participate fully in the sporting, cultural and social aspects of the school.
Pastoral Care is available to all learners and include the following services:
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Educational Psychology
- Remedial Therapy
- Counselling and Spiritual Direction (through our resident Chaplain)
Our tutoring and remedial section allows children with specific needs to be assisted within Bishop Bavin School so that mainstream schooling in all other aspects can continue. It allows the children to have the opportunity to develop and improve upon skills or knowledge that they are lacking, and to do so in the comfort of a familiar environment.
LEARN TO LIVE
This is a service offered to parents for children who need additional assistance in particular subjects. The Learn to Live component provides subject specialists as tutors for all subjects from grade 1 to matric. They provide subject content, study skills and guidance in consultation with the teachers involved.
The Enrichment Centre is an integral part of what makes Bishop Bavin School who we are. It epitomises the mantra of the school that “every child is known and loved.” Every child is given every opportunity to reach his or her individual potential at their own pace, and parents know that their children are well taken care of in every aspect. Our children are accepting, nurturing and are more than able to show empathy to all – life skills which are taught at Bishop Bavin School from a very early age.
HOW DO WE DELIVER THIS?
The Enrichment Centre initially started out as a simple language school, but has evolved into a sophisticated and integrated part of the school. Led by a highly experienced teacher, Ms Leonie McClellan, and staffed by three other full-time teachers and supported by a large number of therapists and tutors, the 53 learners in the Enrichment Centre are receiving a unique, quality education that is changing their lives. A few examples are:
- Arlindo, a 17 year-old Angolan boy, started with us in the Language School 3 years ago, hardly speaking English. He progressed into our mainstream section of the school within less than a year, fully competent in English, and has been appointed to the leadership role of Head Boy in 2018
- Luke, a 15 year-old boy who is confined to a wheelchair as the result of a motor vehicle accident. He is academically strong and working towards his matric whilst playing wheelchair basketball for his province
- Nay, an 18 year-old girl in Grade 12 is plagued by severe migraines that cause her to miss school very frequently. Through Brainline, she can work at her own pace and from home without missing out, and yet is still able to be an integral leader of the school’s First Aid team, a strong member of the Public Speaking Team and a candidate for prefectship as part of the Leadership Programme
- Monica, a 16 year-old girl from Angola, came to South Africa from Angola not being able to speak English. Although still improving her English on a daily basis, she moved through the Language School and into mainstream classes, where she holds her own with growing confidence
- Hloni and Ivandro are two young boys whose parents kept them out of school for a couple of years each because of the inconvenience of getting them to and from school. Both came into the junior boarding house and are currently making excellent progress through the Brainline system, and are in an environment where they are cared for encouraged (and disciplined when needed).
- Kristina, an 11 year old arrived from China at the end of 2017 not being able to speak a word of English. Today she is mainstreamed in Grade 5, her marks have shot up, she participates in a range of extra-mural activities and has just started taking music because her English is good enough to understand.
As the Enrichment Centre grows and develops, it is slowly occupying more and more rooms in various places on the campus. It is our intention that 100 learners be accommodated in the Enrichment Centre in due course, but to do this will require additional custom-built facilities for them. We will also need to increase our staff complement to cope with this growth in the years ahead.
The Enrichment Centre is a unique and distinctive offering within the South African independent schooling system. Not only is it putting Bishop Bavin School on the map, but it is changing the lives of a growing number of young people.
Bishop Bavin School – big enough to make a difference; small enough to care
Head of Language Centre & Brainline Programme Co-ordinator