Fourways-based Reddam House Helderfontein delivers agility and innovation in educationSubmitted by Vanessa Naude
World-class education in the heart of Fourways
Every parent strives to provide their child with the best possible start in life. At Reddam House Helderfontein in Fourways, each member of staff from the ELS (Early Learning School) right through to Matric, is committed to working alongside parents to achieve that common goal. This commitment is evidenced in the students’ remarkable achievements academically, culturally, and in sport, during what has been a challenging year to say the least.
Since 2017, when the school opened its doors and welcomed its first intake of students, Reddam House Helderfontein students have enjoyed world-class facilities. These include boutique boarding houses for weekly and termly boarders, fully equipped science laboratories, high-tech classrooms, an aquatic centre (the only one of its kind at a school in Gauteng) and performing arts studios, which are equipped to specialist art and music school standards. However, without a dedicated team of teachers, these world-class facilities would not be put to effective use.
A strong focus on the students’ emotional needs and self-esteem is also built into the school’s DNA. The Head of School, Colleen Traviss-Lea, who has 31 years’ experience in the education sector and has been at the school since its inception, explains that Reddam House Helderfontein believes sports and culture, alongside academics, are essential in developing well-rounded young men and women: “Academics is a strong focus, but as a school we place as much emphasis on nurturing students creatively and in sporting disciplines. The youth of today are most likely to follow more than one career path in their lifetime – likely three or four careers. It is imperative that we properly equip students for their future career paths through a holistic approach. We are very proudly part of the Inspired Education Group, which is a global school group giving us access to best international practices in the education sector and input from international educators.
“Our team of teachers is highly qualified and sought after. So much so that our French teacher has been offered a bursary by the French Embassy for a two-week training course at the CAVILAM Language School in Vichy, in partnership with the Université Clermont Auvergne. The training will focus on new trends in teaching French. We also have an impressive coding and robotics laboratory which has proven invaluable as a consistent and sure-fire way to teach students the STEAM skills needed to prepare them for the future job market by equipping them with skills including coding, engineering and scientific methods, in a fun and engaging way.”
A particularly relevant advantage of being part of the global Inspired Education Group meant Reddam House Helderfontein was able to adapt very quickly when COVID-19 lockdown was implemented. Even as a relatively new campus with their inaugural Class of 2020 matriculating this year, not one day of teaching was missed. The entire school moved onto an online learning platform and classes continued exactly as they would have on campus. While South Africa has now moved to Level 1 lockdown and 98% of the student body is safely back on campus observing all COVID-19 protocols, some boarders had to return to their home countries in March and have not been able to return to campus. The school’s hybrid approach to teaching (online and on campus) has meant their education has continued uninterrupted online. In keeping with the school’s holistic approach, even the sports department was included in the hybrid schooling approach with online workouts to keep students active during lockdown.
The students at Reddam House Helderfontein have produced a long list of sporting accolades during 2020. Prior to lockdown during the cricket season, Matthew Lea, Sendhil Naidu, Keeshav Naidoo, and Sinjin and Christian Moffett were selected to attend the Far North Area Cricket Trials. Sendhil Naidu in Grade 7, made it through to the final selection process at trials and has secured a spot in the 2020 U13 Far North Area cricket team. When he started playing water polo at Reddam House Helderfontein, Callum Norman had his sights set on playing water polo internationally. This year he realised that dream and has been recruited to play College Water Polo at Westcliff University in California, USA next year.
Leaps Ahead in Arts & Culture
Despite the challenge’s lockdown brought with it, Reddam House Helderfontein students have consistently excelled in the arts and culture arena. In a brilliant example of pivoting quite literally, Jordan Mortimer in Grade 11, participated in two international online dance competitions placing second overall. Another talented Grade 7 student, Siphelele Ngubane, started drawing at the age of nine, initially teaching himself how to draw using YouTube videos. This young man has been invited to be part of the 10millionmask initiative as the youngest artist in Africa to take part in the show. Reddam House Helderfontein is extremely proud to offer these young artists a nurturing environment to continue growing in leaps and bounds in their respective fields.
Although young, Reddam House Helderfontein has quickly developed into a school with a strong culture and ethos that has been entrenched into all the Reddam House schools around the world over the past 20 years. This can only mean that Reddam House Helderfontein will have a legacy of greatness, with its roots in traditional values combined with modern education and advanced facilities.
Early Learning School’s exciting environment
Nicola Crooks, Head of the Reddam House Helderfontein Early Learning School, says that participation – by the educators, students and the families – is an educational strategy that reinforces the ELS’s way of teaching. “Our programme is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to learning, which is, in the words of Reggio founder, Loris Malaguzzi, ‘to make a lovable school, industrious, inventive, liveable, documentable and communicable, a place of research, learning, recognition and reflection, where children, teachers and families feel well. That is our point of arrival.’
“Our Early Learning School values our young children as capable and resilient, filled with wonder and knowledge. We embrace the right of every child to explore, discover, be curious, play, and to gain skills they need to understand their world and their place of value in it,” adds Crooks.
0% monthly tuition fee increase for 2021
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MEDIA INTERVIEWS AND IMAGES:
BELOW IMAGES AVAILABLE IN HI-RES FOR DOWNLOAD FROM: WeTransfer https://we.tl/t-GeJthZUrnH (expires on 30 November 2020): Colleen Traviss-Lea, College and & Prep Head of School Nicola Crooks, ELS Head of SchoolReddam House Helderfontein, South Africa
About Inspired Education Group:
Inspired Education Group is a leading global premium schools group operating in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, educating over 50,000 students across a global network of more than 60 schools. It is a co-educational, non-denominational, independent schools group designed to inspire students to achieve their maximum potential in a nurturing, progressive academic environment from ages one to 18. All the Inspired schools are individually developed and designed in response to their environment and location, delivering an excellent education to their respective communities. For more information go to: https://inspirededu.com/For more information go to: https://inspirededu.com/
Strategic Public RelationsVanessa Naude
Strat PR is a full-service communications consultancy and is owned and run by Vanessa Naudé, a gifted ideas person and writer, a professional strategist and organiser, insightful, and reliable, with 21 years (and counting) of valuable experience in marketing, public relations, and event management.
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