Living Through Learning, a non-profit organisation, has taken bold steps to transform learning and teaching at Sonwabo Primary School in Gugulethu.
This comes after the organisation recently refurbished and redecorated four classrooms.
The organisation focuses mainly on assisting pupils to read and write in English, with the hope of improving their vocabulary and academic performance.
Living Through Learning aims to uplift and equip teachers and pupils who come from disadvantaged schools, with requisite skills to succeed in schooling, and their mission is to provide training and interventions to support teachers and pupils.
The organisation’s ultimate goal is to see children from disadvantage communities flourish in their formative schooling years, by developing and improving their literacy levels.
Project manager, Natalie Seifert, said the organisation seeks to provide a sound learning foundation for the children, through practical learning and training. She said the organisation has its own specific and unique methodology which it has developed over the years to assist the pupils to read and write in English.
This, she said, has prompted them to transform four Grade 2 English classes, so they could be suitable for their teaching and learning methods.
She explains that their unique strategies boost the pupils’ confidence and ability to achieve their career dreams, through a hands-on pedagogy. However, she said their teaching styles had been structured in a way that ignites the teachers’ passion to provide quality teaching and learning.
“We want these children to dream big, and to be given a chance in life and become better people. We want to bring a holistic change in the school. We focus on literacy, but we have partners who focus on numeracy,” she said.
“We also provide mentoring and coaching to the principal, so he/she can improve their leadership style,” she added, and said they would love to see the literacy levels of the children improving every year.
The organisation’s facilitator, Zimkhitha May, said when they came at the school, the children’s literacy was not up to standard.
But Ms May said that with the resources the donors had provided to the school, things had certainly changed, and now the children were able to read and write.
Ms May said the pupils were extremely excited about the programme, and that the atmosphere and vibe in classes had changed.
She said they had discovered that one of the key ways of making teaching easy, was to make it fun, so that the pupils could enjoy it.
She said that their curriculum was also very specific, which helps them to address the pupils’ specific challenges.
Facilitators visit the school twice a week, and she said the teachers attended training on a continuous basis, not only once.