For a start, by accepting that an education system that places emphasis on content above all else isn’t appropriate – not when the Internet makes information of all sorts available within seconds. What matters now is building skills: creativity, collaboration, curiosity, agility, innovation. Skills which can be applied across an endless spectrum of contexts. This approach helps to bridge the gap between education and employability, ensuring students are equipped with the competencies they need to find jobs in a world where organisations expect their staffers to be able to make a difference from the moment they sit behind their desks.
One of the biggest changes, which we are already seeing, is the impact of technology in the classroom. Whereas we may have been lucky if we had a large, slow computer at home, tablets are starting to replace pens and pencil bags. This means that the role of the teacher will evolve, too: with more and more students able to access school curricula online, educators may function more as facilitators, helping students navigate this online offering. Students will be expected to play a more active role in their own education, as the days of a teacher standing in front of a classroom spouting factoids are long gone – who needs this kind of pedagogue when you literally hold the world in your palm? But students will also be expected to join up with their classmates more, so that they can embark on shared voyages of discovery. At the same time, the learning process becomes more individual, with children able to tailor their experience to their own needs and pace. Not keeping up in the classroom? Simply invest a few more hours at home, catching up.
With rote learning hitting the high road, teachers are being encouraged to explore and implement different ways of learning. That’s good news for children who respond more to kinetic stimulus, learning by carrying out physical activity, than visual material – and a way of levelling the playing fields, because it takes into account the understanding that we don’t all learn in the same way.
What does this all mean? The classroom, as we knew it, is obsolete. Just as we sniggered at the thought of taking a course in shorthand, or marvel that people ever took the time to send a fax, so too will our children come to regard our former classrooms as relics of a quaint past.
But, while you may feel ill equipped to help them navigate a world that looks nothing like your own, there’s plenty you can do to help. Start by getting them to ask questions. To stop accepting the status quo. To think about why we have always done things a certain way, and what would happen if we changed just one variable. To have conversations, especially with people whose lives are different from their own. To do just one thing differently, every day. To embrace learning as a never-ending journey – and one of the most exciting things we can do in a world that never stops offering new discoveries.
When Giuseppe Plumari envisioned this wonderful lifestyle resort for all South Africans, his idea was to create a community rooted in the values of a bygone era; a time where family, friends and neighbours were at the core of our existence. Family was a pillar of this world, and children spent hours poring over books, grappling with puzzles or kicking balls, or riding in the street with their neighbours, rather than hunched over devices.
It may sound like an Enid Blyton idyll, but it’s the kind of world where people treat each other with integrity and respect – precisely the qualities we would like our children to display. This is what Steyn City School is about. We’re striving to create an environment where your child will be at his or her absolute best: where they are sufficiently challenged in the classroom, so that learning becomes a fascination and a joy, an experience that rewards and fulfils. Our ultimate goal: to cultivate a lifelong love of learning.
With this in mind, our curricula are carefully devised so that students’ existing skills and knowledge provide a solid foundation that is added to on an ongoing basis. Our approach is a spiral one, so that one year’s learning is augmented by the next. We help children seize learning opportunities, and incorporate a variety of learning styles into our teaching, so that all children are accommodated in our classrooms. Our intention here is to create in-depth understanding of all issues and topics covered, as we believe this to be the very core of learning. Our testing methods, both summative and formative, reflect this approach.
Teachers necessarily play a critical role in implementing this approach. Our staff not only undergo regular professional training and development, but are also appraised on an ongoing basis.
Steyn City School is more than a platform where individuals excel; it’s also a space where they are encouraged to question and take initiative. This relates as much to the sports field as the classroom. Our outstanding facilities invite children to participate in a number of sporting codes, and our ethos and values stand as a guideline to nurture good sportsmanship.
Added to this, we offer a cultural programme where self-expression is encouraged and applauded. We take pride in providing our children with a safe space for exploring their own strengths and stretching their boundaries. By providing various testing grounds for talent, we believe that we are also providing the building blocks of self-esteem – and this, in turn, is the quality which helps our children respond to those around them with compassion and respect, while maintaining their own integrity.
This means that the education children receive at Steyn City is a holistic one, not only helping to develop the skills they’ll need to manage their jobs and relationships, but also making sure they are equipped to meet the challenges of a world in flux.
Our core values are central to our vision, and reflect a society that is culturally rich and diverse. We have given special thought to inculcating personal, interpersonal and global values that help children grow into virtuous and productive individuals.
Our purpose is for Steyn City School to develop our pupils’ absolute potential by emphasising the following aspects:
Courage, compassion, kindness, honesty, openness, patience, responsibility and self-discipline.
Acceptance, accountability, inclusivity, participation and respect.
Our offering is underpinned by an emphasis on personal growth, leadership, community spirit and innovation.
- Development of primary learning abilities
- Development of critical thinking and thought processes to enhance cognitive development, and to develop real-world problem-solving skills
- Mastery of curriculum content
- Personal growth
- Co-curricular development (sports and cultural programmes)
- Development of a lifelong learning mentality
- Empathy for community and involvement in outreach initiatives
- Technological innovation and development
- Challenge though assessment and recognition of excellence.
Of course, the morals you’re working to instil in your children are the foundation of who they will become in later life, but their school’s culture plays an important role, too.
Although Steyn City School has been established as non-denominational, we uphold the values and morals of the Christian, faith and the message of love intrinsic to all religious traditions. We uphold qualities like truth, goodness, responsibility, sensitivity, openness, tolerance, patience, courage, persistence and resilience. We believe that, in this milieu, children are able to develop the independence of thought and self-trust to express their individuality.
Growing up in a country where our children will have to feel comfortable interacting with people whose upbringing was vastly different from their own, this accent on acceptance and inclusiveness is a precious part of our culture.
A teacher can build you to great heights, free your imagination and make you determined to reach your greatness.
This is why we have selected our faculty body with immense care. Our teachers have substantial-teaching experience, and supplement this with at least 20 hours of Continuous Professional Development every year to ensure they remain on top of the most recent research, teaching trends and techniques.
Our team is headed by headmaster Brian Mitchell, whose distinguished teaching career started in 1979. Since then, Mr Mitchell has occupied posts at some of South Africa’s most prestigious schools, where he has amassed vast experience in all areas of education.
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