New school in Beverley

The Bridge, an Assisted Learning School which is set to open next year in Beverley, Lonehill.


A new school set to open in Beverley, Lonehill in January next year will provide hope for parents and children facing challenges which are not necessarily catered for in mainstream or special needs schools.

The Bridge, a brand of Africa’s largest private education provider, JSE-listed ADvTECH, is an Assisted Learning School which will provide a much-needed opportunity for children with average to above average ability, whose learning is impacted by challenges such as ADHD, ADD, mild autism or anxiety, and those who have been through illness or trauma which has affected their progress.

Retha van Niekerk, principal of The Bridge said there was a tremendous need for a school focused on assisting children to bridge the gap between where they currently find themselves and mainstream schools.

“Ultimately, the goal is to help each learner reach their full potential and develop strategies that will enable them to return to a mainstream classroom confidently and empowered,” Van Niekerk said.

The principal added that a distinction should be made between remedial schools, of which there are a number of providers in the country and Assisted Learning Schools, which are in extremely short supply despite the tremendous need.

“Because of our small classes which are capped at 12 pupils, an individualised learning approach, and therapeutic programmes, we are able to assist learners who are cognitively on par or ahead of their peers to address whatever the challenge is that has kept them from succeeding in mainstream schools.”

She added that for some, gaps between verbal and non-verbal communication skills as well as slow processing and auditory discrimination gaps have left them unable to keep up in mainstream environments.

“For others, it is the impact of serious illness that has disrupted learning or the emotional impacts of trauma. For many, it is a combination of these and the impact on their self-esteem of not having been able to keep up with peers.”

“As our aim is for most of our children to return to mainstream schools, and because holistic development supports scholastic progress, we want to ensure that the extramural activities that they would have participated in at a mainstream school are provided.

“We have thus invested in a mini-Astroturf field where hockey and soccer will be played, as well as netball and tennis courts, and a swimming pool. On the cultural front, we offer public speaking, chess and arts and craft classes, to name a few. There will also be gymnastics, karate and drama classes.”

Van Niekerk further added that their aim is to offer a solution to parents who know that a change is needed, but who have not known where and how to get the help and support needed. “With a solution-oriented, focused programme for their child, we intend to address much of the anxiety experienced by both child and parent.”

What are your views on this new school? Share your views with us on the Fourways Review Facebook page.


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