Think your child may be gifted? Many people have the wrong impression of gifted children, expecting them to excel at school, be model students with perfect social skills and become rocket scientists or brain surgeons. The reality is often very different to this (though of course some do indeed fit the stereotype) and many are bored at school and can demonstrate acting out behaviours with some becoming so frustrated that they may underachievement and behave in oppositional ways. Their brains race and often their hands cannot keep up so handwriting tends to be untidy, with details missed out and ideas not arranged logically. Melanie Hartgill finds out what it means to be gifted.
Although commonly spoken of as simply “autism” or “autistic,” it is important to note that this occurs on a continuum as is better described as “autistic spectrum disorder” (ASD). This is a multifaceted lifelong developmental disability affecting how a person communicates and relates to people around them. The continuum or spectrum is defined by deficiencies in social interaction, social communication and social imagination and involves a constricted, repetitive series of activities.
The current working definition of dyslexia proposes that it is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. There are noted difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed. It occurs across the range of intellectual abilities and is a continuum, not a distinct category, with no clear cut-off points. Additional difficulties may be identified in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, concentration and personal organisation.
This diagnosis refers to a condition in which a person (child or adult) displays extreme levels of inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity. It is important to note that these symptoms can occur in varying combinations and form part of a multi-dimensional condition with the symptoms occurring on a continuum. There is no clear cut-off point between normal and abnormal, making diagnosis difficult. Research indicates that boys are more affected than girls and studies show that the incidence of AD/HD in school going children is around 6% - a number that is consistent between different countries, cultures and ethnic groups and has been steady for many years.
Whether your teen is moving up from a feeder school, you are moving areas or your child is making the transition to a new school, you probably have many questions. What are your options? How much choice do you really have? What's the best option for your child and your family? Where should you begin? Here are some questions to consider:
The school academic year starts mid-January and ends early December.
The year is normally split into 4 terms:
Term 1: mid-January to late March/early April (10-day break)
Term 2: early April to mid-June (3-week break)
Term 3: early July to late September (10-day break)
Term 4: beginning of October to early December
See our School Holiday Calendar
The term independent school is often used interchangeably with private school. There is an impression that high-fee private schools make up most of the sector. This is not the case. This is a fast-growing and diverse sector in which there are all categories of schools emerging.
Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) is a Christian-based international schooling system that is widely used. It provides an education alternative, relative to learners’ needs. The ACE programme works on results-driven processes rather than conventionally applied time-focussed education curricula.
Your child’s school life spans 13 years or grades, from grade 0, otherwise known as grade R or reception year, through to grade 12 or matric – the year of matriculation. It is compulsory for all South African children to attend school from the age of seven (grade 1) to age 15, or the completion of grade 9.
Here’s how it is broken up:
What sort of school do you want to send your child to? We have looked at public, private and Model C schools. But there are also a few well-established school curriculums or philosophies available in South Africa and it is wise to explore each one in order to find a system that suits your child. Here is a breakdown of the common kinds of schooling systems available to you in South Africa:
At what age must my child enter school? What if I can't afford the school fees? Are teachers allowed to smack my child? What if my child has special educational needs? Can I educate my child at home? We give you the answers, and more, to frequent questions about South Africa's schooling system.
Choosing your child’s first school can seem like a daunting process, but a lot of it is knowing what you want and what is best for your child. Your first step is to search for a school in your chosen area on www.schoolguide.co.za. Our team has put together this simple guide to help you.
The Independent Examinations Board, or IEB, is a South African independent assessment agency which offers examinations at various independent schools. It is most prominent in setting examinations for the school-leaving National Senior Certificate, or NSC (which replaced the Senior Certificate and Further Education and Training Certificate) for its client schools.
You are no longer the only influence on your teen's life and you have to accept that bravely! Your child's first high school teacher will (hopefully) be the one to lay down the ground rules for life at the school. The school will play a large part in influencing and impacting their self-esteem and their career as a young student, writes Sandra Buckingham.
As a parent of two young girls, (age 6 and 14 months) and having moved four provinces in 5 years, and double the amount of schools, I have had plenty of experience in choosing schools for my children. Here are a few points to consider when making this important decision, writes Jackie Brindley.
The South African government's current education policy for pre-primary schooling in South Africa is termed 'ECD' or Early Childhood Development, which covers children from birth until 7 years of age. These programs include a wide range of services directed at helping families and communities from all provinces and from every background provide an education for their children.
Without a doubt, your involvement with your child's school will most certainly benefit you, your child and the school! You are the most influential factor in your child's life and they will take their cues from you when dealing with school and the community they're part of. Knowing what is happening and helping out at the school will make you a valuable resource for your school and will also enable you to observe and participate in the changes and policies the school will have.
Homeschooling is exactly that: teaching kids a curriculum at home and not at a school. You can either teach your kids yourself, join an established small group or register them at a homeschool-style school.Homeschooling is recognized by the Department of Basic Education in South Africa as a legal practice and you can apply to the head of your province's education department to register your children for the option to homeschool.