Education

Educating for life – Ad vitam educatio

Curriculum

Our curriculum follows the framework of the Charlotte Mason educational philosophy, which is inherently rich and broad, likened by her to an ‘abundant feast for the mind’. We place a strong emphasis on the foundations of literacy and numeracy, so place these first. Our curriculum includes the following subject areas:

 

  • English – literacy which includes:
    • phonics and reading
    • poetry and recitation
    • dictation
    • grammar
    • recitation
    • read aloud times out of delightful
    • books
    • tales & fables/myths & legends
  • Maths – using mainly the well-known and accredited Singapore maths
  • Bible reading
  • History – (both local and global) learnt in large part through narrative
  • Geography – which includes practical map work and familiarising with the earth as a whole
  • Science – includes experiments and nature walks
  • Afrikaans
  • Composer study
  • Picture study (art)
  • Practical art and handicrafts
  • Physical education and sport
  • Regular educational trips

‘Disciplinary’ subject lessons are alternated with ‘inspirational’ lessons, helping sustain the children’s interest and concentration. Wherever possible, learning happens through the reading of excellent literature rather than merely through textbooks.

A narrowed curriculum could fail to cultivate the diverse range of gifts or aptitudes amongst our students or undermine the love of learning.

The curriculum content is sourced from Charlotte Mason experts in the UK but contextualised for the South African setting. Our aim is to ensure that the children reach, and in most cases, surpass the national curriculum (NCS and CAPS) requirements for numeracy, literacy and languages.

One of the educational tools advocated by Charlotte Mason is narration, initially verbal (and sometimes drawn), and then written in the higher grades.  This is where the children are asked to take turns ‘telling back’ in detail what they have just heard read to them. Teachers who employ the regular use of narration in the class or home-school attest to its value on a number of levels.

The practice of narration helps:

  • develop the ability to pay close attention
  • make the subject content ‘stick’ as it is verbalised
  • stimulate a greater curiosity around the core ideas as they are discussed
  • develop the ability to order thoughts and clearly articulate them to others
  • develop the ability to engage fruitfully in group discussion, listening carefully to others and waiting to take your turn

Needless to say, these are extremely important life-skills to acquire.

We explore the wonder of God in every subject and draw the child’s attention to gaze upon the beauty of Christ.

Homework

At Gracehill College, because of the individual attention and effective learning afforded by smaller class sizes, and the value we place on time for unstructured play, as well as for out-of-school activities, we try and keep homework to a minimum, particularly for the Foundation Phase.

 

21st Century Thinking

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try.” – Dr. Seuss

We actively encourage our children to think out of the box and to live authentic lives. We believe that our commitment to producing authentic young adults, defines us as a great school.

Gracehill College is also characterized by a blend of traditional and new ideas: we wear blazers, but not ties; we use technology, but have a hand-rung school-bell; we play rugby and love ballet; we value individuals and serve the community.

We take pride in working to a high standard because it is only through this process of engaging with an authentic challenge that we can expect any transformation of the heart and mind to take place. We believe that now more than ever, young people need clear expectations with consistent boundaries. This needs to be defined by consequences and should the mark be overstepped, committed support should be given in order for them to grow into successful, content individuals.

We value the partnership of parents and the community. These relationships, together with our caring staff, ensure that our students and the community all have a sense of belonging. This is called the Gracehill family.

 

“An observant child should be put in the way of things worth observing” – Charlotte Mason

 

We endeavour to place our children in a space spread with an abundant feast of learning. In this way, learning will be authentic and long-lasting.

Gracehill College

Get in Touch

Tanya: +27 83 5567 993
info@gracehillcollege.co.za

Address:
88 Hope Street, George Central

School Hours:
Grade 1: 07:50 to 13:00
Grade 2: 07:50 to 13:00 (14:20 on Tuesdays)
Grade 3: 07:50 to 14:20