Kids who can
With around 380 learners at the school, children come from every walk of life to receive specialist education and therapy. Alma School follows the Differentiated National Curriculum, as per DCAPS (Differentiated National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement – and the school is divided into 30 groups / classes, split into six different learning phases.
When working with disabled learners, specialised education and therapy go hand in hand to ensure each individual learner’s optimal development. Every child needs intensive specialised physiotherapy, occupational therapy and teaching, which makes it an expensive kind of education.
They have 22 Interactive SMART Boards in different phases throughout the school, which complements the Differentiated CAPS curriculum. Learners are also exposed to a variety of cultural and sports activities. Cultural activities include participation in the school percussion band, wheelchair dancers, gumboot dancing and choir. All learners in the school also get a chance to take part in the school’s bi-annual concert. And they can take part in sports like soccer, netball, cricket, karate, golf, and athletics.
Extra help is needed in the classroom for feeding, toilet training, nappy changing and to help learners in and out of their wheelchairs. The salaries for extra staff members (class assistants and groundsmen) are a huge financial outlay.
Alma School also manages a feeding scheme to provide a balanced diet to less fortunate learners. And it means these well-nourished children can participate optimally in the daily learning programme.
Many of the learners make use of the school’s transport system (being unable to use public transport due to their disabilities). Three minibuses follow routes covering a big area of the Tshwane Metropolitan area. Other learners use private taxis coming from as far as Winterveld, Mabopane, Garankuwa, Soshanguve and Mamelodi. These costs often need to be covered to support parents who cannot afford the fees or bus fare. And making sure that all children get the same learning experience is a top priority for this life-changing school.