Grade R & Profoundly Intellectually Disabled learners

Grade R

The Gateway School’s has three Grade R Classes and a section for learners with Profound Intellectual Disability located in the same area, however, they operate as independent entities.

Profoundly Intellectually Disabled Section

Learners ranging from ages 10 to 18 years are stimulated and cared for in this unit. These learners are profoundly disabled, whether intellectually or physically, and in many cases a combination of the two. These learners require special care and therefore their behavior, medication and general well being are carefully monitored and managed. There are two classes; one for boys and the other for girls. Each class has a qualified teacher as well as an assistant. Their classrooms are adjacent to one another with a joined bathroom and covered corridor and the learners share the same playground, time table and curriculum.

Each learner is provided with a carefully selected Personal Individualized Curriculum and follows the curriculum for learners with Severe to Profoundly Intellectual Disability. The year’s program is divided into topics and instruction emphasizes sensory learning. During their daily programs the learners engage in numerous gross- and fine motor activities. The classrooms are situated in a farm-like environment and the learners thoroughly enjoy the tranquil atmosphere. The learners’ favourite activities include visual and performing arts as well as gross motor activities.

Spatial orientation, Communication and Life Skills are the three Learning Areas these learners are exposed to. The program caters for the individual needs and developmental level of each learner, bearing in minds each learner’s individual and unique intellectual and physical impairments.

Grade R Classes

The Gateway School has three Grade R classes. The learners’ ages vary between 5 and 7 years of age. The Gr. R learners share the same enclosed area as the learners with Profound Intellectual Disability. The learners enjoy a very unique learning environment, where teachers skillfully engage them in accidental learning during playtime activities, such as messy play with mud, jelly or shaving cream. They enjoy many fun filled hours riding up and down the pathways on scooters. Water play is by far the most favourite activity.

The learners follow the Differentiated Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement which include three subjects, namely Life skills, Mathematics and Language. The learners receive occupational therapy, which involves both gross- and fine motor development. They attend Information and Communication Technology classes in the Audio Visual Room, collect recyclable goods for the Recycling Program and participated in the school’s celebration week of Heritage Day.

Our Gr. R learners are precious to us. These learners often have to endure operations, wearing uncomfortable splints, practicing certain limb movements under the supervision of dedicated Therapists. These learners are not only here to learn counting and reciting rhymes, daily Life Skills are taught to enable the learners to be as self-sufficient as possible.

Dedicated staff members make up the staff complement, each contributing to the overall stimulation of the learners. On site we have a physiotherapist, occupational therapists, and five teachers each with a full time assistant and Sister Rianie, our school nurse. The smooth operation is dependent on their hard work, creativity, tender loving care and the ability to work in diverse conditions.

The learners perceive the school as a haven: a place where they may explore, be creative, develop life skills and interact socially. The learners often verbalise, and in some cases where speech is limited, show their teachers just how much they love coming to school.

When the term ends we are all reluctant to say Goodbye…