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The Gateway School's has three Grade R Classes and a Profoundly Intellectually Disabled section located in the same area, however they operate as independent entities.
Profoundly Intellectually Disabled section
Learners ranging in ages 12 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 behaviour, medication and general well being is 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 Individualised Curriculum and follows the curriculum for Profoundly Intellectually Disabled learners. The year's programme is divided into topics and instruction emphasizes sensory learning. During their daily programmes 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 art, music, dancing and walking. When walking they are accompanied by the school's Physiotherapist and an Occupational Therapist.
Spatial orientation, Communication and Life Skills are the three Learning Areas these learners are exposed to. The programme caters for the individual needs and developmental level of each learner, bearing in mind 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 3 and 7 years of age. The Gr. R learners share the same enclosed area as the Profoundly Intellectually Disabled learners. The learners enjoy a very unique learning environment, where teachers skilfully 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 a topic based curriculum. The programme involves Life skills, Mathematics and Language. The learners receive occupational therapy, which involves both gross- and fine motor development. They attend IPad classes in the Audio Visual Room, collect recyclable goods for the Recycling Programme 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, five teachers each with a full time assistant and Sister Alison 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..........
Drawing time and are we having fun!
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