Extension & Support


High School academic extension & support

At Dainfern College High School we want to see our students reach their full potential; to see them embrace their challenges and strive towards greater success. This they can do by taking responsibility for their own learning and using every opportunity to practise, to improve and to see progress.


The growth mindset


For many generations people thought that a person inherited their intelligence at birth and this level of intelligence remained with them throughout their lives. Research by Dr Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, and her team, has revealed that in fact a person’s intelligence and abilities can be developed over time. We live in an age of instant gratification where knowledge is available with the press of a button and Google has become the source of endless knowledge. This has resulted in a tendency to look up what you need to know instead of trying to figure it out for yourself. The more a person struggles and interacts with a problem, the better they will understand the issue and be able to find a solution for it.


Dr Carol Dweck’s research has revealed that the connectivity between the neurons in the brain can change with experience; and with practice the neural network grows new connections and strengthens existing ones. So the more one practises, the more the brain develops and the more one’s intelligence and abilities grow. Neural growth can be increased by using good strategies, by asking questions, by practising and repetition, by having good nutrition and good sleep habits. Dweck’s research also indicated that there is a link between mindset and achievement. Those who believe that their brain can grow, behave differently. This has led to the concept of the growth mindset.


The growth mindset is one that is based on the understanding that abilities and intelligence can be developed. The growth mindset sees mistakes and failures as opportunities for growth, rather than being an end in themselves. The growth mindset appreciates constructive feedback as it assists with growth and learning. The growth mindset looks for and makes use of every opportunity to improve and grow. Repetition is important and brings success.


Growth Point academic extension and support period


We encourage our students to have a growth mindset and to take responsibility for their own growth and learning by making use of Growth Point, the academic extension and support period at the end of each academic day. Our staff are available in this period each day to assist students with their learning. Please take note of the following in connection with Growth Point:


  • Growth Point is the final period of the formal school day and students should be making use of this period and not leaving immediately after their last lesson.
  • Students are welcome to go to any teacher for Growth Point; they do not have to go only to their own subject teacher.
  • If a teacher requests that a student attend Growth Point, it is not optional and the student must attend.
  • Sport practices only begin at 14h45 and are not an excuse for not attending Growth Point.
  • Growth Point is not limited to the allocated time. If a student needs to see a teacher for longer, they can arrange to do so; and if a teacher needs to see a student for longer, a specific arrangement can be made.
  • Students can also meet with their peers during this period in order for them to assist each other.

The High School Student Support Centre

The vision of the Dainfern College High School Student Support Centre is to enable, empower and allow all Dainfern College students to develop and grow to their fullest potential in all areas of their school life.


Dainfern College aims to assist students to realise their full potential so that they can be the best versions of themselves in order to experience success at school. Students who experience success develop self-esteem and confidence. These are essential factors to coping in an academic environment.


We aim to support our students in the following ways:


  • Build confidence and self esteem
  • Build partnerships between the child, teacher and parent with a common aim of meeting the child’s needs.
  • Counselling support
  • Psychological support
  • Academic support
  • Remedial support
  • Study skills support
  • Planning and organisational support
  • Teacher training and support


The Student Support Centre offers the following support structures:

Counselling Support

Lynne Ryan is the High School counsellor. She manages the support centre and is available during school and after school. She will assist students in the following areas: emotional support, organisational support, study skills support. She will also assist with setting up appointments for specialised support i.e. psychological or remedial support.

Planning & Organisational Support

One of the most important factors contributing to success in high school is the ability to organise and manage one’s life academically, socially and extramurally. Planning and organisation is a skill that can be learnt. A student who can plan well will grow in confidence and self-esteem. Planning and organisational support is offered during the Cycle Test period (as arranged by the respective House Director) or during the academic extension and support ‘Growth Point’ period (by appointment with Ms Ryan) from 14h00 to 14h30 on Monday and Friday, 13h00 to 14h00 on Wednesday and 14h10 to 14h30 on Tuesday and Thursday.

Homework Classroom

Ms Ryan’s classroom is open every afternoon from 14h00 to 16h00. Students can use this classroom as a quiet place to do their homework. Students are expected to take responsibility for their own homework.


Mary Bothma is an educational psychologist who spends two days a week in the High School. Ms Bothma offers family counselling, individual counselling and can also administer educational assessments when they are indicated e.g. should we need to apply for an exam accommodation for your child; subject choice assessments and career choice assessments. Support from Ms Bothma is for the parent’s account.


Please contact Ms Bothma at 082 773 2299 or email her here should you wish to speak to her about support for your child.

Accommodations Specialist

Lynne Ryan is our Academic Support specialist who, together with Mary Bothma, will liaise with the IEB regarding accommodations for examinations. When necessary Ms Ryan will contact parents to arrange a scribe, reader or facilitator in order to ensure that the accommodations students have the necessary support to enable them to achieve to their potential.


Please contact Ms Ryan at: 011 469 0635 or email her here to discuss this further.

Remedial Therapy / Learning Support

We have a remedial therapist to assist students in the High School. The therapist works intensively with individual children to support their academic, social and emotional progress. She is also available to assist your child in study skills and learning support. Support is for the parent’s account.


Please contact Ms Ryan at: 011 469 0635 or email her here should you wish to speak to her about arranging support for your child.

Foreign Language Students

Heather Parry, our head of English in the High School is a TEFL teacher who assists children who speak English as a second language to settle into the Dainfern College academic environment.


Please contact Mrs Parry by emailing her here.

Organisational / Foreign Language Support

Michelle McCarter is available to assist students in planning and organisational support as well as TEFL. Support from Mrs McCarter is for the parent’s account.


Please contact Mrs McCarter at 082 550 8448 or email her here.

Students in the High School receive organisational and planning support in their Life Orientation lessons. They also work on their personal, social and physical well-being in these lessons. An important focus of Life Orientation in Grade 9 is subject choice and how this relates to career areas of interest. In Grades 11 and 12, students work on career choice and university and post-school options.


Please contact Lynne Ryan should you have any concerns about your child’s emotional or academic well-being.