SENIOR PREP

SENIOR PREP

Principal: Dainfern College Senior Preparatory

WELCOME TO DAINFERN COLLEGE SENIOR PREP

True to the College’s motto, “A world of education…an education for the world”, we strive in the Senior Preparatory to keep our education relevant in global terms. Dainfern College Senior Preparatory provides a stimulating learning environment where the dedicated staff are wholly committed to the guidance and development of each individual child.

 

The Senior Preparatory phase is from Grade 4 to Grade 7 in the age groups of 9 to 13. Class teaching occurs at Grade 4 and Grade 5 levels, whereas Grades 6 and 7 enjoy input from specialist teachers.

 

This year sees the formalised implementation of inquiry-based learning in the Grade 4-7 classrooms at Dainfern College – a very exciting innovation based on the latest international educational research. The core subjects of Mathematics, English and the additional languages remain a key focus, while aspects of the other traditional school subjects are incorporated into a cross-curricular programme that teaches core 21st Century skills such as higher order thinking, problem solving, communication, team work and reflection. There will be considerably less mark-based assessment in Grades 4-6 as a result, and a greatly reduced homework burden on students too.

 

At Dainfern College Preparatory, we believe in growing and challenging our children in all spheres – academic, sporting and cultural. We offer an extensive range of sporting and cultural activities with something to interest and extend every child. There is also an extensive Leadership Programme in place that creates numerous opportunities for students to grow in the various student-leadership initiatives on offer.

 

We are a happy and energetic school, committed to positive educational experiences in the interests of productive, educational rigour.

OUR OFFER

Our holistic approach to education creates opportunities for active participation in all spheres of school life.

  • Academics
    Academics
    The academic curriculum from Grade 4 to Grade 7 is enriched by innovations like inquiry-based learning, our flexible classrooms and the Bring-your-own-tablet initiative.
  • Sport
    Sport
    Explore our wide range of sports activities on offer, backed by nationally accredited coaches, experienced teaching staff and superb facilities.
  • Culture
    Culture
    The extensive cultural opportunities on offer at our Prep School give students the chance to develop their creativity and innate curiosity through music, drama, dance and the visual arts.
  • Leadership
    Leadership
    We strive to give our students the confidence to become leaders through specialised leadership activities; House, sports and cultural team captaincy opportunities; and the LRC programme.
  • Service
    Service
    Outreach and service activities are actively encouraged so that students develop empathy and compassion for others and awareness of the need to care for our environment.

FLEXIBLE CLASSROOMS

Recognising that the traditional classroom space does not match the high-tech, colourful, digital, connected, social world that today’s pupils inhabit, our Prep School classrooms have undergone a complete revamp in the last year. They are now welcoming colourful and innovative spaces where students can choose from a variety of seating and desk options.

 

These new learning spaces immediately sparked interest and engagement in our students. Our teachers have found it easier to connect with students, group work (a core 21st Century skill) is much easier and students are able to concentrate for longer periods as they do not stay in the same position and space for hours on end.

STUDENT WELLNESS

In the Senior Prep our caring staff are committed to ensuring that all aspects of the students’ school lives are catered for and addressed, especially the areas of concern that are inevitable in any school environment. We place particular emphasis on four key aspects: student well-being is addressed through a comprehensive pastoral care programme; academic learning is supported with extra lessons and remediation; leadership skills and responsibilities are developed throughout the Senior Preparatory years; and discipline is maintained through a culture of respect and positive reinforcement.

EXTENSION & SUPPORT

Dainfern College prides itself on providing academic extension and remedial support to our students. For academic support, extra lessons in English, Afrikaans, isiZulu and Mathematics are offered by our teachers after school while more specialised academic support is available from a team of external therapists who work on our campus. Remedial academic support, speech therapy and occupational therapy are all available: the cost of these additional therapies is for the parents’ account and is paid directly to the therapists.

 

We also have an extension and enrichment programme in place in our Senior Prep that gives academically strong students the opportunity to delve deeper into the academic programme in English and Mathematics. Students who are offered this opportunity meet once a week in small collaborative groups during the school morning where they explore topics and material that would not normally be covered in day-to-day classes. The cost of these sessions is also paid directly to the programme facilitator.

HOUSES

All students are allocated to Houses in Grade 1 or when they first join Dainfern College and siblings are always placed in the same House. The House system develops a sense of belonging and teamship: students are encouraged to participate in the InterHouse events that take place throughout the year and to support their Houses in a spirit of friendly competition and camaraderie.

 

We have three houses : Griffin (yellow), Kraken (blue) and Phoenix (red). The legendary ‘Lion Rampant’ on our school badge was the inspiration for the House names – all mythological creatures. The elements of Fire, Earth and Water are symbolised by Phoenix (the firebird), Griffin (half-eagle, half-lion) and Kraken (a giant sea monster) and House colours are therefore red, yellow and blue.

 

In the Senior Prep, each House has a House Director: Griffin is led by Mrs Lauren Halstead, Kraken by Mr Marc Abbott and Phoenix by Mrs Leanne Turner.

ROUND SQUARE

As we are a proud Round Square school, our students are expected to make strong commitments beyond academic excellence to personal development and responsibility. Our students are challenged to become individuals with strong values, morals and character.

 

Round Square for 12-14 year olds was introduced at Dainfern College in 2012 for our Grade 6s and 7s. Dainfern College is proud to be hosting the regional Round Square Conference for this age group in March this year. As it is a Regional Conference, it is open to scholars in Grade 6 and Grade 7 from our Round Square schools’ network in Africa and we are looking forward to welcoming pupils from Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania as well as from across South Africa.

BUS SERVICE

We provide a morning bus service and also have a dedicated service provider for door-to-door transport solutions.

TUCKSHOP

Our tuckshop provides healthy snacks and meals throughout the day. Pre-ordering can be done with our online forms.

HOMEWORK & AFTERCARE

Supervised Aftercare is available for our younger students and Homework Club forms part of our extramural offer.

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