Frances Vorwerg promotes equality among learners

EDUCATING FUTURE GENERATIONS: Louise Pekelharing with one of the grade seven classes at Frances Vorwerg School.

FRANCES Vorwerg School specialises in the education of learners with disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, as well as learners with learning disabilities. The senior phase Head of Department (HOD) chats to the RECORD about the school.

Louise Pekelharing (56) has been the HOD of the senior phase for about five years and teaches mathematics and economic and management sciences. The senior phase consists of grades seven to nine. There are seven classes in total; two grade seven classes, two grade eight classes and three grade nine classes.

Pekelharing explained that all the learners complete the CAPS curriculum. Frances Vorwerg School caters for English and Afrikaans speaking learners by offering English and Afrikaans home language as well as English and Afrikaans additional language.

Read: Fond farewell from Frances Vorwerg

Learners with disabilities do face challenges but physical disabilities do not take priority over learning disabilities, such as attention deficient disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, she said.

“Learners are all given special attention and all complete the curriculum. We are very excited to announce that, following a consultation process with all stakeholders and the department, we plan on catering for grade 10, 11 and matric learners in the next three years,” Pekelharing said.

The Senior Phase at Frances Vorwerg is under the leadership of principal Qiniso Mthimkhulu and deputy principal Mark Lynch. A dedicated, qualified and focused team of educators and therapists have the learners’ best interest at heart. Every child is assessed by both educators and therapists and then placed where they can progress the best.

“At the moment, after grade nine, learners have to go to mainstream or LSEN schools that offer matric which is why we are very excited about catering for grade ten learners in 2018, grade 11 learners in 2019 and matriculants by 2020,” Pekelharing said.

With about 15 learners in a class, educators have more individualised time for each child’s academic progress and therapists can offer the necessary therapy needed for each child. Therapists are on the premises and available to assist with the special needs of the learners.

Hailing from teaching backgrounds at Hoërskool Die Fakkel, Laerskool Theo Wassenaar, Winchester Ridge Primary and Robertsham Primary and with 26 years experience in teaching, Pekelharing is an experienced educator who understands children.

Also Read: New principal for Frances Vorwerg

She attended the North-West University where she majored in maths, then moved to Johannesburg where she achieved her post graduate certificate through UNISA while teaching at Hoërskool Die Fakkel.

Frances Vorwerg School also participates in sporting activities and encourages all learners to participate. The school has its usual athletics, netball, soccer, bowls, archery, zumba dancing, volleyball and boccia, not forgetting its cultural activities, such as participation in eisteddfods for mainstream and LSEN schools.

The school also has its representative council of learners (RCL) who, annually, go on a leadership camp to encourage and develop leadership skills. The senior phase learners also go on an outing every year.

The school has five phases: special phase, phase of skill, foundation phase, intermediate phase and the senior phase.

“Frances Vorwerg School creates an inclusive, supportive, stimulating and structured environment in which the learner can feel emotionally and socially safe in order to be able to work towards achieving their full potential and become integrated members of society,” Pekelharing concluded.

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  AUTHOR
Shernovia Reddy
Journalist

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