Bridge House – Learning For Life

Private Property South Africa
Claire Fraser

Set amidst the beauty and tranquillity of the Cape Winelands, Bridge House, located in the Berg River Valley, is conveniently close to Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl.

As a world-class South African learning community, the school aims to realise each individual’s potential to lead, innovate and serve in a changing world. The school caters for seven hundred boys and girls from Playschool to Grade 12, with boarding for Grade 6 to 12. At all levels, teachers care for the individual potential of pupils, preparing them for the challenges of the world, guiding them in ‘learning for life’ and nurturing a ‘can do’ attitude. The school’s values-based mission results in a responsible, caring body of pupils.

The Playschool on the nearby Pearl Valley Golf Estate is a satellite school for ages two to four years. This is a safe, exciting place for little ones to establish a foundation. The environment is bright and well-equipped, with large spaces for play and lessons. The playschool operates as a primary feeder school for Bridge House.

The Pre-Primary School consists of small classes with the ideal level of individual attention. Learning is child-centred, and the classroom environment allows for pupils to progress at their own pace, developing good self esteem and a healthy attitude to work. Specialist teachers step in for instruction in Information Technology, Music, Ball-Skills, Gymnastics and Library. Assessments are conducted frequently in order to carefully monitor the progress of pupils. The Occupational Therapist and Speech Therapist, with the assistance of the Educational Support Unit, work at the school to establish school readiness.

The high level of academic instruction is carried forward into the Prep School at Bridge House. Class time is carefully structured, and pupils have the advantage of an innovative curriculum. Teachers work with the assistance of the Educational Support Unit to assess the varying needs and styles of learning of all pupils. At this level, specialist instruction is offered as a part of the school day covering Music Appreciation, Drama Appreciation, Art Education, Information Technology and Physical Education. This gives pupils a variety of fundamental skills, and helps them to identify talent and interest in these spheres. The extra-mural lives of Bridge House Prep students form an integral part of their schooling. The school houses a number of premium facilities for this purpose.

Building on these foundations, Bridge House College continues the emphasis on a healthy lifestyle and academic focus. Bridge House pupils write the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) exams and have achieved a one hundred percent pass rate to date. The dedicated teaching staff continually reassess methodologies in order to stay up-to-date with international trends. Pupils participate in Olympiads across a range of subjects and are given the opportunity to learn beyond the classroom on a variety of trips and outings. In addition to this, there is a keen focus on life skills and social skills, which is given expression through involvement in the President’s Award programme, which is compulsory up to the end of Grade 9.

Those who wish to continue with community service partnerships beyond the President’s Award Programme do so through the school’s Interact Club. Bridge House is one of 89 schools worldwide which belong to the International Round Square Organisation and is guided by the Round Square IDEALS - Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service. The school has an extensive exchange programme in Grade 10 with Round Square schools throughout the world.

Over and above the rich academic life at Bridge House College, extra-murals are compulsory. A wide variety of individual and team sports is offered and the school has strong Art, Drama and Music Departments.

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