Bryandale Primary School – Where Children Have the Potential to Become Winners

Private Property South Africa
Claire Fraser

Integrating a love of nature with modern, top class learning facilities, the Bryandale Primary School campus in Bryanston has been home to holistic education of children since 1973.

Bryandale Primary School has a long-standing tradition and pride in a learner-centred programme that aims at the comprehensive education of all learners. Parents and teachers work together at school and at home to instil core values, and the school offers a base of clear communication and support. The dedicated and passionate staff work together as a dynamic team; and on-going professional development is imperative in their endeavour to properly prepare learners to function independently in a twenty-first century world.

Learning takes place in a highly-stimulating environment. It is through many of these resources that fundamental learning skills are developed and a lifelong love of learning is created. The atmosphere is caring and structured, and being a part of the Bryandale family becomes a lifelong bond. Diversity is celebrated and the school operates within a Christian ethos intent on upholding the respect of each individual within the school community.

It is against this backdrop that the school strives for academic excellence. Bryandale Primary School equips learners with higher-order thinking skills, through innovative and creative learning and collaborative interaction, resulting in critical thinkers who can hold their own in the face of any requirements. The school teaches that life is full of choices, and that each choice defines who they are and what course their lives will take. Furthermore, they are endowed with a firm sense of commitment, and this is expected in the classroom and on the sports field.

Well-resourced classrooms are surrounded by attractive gardens, where trees are labelled and bird identification posters are on hand to encourage children to appreciate nature. Gardens are constantly upgraded to incorporate indigenous water-wise plants, giving learners a keen sense of environmental awareness. The Bryandale Knowledge Base is an area of many happy hours for the children at the school. It includes an indoor and outdoor auditorium, computer lab, music room and labyrinth where learners go to stimulate creative thinking and problem-solving abilities. In addition to this, the Media Centre is a focal point within the school. It is a modern, well-resourced facility where learners can explore the different aspects of twenty-first century media literacy. Numeracy and Literacy are two of the main areas of focus within the school, and the technology offered is a widely-used resource to supplement traditional teaching methods and capture the attention of learners. It further enhances essential skills like creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem-solving, and communication and collaboration.

Bryandale also has an on-site Learning Centre, where a multi-disciplinary team of therapists operate in their private capacity. These therapists liaise closely with teachers, issuing reports on progress of learners with whom they are working.

The academic facilities at the school are complemented by a playground, climbing wall and excellent sporting amenities. Active Education runs the sports programme, and there has been a marked increase in participation and development of the learners because of their integrated approach and well-trained staff. Learners participate in Cricket, Swimming, Tennis, Ball Skills for Grade 1 and 2, Soccer, Netball, Cross Country, Athletics and Hockey. Culturally, the learners participate in Chess, Computer Club, Marimbas, Public Speaking/Debating, Choir, Eisteddfod and Needlework.

Bryandale has partnerships with disadvantaged schools and has a “We Care” committee, whereby they look for opportunities to make a sustainable and meaningful contribution, teaching the children about social responsibility at the same time.

Holistic development is extended to encourage the children to take responsibility for their health. The tuck shop only stocks items approved by the school dietician, and every item is evaluated so that the children are eating for sustained energy, which improves behaviour and concentration throughout the day.

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