Glenridge Pre-Primary School in Manor Gardens, Durban, is one of those schools that compels parents to drive from all areas of Durban so that their children can attend. It is one of those schools that – in more than just a couple of cases – cements decisions to relocate to a closer postcode!Situated behind the University of KwaZulu-Natal in a green-belt, Glenridge is one of Durban’s oldest pre-schools and one of the only custom-built pre-primary schools in the city. Both children and staff, thus, benefit from facilities that are perfectly designed to meet the physical, intellectual and social needs of young children. This, together with its large, shaded indigenous garden, creates an ideal environment for providing foundation phase children with all the skills necessary to prosper later in life. Within the careful architecture, is a devoted and highly qualified staff, all of whom put an unprecedented level of dedication into each day. Play areas that develop children’s creative, cognitive, fantasy and outdoor skills support the recommended curriculum and all the teachers strive to ensure children are fulfilled socially, intellectually and physically. This translates into children acquiring a host of life skills and prepares them for future academic and social success.Glenridge prides itself on its ability to lay firm groundwork for the development of its learners into caring, socially responsible adults. For this, the staff believe, children need to learn sound values, as well as the skills to confront life’s challenges, so they will go on to become successful and useful members of the community. Underlying this is the promotion of understanding, tolerance and respect for the diversity in society, as well as a commitment to the protection of the planet.The school is particularly proud of its green projects and garden club, and is currently working towards its Eco School’s green flag status. Developing an environmental conscience in children means many fun recycling and environmentally friendly projects are constantly underway. The school’s green efforts also extend to social responsibility projects and the school vegetable garden took on a deeper meaning when Glenridge undertook a partnership permaculture project with an underprivileged school in nearby Cato Manor. The Glenridge community helped Cato Crest Primary establish a food garden, the produce from which goes towards a daily meal for learners. Glenridge children also actively engage in fundraising efforts – the proceeds of which go to elected charities at the end of each term.In addition to the environmental and charitable contribution to the community, adult education workshops are conducted at the school, and an extension of the existing infrastructure to accommodate speech, occupational and psychological services are a much-anticipated addition to the facilities. Extra-mural activities for the children are also held at the school, including karate, art, playball, pottery, music, ballet and gardening. Teachers and coaches are hand picked, and all the activities are age-appropriate. Glenridge children are therefore given all the necessary opportunities and assistance to develop skills to ensure they thrive. With prominent past pupils such as rugby star Patrick Lambie, DA leader Tony Leon and musician Dawn Selby, as well as many learners who have gone to on to become high school head boys and girls, win academic scholarships and earn KZN colours for sports, what more do we need to say? Glenridge is a school with a proud history and a very bright future.
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