School interview: Pro Ed House School
What is your school motto or ethos?
At Pro Ed House School we believe in helping boys and girls, who learn differently and who are uncomfortable in the mainstream school, to progress in a safe, encouraging and structured environment. We do this by recognising their unique learning style and by providing alternative and focused learning methods, in an encouraging atmosphere and in a multidisciplinary setting, in close liaison with their parents.
We believe that all members of our school should be aware of their rights and responsibilities, and be clear in respect of the behaviour expected of them.
We also believe in a strong school ethos, shared by the children, their parents and staff, that sets boundaries, rewards positive behaviour and encourages respect and consideration for ourselves and others.
How long have you been involved at Pro Ed House School?
I established Pro Ed House School 21 years ago after practicing at Pro Ed Centre for Assessment and Therapy, which I established in 1978.
What are the requirements for children whose parents may want them to attend Pro Ed House School?
We usually ask parents to send us all the reports they have on the child. We require a global cognitive assessment, preferably on the WISC V. If the child has not already been assessed, our team will assess the child. The child should fit the profile of a child with ADHD and learning difficulties.
What is a typical day in the life of a child at Pro Ed House School?
Our children are included in a small structured class where the teacher is able to focus on each pupil and support his/her learning, in a carefully designed programme tailored specifically to each learner’s needs. Thinking skills strategies and routines, executive function skills and a metacognitive approach form the foundation of the learning and our adapted CAPS curriculum is integrated within these areas. The development of self-esteem is paramount and all activities and tasks in classrooms, in the playground and in extra murals reinforce and strengthen a growth mindset. Literacy and Maths are areas of major importance and to this end a daily intensive specialist literacy hour is provided for each learner, at his/her level. Maths learning is very carefully developed and children are carefully supported and monitored. There is careful structure with Pro Ed House procedures for learners, so that all children are supported to feel safe and affirmed.
What accommodations/adaptation is available for children with learning difficulties?
Depending on the nature of the learning difficulty the child is supported by daily, intense explicit and systematic literacy and numeracy lessons. Occupational therapists are on hand for those children with motor difficulties, while speech therapists are available for those children with phonological or language structure difficulties. A positive approach is used for those with ADHD, with frequent rewards, encouraging positive behaviour, ADHD clock and daily reports.
How are learners supported within the classroom?
Through the knowledge our teachers and therapists have of the child gleaned from the IEP and other discussions, the teacher and therapists support the child by teaching the various strategies the child may require. Those are gathered in an IEP document which the teacher follows and tracks for success twice a year.
What are the highlights of working at Pro Ed House School?
At Pro Ed House we teach children the thinking skills and strategies to develop into thinking and successful learners. The highlights come when our goals are achieved and the children return to mainstream confident and resilient. This is even more poignant when they return to us years after they left us, now successful young adults.
Do you have any advice for parents of children who are unsure of what school is best for their child?
It is not easy for a parent to decide changing schools. However, we have seen again and again that once the decision is made and the child joins us, the child relaxes, gains confidence and begins to believe in himself. We strongly believe in the home school link, the twice yearly joint IEP meetings, the regular, monthly coffee mornings and the daily reports that go home on a daily basis. In this way, the whole family is kept informed and supported. In 21 years of our existence we have had only satisfied children and parents.
How can people contact Pro Ed House School?
Via our website www.proedhouse.co.za or Tel. School Secretary – 021 686 1567