In an overstimulated, overmedicated world, children are increasingly misdiagnosed, incorrectly medicated and misunderstood. The schooling environment should be one of safety, sanctuary and exploration. In many instances, medication alone does not offer a real solution; it is the treatment of a symptom without exploring the cause – if the root of the issue is never discovered, how can healing be achieved?
On the 1st of March, Growing Minds Learning and Therapy Centre will open its doors. The Centre, situated in Gardens Cape Town, will serve to meet the needs of all school going children who suffer from learning or behavioural difficulties by providing an holistic and integrated approach of therapy and support.
The new school will also host multi age classrooms of Grade R to Grade 3 learners who are displaying symptoms associated with difficulties such as ADHD, ADD, Sensory Processing Disorders, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Anxiety and Developmental Delays. “The aim is to help children who are struggling to reach their full potential in a mainstream school and who need individualised learning or smaller environments,” explains Denise Pape, Head of the Centre.
The focus of the school is to create CAPS aligned classrooms with each child on an individualized Differentiated Learning Programme. Our classes will suit the children, rather than expecting the children to suit the classroom. The small classes also allow the teacher to accommodate the different learning styles of each child as well finding ways to keep each child motivated and striving for success.
“By having Differentiated LearningProgrammes, we can set realistic, achievable goals for each child and a carefully devised plan of action for the long term. In addition, we will also offer holistic therapies and extra tuition on site to support them,” adds Pape.
The Centre has also been structured with different learning spaces adapted to the child. The children will have various work space and seating options which cater best to their way of learning.
These steps, combined with regular communication between parents, teachers and therapists aim to ensure that the Centre can provide comprehensive support and education without immediately resorting to medication, to ensure that children achieve to the best of their ability.
The Centre will also cater for those children who, for medical or physical reasons, are unable to attend school on a regular basis. We have a designated classroom allowing those learners to work in a nurturing environment, on their own curriculum, at their own pace with their own tutor or facilitator.
“Learning is crucial to a child’s development,” concludes Pape. “Creating an inclusive environment, where children are encouraged to learn and be shown how to do so is essential to success. The classroom must foster growth – physically, emotionally and mentally – this is what we will continue to strive for.”