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Curriculum and Therapy

Curriculum

Glenoaks has always been a very inclusive, adaptive and accommodating environment and thus as the need arises we try our best to develop class structures that are in the best interests of our learners. Therapy continues at an individual, paired or class based level.

There is a Remedial Stream moving from Grade R to Grade 7. These class environments are small (maximum of 12 learners in a class). The core skills of the CAPS curriculum are our focus and our teachers adapt and accommodate as necessary. Within this Remedial Stream we also have bridge classes in many grades, for learners who require more adaptation and accommodation in their day; for various social, emotional and cognitive reasons.

We have also identified some of our learners who are requiring far more intense intervention and who may continue to require a more supportive environment moving forward. We have thus opened our special needs stream to include a program for these children whose academic and vocational futures are not yet certain.

Goal Stream caters for learners from the ages of 6 to 14 who have special educational needs which inhibit them from learning in the 'traditional classroom'.

Often our learners' chronological and developmental ages differ significantly. This however does not mean that these children cannot learn; they just need to learn according to their abilities and at their own pace. We often use activities in this stream that are 'out of the box'.

Our learners cannot cope with the pace and complexity of an academic curriculum, neither in a mainstream nor in a remedial classroom. They often benefit from repetition, positive reinforcement and reduced time pressure; aiming at skills within their levels of ability.

GOAL Stream learners have differing areas of strength, often exhibited in practical tasks. We focus on what our learners CAN do.

They may have higher academic abilities in one area however only functional abilities in other areas. For this reason, we work on individualised numeracy and literacy programs with each learner. Subjects in the GOAL stream include: life skills, activities of daily living, cooking, supported reading, home management, basic administration skills, computers, library, sport, social and emotional skills, OT group, Speech, Language and Communication group and art. We work within all-encompassing themes.

GOAL Stream older learners have many opportunities for project-based learning in preparation for in-housework experience. Our focus is on skills for life and mathematical and literacy tasks needed to develop life skills so that they are productive members of society, where they one day may make a contribution in an independent or sheltered working environment.  

At present we have Junior and Senior GOAL Stream classes.

 

Therapy

Our multi-disciplinary therapy team comprises of psychologists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and remedial therapists. Additionally, a private physiotherapist visits the school on a weekly basis and treats children individually. The therapy team together with the class teacher discuss learner progress and future goals for each learner at case discussion meetings held once a term. An Individual Educational Psychologist is available to conduct Psych-educational Assessments if required by the parents.

Psychology Department

The psychology department at Glenoaks School primarily focuses on the emotional well-being of our learners either in individual or group sessions. We follow an eclectic therapy approach which is determined by the learner’s individual needs, cognitive functioning and the issues being addressed. Parent counseling is provided to assist parents in supporting their children to reach their full potential.

Speech Therapy Department

The speech and language therapy department at Glenoaks School focuses on the assessment and treatment of a variety of social, communication and cognitive communication difficulties. These range from teaching children to understand language of increasing levels of complexity to ensuring expressive language development that support their curricular goals. Attention is also given to the learner’s speech quality, articulation, fluency and underlying motor skills.  Therapists also work on auditory processing skills which include memory, perception, discrimination and reasoning as well as the phonological awareness of sound structures for the purposes of literacy development. Therapy takes place in either pull-out sessions such as individual or small group sessions or within the classroom environment.

Occupational Therapy Department

The role of the occupational therapy department at Glenoaks School is to assess and treat learners whose behaviour or learning is affected by poor motor skills, slow cognitive processing, visual or perceptual problems, difficulty staying on tasks, disorganisation or inappropriate sensory responses. The occupation of childhood is to develop the skills necessary for play, school and daily living skills. Learners are assessed and a therapy programme is put together to address the following:

Gross motor skills e.g. hopping, skipping, jumping, ball skills and general motor planning
Fine motor skills e.g. cutting, colouring, pencil control, handwriting
Visual Perceptual skills (ability to interpret and understand what we see)
Sensory integration (the ability of the brain to prioritise and interpret incoming information from the different senses and to respond accordingly)

Occupational therapists also work to provide consultation to teachers about how classroom design affects attention, why particular children behave inappropriately at certain times, and where best to seat a child based on his or her learning style or other needs.

Remedial Therapy Department

The remedial therapy department focuses on helping learners overcome or cope with their academic difficulties. We liaise closely with the class teachers for themes and sounds taught. An integrated approach is used, comprising of a variety of phonics based, multi-sensory programmes, including Letterland, Phono-graphix and Thrass. Remedial therapy includes reading, comprehension, spelling and written expression. Numeracy intervention is offered on a referral basis. We work with individual learners, small groups and also assist learners in the classrooms. The main focus of therapy is on reading, as this is the foundation of all academic work. Regular multi-disciplinary meetings ensure that the team works in the best interests of each child, aiming to help learners become happy, productive and self-confident individuals.

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