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Glenoaks is a private remedial and special needs school in Johannesburg that unleashes potential!  We nurture academic, functional, social and emotional growth for learners and personalize support according to the needs and strengths of each learner. We create a nurturing and inclusive environment for our learners which is supported by our dedicated, passionate and professional team. We achieve this through innovative adaptation, accommodation, differentiation and individualization for each learner.  


remedial program is for learners with average or higher intellectual abilities but who are not performing well in school. The focus is on narrowing or closing academic gaps to the extent that a learner can be re-introduced to mainstream schooling.

Special education differs from remedial education in that learners lack the intellectual ability, social and emotional maturity, physical ability or the analytical skills that are needed to perform in a remedial or mainstream classroom environment. The focus of special needs programs is to assist learners to be functional, independent and employable adults. 


The school’s journey began over fifty years ago in 1969 with Dr Lorna Swartz.  She started a small school in Melrose for her daughter, who was regarded as ‘learning disabled’. As word spread, other parents brought their children to Dr Schwartz, and Glenoaks School was born. Glenoaks School was one of the few schools who included learners of differing racial groups. In 1976 the school moved to Orange Grove. In 1981 Glenoaks expanded and moved to our current premises in Kensington. Dr Swartz’s vision has lived on through the leadership of Ms Peacock, Ms Patt, Mr Barnes and currently Mrs Caldeira. 

Many who visit the school remark on our homely, friendly and nurturing atmosphere, while still offering the structure of a school environment. The small class settings, individual and group therapies and the unwritten curriculum of care and concern help us to grow our learners socially, emotionally and academically. We strive to ensure that our learners are intrinsically motivated and happily engaged in their own learning. We also strive to develop a sensitivity to and an understanding of academic, cultural and religious differences. 


Glenoaks has a multi-disciplinary team consisting of psychologists, occupational, speech & language, remedial and learning support therapists, as well as facilitators, classroom assistants and job coaches. These supportive services which are included in the school fees help our learners to identify their strengths and work on their areas of difficulty.  


Placement decisions are based on various formal and informal assessment processes and are made by a collaborative team. We assess learners holistically and don’t only rely on IQ as a deciding factor. Similar processes follow when it comes to mainstreaming learners, transitioning to high school, referring to our special needs stream or deciding on future prospects beyond primary schooling.   

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