Happiness in a useful life: Kainon School

| June 12, 2015 | 0 Comments

By Jane Edmunds

Kainon Primary School, a ‘second home’ for 145 learners from Grade R to Grade 7, is situated in the beautiful wooded area of Westville, Durban, in KwaZulu- Natal, looking out onto the Palmiet Nature Reserve, surrounded by indigenous gardens and birdlife.

Kainon is a progressive, independent coeducational Christian school with small classes and dedicated teachers, providing a nurturing environment for learning.

Our morals and values permeate everything we do – from our strong academic programme in line with the national curriculum1 to our well-rounded sport and extracurricular activities.

In keeping with the Kainon tradition, we acknowledge the time-honoured values of our motto, ‘In Usibus Felicitas’ (Happiness in a Useful Life) in all we do. Bible-based morals are part of the daily curriculum and aim to support parents in their challenging task of raising children.

Turning ninety-two!

Kainon School celebrated its 92nd birthday this year. We began as a very small school in Musgrave Road, Durban, with a handful of children under a mango tree. At first, we catered exclusively for New Church members. The school later moved into the church hall. In the late 1960s, Kainon, a multigrade school of 30 children, moved from the Berea to a large plot of land in Westville, which was at that time mostly bush surrounding the Palmiet River. The parents of the children enthusiastically spent their weekends building three classrooms, one of which housed grades 1-3 and another grades 4-7. The third was used as an ‘overflow’ maths and science classroom, where grades 5-7 could be taught separately. Multi-grading had great benefits in that younger children could learn from the older children and older children could practice leadership with group work. Multi-grading combined with differentiated teaching was also beneficial in that the struggling children in older grades could receive consolidation in areas in which they needed more help, and brighter younger children could be extended. Tolerance and encouragement among the children dovetailed beautifully with our ethos.

A Kainon pre-primary phase was started in 1989 and, in 2009, a beautiful, new, open and modern building was designed by architect George Elphick, an alumnus of the school, who created expansive classrooms that maximise natural light and extend into open areas. The building upgrade was completed in 2011.

Multiple resources and facilities

Today, Kainon School can accommodate up to one hundred and eighty-two learners in nine classrooms. Students benefit from aftercare, a homework centre, a media centre (library and computer room), a hall, a swimming pool, a staff room, a beautiful reception area, and a meeting room and offices for the pastors and the principal.

We offer a variety of sports and extracurricular activities, such as athletics, cricket, cross-country athletics, hockey, netball, soccer, swimming, touch rugby, visual arts, chess, dramatic arts, eco club, music, Zumba fitness, cookery and needlework. Our curriculum includes chapel, computers, outreach, Mathletics,2 physical education and the Readers are Leaders3 programme. Our pastors provide fun-filled Bible-based classes comprising life-orientated, topical discussions for preteens.

Multiple rich, academic focuses on planning, assessment, recording and reporting (taking multiple intelligences and Bloom’s Taxonomy of Skills4 into account) means that all aspects of a child’s persona are fully appreciated.

Participating and supporting

Being a smaller school means that all our children are included in cultural activities and sports teams and events, whether this is their strength or not. A broad experience ensures that the values of tolerance and celebration are incorporated into all aspects of school life – Kainon students know that everyone has different talents and that whether one excels in an area or not is less important than the value of full participation.

Support is extended to the Westville Baby House and Providence Rest Home. Kainon’s Green Flag Eco focus5 stimulates action projects that protect our environment.

Kainon School is proud to be a South African school with a focus on deep spiritual learning to support good life choices in communities. This sparks from the centre of the school’s mission – to educate the hearts and minds of children for a life of service to their neighbours and the Lord Jesus Christ.

References:
1. See, for example: http://www.education.gov.za/Curriculum/NCSGradesR12/tabid/419/Default.aspx.
2. See, for example: http://www.samontessori.org.za/.
3. See, for example: https://www.facebook.com/Bearobics.
4. See, for example: http://www.clamberclub.com/.
5. See, for example: http://www.wessa.org.za/what-we-do/eco-schools.htm.
6. See, for example: http://www.education.gov.za/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=JU1Y7NGqqmk%3D&tabid=390&mid=1125.

Category: Winter 2015

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