LEAP Ga-Rankuwa joins ISASA

| September 4, 2017 | 0 Comments

BY LAWRENCE MANYESA

Our school is a member of a network of six schools across South Africa.

There are two LEAP schools in Cape Town (LEAP 1 and LEAP 2), serving the communities of Gugulethu, Crossroads, Delft and Philippi. LEAP 3 serves the community of Alexandra and LEAP 4 serves Diepsloot (both in Johannesburg, Gauteng.) LEAP 5 is in Jane Furse (Limpopo), while St Augustine’s LEAP school serves the communities of Ga-Rankuwa, Mmakau and Mabopane in Gauteng/North West province. At St Augustine’s LEAP Ga-Rankuwa, we focus on the academic, social and emotional development of the children in our communities. The school was established in 2012 and has had a very productive partnership with the Anglican Diocese of Pretoria. Learning started with an enrolment of 21 Grade 9 learners, of whom 18 wrote Grade 12 in 2015, pioneering the matric class in the school. Three of the 21 learners were redirected to other schools. Our vision is to “strive for the positive transformation of communities through the meaningful education of children from those communities”, and our mission is all-encompassing: “LEAP schools provide student-centred, maths and sciencefocused education to economically disadvantaged students from Grade 8 to 12. We focus on enabling the self-awareness necessary for each student’s growth to healthy adulthood, and to ensuring optimal academic results which will allow for choices for lifelong learning and a fulfilling future.”

Discernible growth

There were only three teachers when the school started. Our numbers have grown significantly in the past five years, and today we have a total number of 158 learners (grades 8–12), 15 teachers, 15 teacher interns and six support staff. St Augustine’s LEAP Ga-Rankuwa’s children come from underprivileged families, and we offer them quality education that prepares them for tertiary placement. The school has suitably qualified teachers. I am the principal of the school. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and communication studies and a postgraduate certificate in education, and I come from Zimbabwe. I am evidence that LEAP gives opportunities to people from a diversified background. I joined LEAP in 2012 and taught at LEAP Diepsloot, where I was promoted to a head of department position and then became the relationship leader in 2012. In 2013, I was seconded to lead St Augustine’s LEAP Ga-Rankuwa, an opportunity that I accepted although it was a challenge to me. The beginning was not easy, but I stood and confronted the challenges that the school faced. It is tough to lead a community school when you are a foreigner, but I have built relationships with key people in the community. The school has stabilised and improved since I joined in 2013. It is my wish to see the school grow.

Our academic programme

Our school focuses on the learning and teaching of science and mathematics, and every child is given an opportunity to study these two core subjects. Other mainstream subjects are also studied, but more resources and time are allocated to maths and science. We have a strong curriculum delivery that runs from 08:00 to 17:00 from Monday to Friday, supported by a supervised Saturday school and holiday programmes that offer our children more opportunities for academic intervention. Our academic programme is run by a team of dedicated and hardworking teachers, who are committed to achieving great results. Our professional development is targeted at constantly reflecting on the teaching methods that our teachers use in the classroom. Our objective is to use teaching skills that are child centred.

Affirming results

The first matric results in the history of the school came out on 6 January 2016, and we celebrated a pass rate of 78%. We not only celebrated the first set of exit results, but also the growth that we saw in our children during their years at LEAP.

 

Category: Spring 2017

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