Curro school introduces parallel medium
Tuesday, 10 February 2015 00:00

Curro school becomes first (private) parallel medium school in KZN.

Grade 1 and 2 Afrikaans Medium pupils Marne and Corlene van der Westhuizen and Emma Jordaan enjoy reading time together
        PHOTO: AMY JENKINS
Grade 1 and 2 Afrikaans Medium pupils Marne and Corlene van der Westhuizen and Emma Jordaan enjoy reading time together PHOTO: AMY JENKINS

GRANTLEIGH has become the first parallel medium school in the province.

After recognising a need in the community to introduce separate Afrikaans classes for each grade, Executive Head Shaun McMurtry and head of the Preparatory school, Colston Veater began investigating the opportunity in 2010.

‘Our role as a community school is to live up to the expectations of the community,’ said McMurtry.

After approaching parents at public meetings, it became clear that a parallel medium was needed.

After joining Curro Holdings in 2014, the idea was supported as Curro schools are traditionally parallel and dual medium.

A parallel medium, compared to a dual medium, denotes schools in which two languages are used in separate classes instead of one.

‘Most parents want their children to be brought up in their mother tongue as this helps their learning ability and builds their confidence in the classroom,’ said Veater.

‘After a positive response from parents we saw the opportunity, butr needed to assure them it would continue in the future,’ said McMurtry.

Classes

Although the children are taught in Afrikaans, cultural classes such as art, music and their break-time periods are spent integrating with pupils from the English classes.

‘This is done intentionally to integrate the classes and allow pupils to exercise another language outside the classroom environment,’ said Veater.

The Afrikaans classes, although still very small, include Grade R, and Grades 1 and 2 combined. Numbers are expected to grow as the classes increase by one grade every year.

‘We feel very strongly about allowing pupils to learn in their mother tongue in the foundation phase,’ said Grade 1 and 2 Afrikaans medium teacher, Ilse Verburgh.

‘By having smaller classes we can also provide pupils with our undivided attention,’ said Grade R Afrikaans medium teacher Nerine Le Roux.

Parallel Medium will include Grade R to 7.

‘Allowing our pupils to learn in their home languages is the perfect example of unity and shows the community that everything can work together,’ said Veater.

@amesjenks