Welcome to the Generation Schools family
Generation Schools welcomes you as part of a vibrant, innovative and engaged family, where we will strive to develop a community within a school environment.
Children are changing, and as the world moves forward, we need to rise up to the challenge and adopt a future focused approach to the way we teach our children.
At Generation Schools, we believe in discovering the individual talents of each child and creating an environment where curiosity is king and the love of learning is actively encouraged and nurtured. Where knowledge is not only taught, but also experienced. Each child is allowed to discover their true passions naturally, so that they can grow to become creative, inventive women and men who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done. The future lies open to those who keep their love for learning alive and it is our responsibility to guide it.
Generation Schools aim to provide an education model based on the Montessori philosophy that is extremely popular worldwide. The founders of Google and Amazon.com have had the benefit of this philosophy of education and they credit their success to the “divergent thinking”, which this philosophy of education offers.
In a world that is continuously changing, the focus is not to ‘box’ a particular time frame, in terms of teaching methods, but to understand that the focus is on an educational model that will grow with change and is founded on teaching principles that have been in existence since the 1800’s.
This “divergent thinking” sees the schools incorporate various models of education into their teaching philosophy. The Montessori philosophy carries through in all the phases. The curriculum in the preschool is based on authentic Montessori practice. In the Primary and High School, the Cambridge curriculum is introduced which offers IGCSE’s, AS, A and A2 levels, with an international matriculation so that learners can study anywhere in the world.
Each child learns at her/his own pace, which enables growth from first being curious and then through experience, they gain the requisite knowledge required for understanding each subject.
‘We do not do parrot fashion learning – we facilitate thinkers, visionaries and individuals.’
The Generation Schools curriculum is uniquely structured to enhance the child’s natural developmental patterns and aims to support these in assisting the child in fulfilling her/his natural potential. This is done through a unique set of structures.
Generation Schools offer learning rich environments, with a strong focus on holistic development and respecting the individual growth of each learner (vital in the foundation years).
Dr Maria Montessori was reportedly Italy’s first woman doctor. She developed her method of education after many years of dedicated observation and assessment of the developmental patterns which children display.
An important premise of the Montessori Philosophy is that we ‘follow the child’. This means that we acknowledge each child as an individual, and through observation provide the means to assist each child at his or her personal stage of development.
The basic idea of the Montessori philosophy of education is that every child carries within, the person he or she will become. In order to develop holistically and to the fullest, the child must have freedom – a freedom to be achieved through order and exercised with self-discipline. This freedom is however only given within consistently defined limits, which mimic the social conventions of the child’s time, place and culture in preparation for the real world. Montessori recognised that the only valid impulse to learning is the self-motivation of the child. Children move themselves toward learning.
The teacher prepares the environment, functions as the reference person and role model and offers the child the appropriate stimulation; but it is the child who learns, who is motivated through work and play itself to persist in his or her chosen tasks.
Montessori designed her schools as ‘prepared (favourable) environments’, which create spaces designed to meet the developmental needs of the children. They contain a certain order and allow the children to develop at their own pace and according to their own capacities in a non-competitive atmosphere. Teachers are trained to help children explore areas of interest to them. This approach encourages children who are engaged and interested in their learning.
An important aspect of the Montessori method is the concrete, didactic materials. Children learn through discovery and experience by manipulating concepts concretely. It is part of the teachers’ training to know when to introduce new activities and when to stand back and allow the children to work uninterrupted on their chosen task. We encourage children to ask questions, explore answers and experience life. The Montessori method provides a framework in which intellectual, emotional and social disciplines go hand in hand.
Montessori is a way of being, incorporating partnerships with parents and families.
Montessori was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize – her vision was to create a peaceful world, by raising peaceful children. Nelson Mandela himself said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” We take this part of our work very seriously.
Generation Schools is a committed reflection of Dr Montessori’s remarkable vision and method. Her love and respect for children informs and inspires the teachings of our staff. In the best Montessori tradition, they observe and meet the needs of each child in our care, preparing them for a lifetime of creative thinking and learning, to develop the habits, attitudes and skills that will shape the way they learn, discover and succeed in life and to guide them in becoming future responsible and caring South African or World citizens.
|Teacher has an unobtrusive role in the classroom – teaching is collaborative.||Teacher is the centre of the classroom as a controller – teaching is controlled by a fixed curriculum.|
|Environment and method encourage self- discipline.||Teacher acts as the primary enforcer of discipline.|
|Mixed age grouping which encourages children to teach and help each other.||Same age grouping where most of the teaching is done by the teacher.|
|Children set their own learning pace||Instruction pace is usually set by the group norm – based on a set curriculum.|
|Children work in a three year cycle.||Instruction pace is usually set by the group norm – based on a set curriculum.|
|Children discover concepts through self-directed materials and activities – usually on their own.||Children are taught concepts by the teacher – usually in a group.|
|Children spot their own errors from feedback from the materials.||Errors are corrected by the teacher.|
|Children reinforce their own learning by repetition of work.||Learning is reinforced externally by rewards and punishments.|
|Group participation is encouraged but never forced.||Group participation is often compulsory.|
|Physical, social, emotional, language and intellectual needs are equally important.||Emphasis falls on intellectual development.|
|All children are treated equally and have the same privileges.||Some children are placed above others and have more privileges (e.g. prefects).|
|Multi-sensory materials are available for physical exploration.||Fewer materials available for sensory development.|
|Children can work where they choose, move around and talk at will (without disturbing).||Children are usually assigned their own chair/desk.|