Ground-break­ing Shifts at Bridge House School

Premier Magazine (South AFrica) - - Contents - Text & Im­ages © Bridge House School

Si­t­u­ated in a spec­tac­u­lar coun­try set­ting in the most beau­ti­ful Cape val­ley, close to Fran­schhoek, Stel­len­bosch, and Paarl in the Western Cape, Bridge House is a wellestab­lished, in­de­pen­dent, co-ed­u­ca­tional day and board­ing school from Playschool to Grade 12.

This vi­brant school, which takes pride in its dis­tinc­tive­ness, of­fers a unique com­bi­na­tion of an amaz­ing set­ting with 28 hectares of land on one cam­pus; small classes; qual­i­fied, ex­pe­ri­enced, and ded­i­cated staff; fu­ture think­ing and be­ing engaged in the in­vig­o­rat­ing chal­lenge of writ­ing its own ex­tra­or­di­nary his­tory; global rel­e­vance; in­no­va­tive use of IT with a 1:1 ipad pro­gramme from Grade 4; sports strat­egy, fa­cil­i­ties, struc­tures, growth, and achieve­ments; dy­namic cre­ative and per­form­ing arts; In­ter­na­tional Round Square mem­ber­ship; in­ter­na­tional ex­changes; a strong Pres­i­dent’s Award pro­gramme; board­ing for Grade 7 to 12; warm re­la­tion­ships; and a “can do” at­ti­tude.

Tak­ing a rev­o­lu­tion­ary ap­proach to tra­di­tional ed­u­ca­tion mod­els, Bridge House has re­cently in­tro­duced ex­cit­ing new elec­tive sub­jects for Grades 8 and 9 pupils, where the two years merge in some classes. Pupils are thereby af­forded the op­por­tu­nity of learn­ing to in­ter­act in class with peo­ple out­side their nor­mal so­cial groups.

In de­sign­ing a cur­ricu­lum born of in­no­va­tion, Bridge House asked its staff a sim­ple ques­tion: “If you could teach any­thing you like in your sub­ject, what would you teach?” Staff re­vised their sub­jects and de­vel­oped mod­ules that were linked to their par­tic­u­lar ar­eas of ex­per­tise and pas­sions, re­sult­ing in a col­lec­tion of sub­jects that very few schools could dream of of­fer­ing. Through these nu­mer­ous ex­cit­ing sub­jects, pupils have worked on de­sign­ing op­ti­mal liv­ing spa­ces for crowded cities, con­cep­tu­al­is­ing new species, de­sign­ing their own games and web­sites, and de­vel­op­ing and pre­sent­ing new prod­ucts, among many other projects.

While typ­i­cally Grades 8 and 9 have their sub­jects cho­sen for them, at Bridge House, they choose and take own­er­ship of their own learn­ing, while the core sub­jects of Lan­guages, Maths, Sci­ence, and Arts and Cul­ture re­main in place. In Grade 10, pupils re­sume the Na­tional Se­nior Cer­tifi­cate cur­ricu­lum ad­min­is­tered by the In­de­pen­dent Ex­am­i­na­tions Board (IEB), where the school has achieved a 100% pass rate to date and recog­ni­tion by uni­ver­si­ties both at home and abroad.

Bridge House pupils have achieved out­stand­ing re­sults in var­i­ous na­tional olympiads, eisteddfods, and com­pe­ti­tions. The school has strong Art, Mu­sic, and Drama de­part­ments, with all three dis­ci­plines be­ing core sub­jects up to Grade 9 level. In Grade 10, pupils can choose to con­tinue with one or two of these sub­jects. The Mu­sic De­part­ment at Bridge House of­fers a wide range of in­stru­ments for in­di­vid­ual tu­ition.

A va­ri­ety of team and in­di­vid­ual sports – in­clud­ing in­door and out­door hockey, soc­cer, net­ball, sev­ens rugby, cricket, ten­nis, wa­ter polo, swim­ming, golf, moun­tain-bik­ing, trail run­ning, and canoeing – is of­fered, and ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion is en­cour­aged.

Fa­cil­i­ties at the school in­clude: a new pre-pri­mary fa­cil­ity with spa­cious, light, well-equipped class­rooms, wide ve­ran­das, and a huge grassed play area with lots of fan­tas­tic out­door equip­ment; a pur­pose­built Maths and Sci­ence Centre; a fully equipped the­atre; a flood-lit, world class as­tro­turf hockey fa­cil­ity; an in­door sports centre; swim­ming pool; sports fields; as well as ten­nis and net­ball courts.

Board­ing stu­dents from Grade 7 to 12 are housed on cam­pus in four mod­ern, fam­ily-style board­ing houses which have spec­tac­u­lar views of the sur­round­ing moun­tains. Board­ers come to­gether for re­lax­ation in large communal lounges with fire­places, TVS, and games to play. An or­gan­ised pro­gramme for prep and re­cre­ation is su­per­vised by the academic staff who live on the premises and pro­vide strong pas­toral sup­port for the board­ers.

The school is a mem­ber of the In­ter­na­tional Round Square Or­gan­i­sa­tion and is guided by the six IDEALS of the or­gan­i­sa­tion: In­ter­na­tion­al­ism, Democ­racy, En­vi­ron­ment, Adventure, Lead­er­ship, and Ser­vice. As a mem­ber of Round Square, Bridge House is part of a net­work of more than 140 schools world­wide, and is able to of­fer in­ter­na­tional exchange and con­fer­ence ex­pe­ri­ences with coun­tries all over the world to a large num­ber of pupils.

The Pres­i­dent’s Award is a pro­gramme which seeks to en­cour­age young peo­ple to chart their own path of self-dis­cov­ery and growth. The four com­po­nents of Sport, Com­mu­nity Ser­vice, an Ex­pe­di­tion, and Skills and In­ter­ests are de­signed to pro­vide a bal­anced ex­pe­ri­ence of life. Pupils in the Prep School un­der­take the Learn­ing for Life Lead­er­ship pro­gramme, and Col­lege pupils are registered for The Pres­i­dent’s Award at Bronze, Sil­ver, or Gold Level.

As a mem­ber of the In­de­pen­dent Schools As­so­ci­a­tion of South­ern Africa (ISASA), Bridge House School is com­mit­ted to play­ing its role in build­ing a demo­cratic, nondis­crim­i­na­tory South Africa and a di­verse and eq­ui­table school and com­mu­nity. In a chang­ing world, the school aims to de­liver a glob­ally rel­e­vant ed­u­ca­tion which re­alises each in­di­vid­ual’s potential to lead, in­no­vate, and serve with con­fi­dence

For more in­for­ma­tion, please visit www.bridge­house.org.za.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.