Le­vana Pri­mary School

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - LEILA SAMODIEN

LE­VANA Pri­mary School looks out over huge, di­lap­i­dated blocks of flats. It’s not the best of views, and the premises are sim­ple, but it’s no mat­ter for Laven­der Hill par­ents, some of whom are still des­per­ately try­ing to place their chil­dren in schools.

Le­vana prin­ci­pal Ivor Nober said they usu­ally had lots of space avail­able – but schools in the area were un­usu­ally full.

They were forced to turn dozens of par­ents away this week. Oth­er­wise, the school year got off to a smooth start.

“When we came back from our hol­i­day, the school was ex­actly how we left it. No van­dal­ism. That is the one thing we’re most glad about,” said Nober.

The first day of school was a slow one – most of it was spent sort­ing out sta­tionery, pro­cess­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion work and al­low­ing time for the pupils and teach­ers to get to know one an­other. For some – such as the Grade 1s, some of whom sobbed as their par­ents left them be­hind – it was harder than oth­ers.

Grade 2 teacher Joy Ben­jamin has tried to make the tran­si­tion from one grade to an­other as easy as pos­si­ble. She’s put up work pupils al­ready know on the walls. And ev­ery now and then, they stretch be­fore lessons.

Ben­jamin uses the sec­ond day to get started – she gives them books and coloured pen­cils sup­plied by the school. The par­ents of most of the chil­dren here don’t have money to spare on book-wrap­ping, so Ben­jamin gives them cover pages too, and the chil­dren de­cide how they would like to colour them in.

“I try to make the class comfortable,” she said. “I don’t put up all my posters at once. When we learn about the body, I put that poster up. When we learn about the en­vi­ron­ment, I put that poster up. At the end of the year, the class will look much more colou­ful.”

Nober, who is con­stantly busy and rarely sits in his sim­ple of­fice at the school’s re­cep­tion, ex­plained that this year would be con­sid­er­ably dif­fer­ent to oth­ers be­cause of the World Cup, and there­fore needed more plan­ning.

“There’s a five-week gap and we can’t have our chil­dren idle,” he said. “We might have to think about a hol­i­day pro­gramme, but the par­ents would have to sup­port it.”

Nober said the World Cup would be in­te­grated into the cur­ricu­lum, such as tests and oral marks, as were all im­por­tant world and lo­cal oc­cur­rences.

“We want to bring the world into the class­room, and this is an event of a life­time.”

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