Levana Primary School
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.”