On Monday morning, 24 May, in what was a momentous moment for Union Preparatory School, the school unveiled its new Learner Support Centre.
Over the years, Union Preparatory School has gone from a predominantly English 1st home language school to one where English-speaking children now only amount to only about a quarter of our learners, with the rest speaking either Afrikaans or isiXhosa – there are even some native French and Chinese-speaking children among our learners.
Consisting of three beautiful educational spaces, the new Learner Support Centre, under the guidance of the school’s knowledgeable remedial educator Ms Valerie Lewack, will focus on linguistic, as well as remedial and auditory support, to enable learners to better grasp and comprehend the English language.
This centre will enable Union Preparatory School to break down language barriers by providing a learning environment that supports learning in a second language, thereby enhancing the learners’ academic progress and assisting with the integration of these learners into the school community – all this while fostering a positive attitude and respect for the other languages.
Union Preparatory School would like to extend its grateful thanks to the sponsors of this project, Montego Pet Nutrition, for their kind and generous support of this initiative – thank you for your investment in our children.
We would also like to convey our thanks to Mr Derek Light and the UHS Development Trust for their ongoing support of the Union Schools, contractor Mr Colin Warner, Union’s grounds manager Mr Donald Kingwill, the current school governing body and its chairman Mr Dave Stern, the previous governing body and its chairman Mr Mark Hudson, principal Ms Belinda Botha, the school’s SMT and staff as well anyone else that might have contributed to this project in some way.
A special word of thanks is also extended to Ms Nomandla Singeni from the Department of Education for supporting this initiative by committing to supply the school with an isiXhosa foundation phase educator position for the introduction of isiXhosa as a subject at the school.
Lastly, Union Preparatory School would also like to thank optometrist, Mr Johan Minnaar, speech therapist and audiologist Mrs Izienne van Jaarsveld, and the Foundation for Alcohol Related Research (FARR) for their commitment to supporting the centre.
“Going the extra mile is about love, it’s about a passionate obsession with excellence. It’s the result of good intention, uncompromising standards, sincere effort, intelligent design, attention to details and skilful execution. Thank you to all of you for going the extra mile for Union Preparatory School,” commented Mrs Edwardine Abader, a 2021 SGB member.
“At Union, we continually strive for academic excellence and we will accept nothing less. In doing this, we like to keep our classes small, thereby allowing our educators more one-on-one time with their learners so that they can pick up any learning barriers, then affording the learner the opportunity of entering the school’s learner support programme to assist them in overcoming this barrier so that their educational journey will be as seamless as possible,” said Mr Dave Stern.
He concluded, “In the years to come, I believe this centre will take our school to the highest level of academic excellence by helping us assist every learner in what ever way necessary, to change their lives for the better, forever”.