‘Educators must leave behind the simple role of disseminators of content and embrace a new paradigm as cultivators of curiosity.’
- Ramsay Musallam -
There will be new goals for performance and cognition in education in the future which Rallim Modern Learning Environment aims to achieve through its flexible, open and adaptive architectural design as well as its new models of learning.
At Rallim, we create a culture of continuous improvement and we subscribe to a deep commitment to innovation… in other words, Rallim continuously seeks to improve or develop new ways to more effectively impact on student learning.
In the Junior Preparatory phase, Robotics and Coding fosters a culture of collaboration and teamwork, critical thinking as well as problem solving amongst students during their Lego Simple Machines, Lego Wedo 2 and Sphero Bolt lessons. Robotics lessons build on simple engineering principles whilst promoting an interactive scientific and creative learning experience.
Students are also introduced to other coding languages like Code Spark and Scratch Junior where logic and coding concepts are enhanced.
In the Senior Preparatory phase, Robotics and Coding extends on the principles of coding and computational thinking already covered in earlier grades. The use of EV3 Robotics explores the application of autonomous robots. Robots are built with specific motors and sensors and coded according to Engineering principles to promote its functionality. Through the use of computational thinking, students learn to solve more complex problems systematically.
Arduino, an electronics platform which involve the use sensors, motors, switches, inputs and outputs, takes the world of Robotics to another level. Its application is integrated with Robotics and Science lessons.
At Rallim, we aim to achieve the explicit outcomes of the national curriculum by acknowledging the unique competencies and capacities of children through an engaging programme whereby we honour a broad range of learning styles and in which we nurture a keen intellect, a sense of curiosity and wonder, and a passion for learning. We believe in the potential or the unrealised ability of every child. We actively embrace the idea of each individual having a growth mindset and that a student simply has not mastered a particular concept or skill… yet.
Our framework for learning, Redesigning Education for the Future (REF21), is explicitly embedded within our curriculum design and mapping processes. It is thoughtfully developed in line with an enhanced national curriculum employing strategies of customised and innovative learning methods as well as a willingness to transcend traditional academic boundaries thereby creating deeper learning experiences and individualised pathways to success for the students. It is an interest-driven framework which is interdisciplinary in composition with a targeted focus on 21st Century skills.
Our guiding principle when deciding on our framework for learning was the following simple question: What is learning and how do we do it… for the future? We answered this by defining three kinds of learning: Competencies, values and skills (CVS) which form the DNA of our learning ecosystem.
The competencies are those as prescribed by the national curriculum and include the requisite content and skills necessary for progression between the different phases as stipulated by the Department of Education. In terms of the development of character, at the centre of our value-bases is the uniqueness of every child and we see quality education as a basic right. Furthermore, our core values at Rallim underpin the hidden curriculum and inform all of our endeavours. Finally, the development of 21st Century skills includes those vital soft skills which are inherent in our approach and methodology:
- Critical thinking, creativity and problem solving;
- Communication and collaboration;
- Global mindedness;
- Leadership and responsibility.
Students in the Preparatory Faculty learn through a multi-disciplinary and integrated approach which includes:
- Master classes with subject specific expertise, ability groups and facilitators;
- The Socratic approach to teaching and learning incorporating an inquiry led focus which emphasises discovery and research as well as experiential learning through design and construction;
- The embodied learning approach with multi-modal, kinaesthetic and collaborative learning;
- An advanced technology blended teaching and learning environment utilising compulsory coding and games-based approaches;
- A customized, student centred environment with individualised timetables according to a student’s cognitive development (e.g. The Accelerate or the Reteach programmes).
Our commitment to realising our students’ potential is built around providing a balanced education that addresses their intellectual, cultural, social-emotional and physical wellbeing. This involves the establishment of sporting and cultural centres of excellence to support both the needs of the school and the wider community. Our Junior and Senior Prep develop students into confident and enquiring minds with a strong sense of self. The Cultural Hub encourages critical thinking and grows problem-solving skills through innovative lessons.
Students may participate in various cultural disciplines that are offered at Rallim House at a supplementary cost. These programmes are outsourced to experts in the various fields and include dance, instrumental music, drama and art. Furthermore we have various music ensemble groups, a vocal group and a marimba band.
These sectors will operate from different hubs within the centre namely the Theatre of the Mind Hub, the Design Hub and the Movement Hub.
Our Prep also focuses on the second and third stage in our sports evolution programme.
Stage 2: The Grade 1 and 2 athletes have the opportunity to register for sport specific codes whereby there is a targeted focus is on building the skills required for the sport, which will build confidence for competition for when our athletes enter the third stage. Our skills focus is aimed to be taught at a high intensity, maximising the time in lessons and keeping our athletes interested.
Stage 3: From Grades 3 to 6, our athletes are introduced to external competition. This is an opportunity for our athletes to explore their skills taught and to enjoy healthy competition.
Stage 4 is for our secondary faculty which will involve specialising at sport. Competition becomes more of a focus. Stage 1 to 3 builds the athletes foundation for high school success.
In summing up our philosophy for sport at Rallim, our long term objective is to become the sporting school and club of choice along the West Coast through imbuing in our learners certain life lessons along with a passion and love for sport through quality coaching and always with an eye on excellence in all of our endeavours. We subscribe firmly to the holistic development of the child and in our quest to be leaders in the educational arena, we shall continue to seek new and innovative ways, both on and off the field, of preparing our students for the future.
Making a difference
Community relations and outreach form an integral part of a Rallim education especially as it is one of our core values and is embedded in our hidden curriculum. It is critically imperative in South Africa to foster in our children a sense of social responsibility toward their fellow South Africans and it is incumbent upon the school to do so. In this vital area of social responsibility, the school will support the following key components:
- We shall partner with a school in need in terms of physical resources;
- We shall support a chosen school’s feeding scheme. In conjunction with parents, friends and corporate sponsors, the school will run a feeding scheme in which food parcels are distributed on a monthly basis to the school;
- We shall ensure that we are proactive supporters of the disadvantaged and all our faculties will undertake major projects with students being actively encouraged to become members of Interact.
Rallim offers a world class, all round education and aspires to embrace and celebrate South Africa’s rich diversity by attracting a wide range of students from different backgrounds. This rich social mix ensures that the values and ideals of Rallim are maintained, and that the potential of all of our students is encouraged. To ensure the aforementioned aim, the Rallim Foundation will fund the following:
- The School Bursary Fund: The school will allocate bursaries on an annual basis to several Grade 8 students from disadvantaged backgrounds who display competitive academic, sporting, cultural or all round talent once the Secondary Faculty has been established;
- The Tertiary Bursary Fund: Bursaries for teacher training will be awarded to several previously disadvantaged students with a view to improving teacher training;
- The Adult Education Fund: Several bursaries will be awarded on an annual basis once the adult education classes commence.