Grace Primary School was established in January 2014 to provide high quality, affordable private schooling, based on Christian foundations, to Pinelands and the surrounding community. It was founded by three Pinelands couples whose eldest children all joined the first class at the school. They were motivated by a desire for a richer, more stimulating education than the CAPS curriculum currently offers, and one where biblical truth and values are upheld.
The school currently has 3 classes (a Grade 1 class, a Grade 2 class and a combined Grade 3&4 class), based in the Pinelands Congregational Church facilities. We plan to grow by a new Grade 1 every year, as our permanent premises are developed, until we have the full complement of 7 Grades, with a maximum of 18 children per class. We hope to add a Grade R class once space allows.
School places are filling up faster with each year of growth and we already have a full Grade 1 class in place for 2016; but do contact the office at any point during the year to enquire about available places in existing classes.
From January 2016, Grace Primary has the privilege of being led by its new School Principal, Miss Mabel Laubscher, who comes to us with 34 years of diverse teaching, pioneering and managerial experience in 3 different continents. She was integrally involved in the founding of the International School of Cape Town from 1998-2003, heading up the Primary School and developing the curriculum. She was later involved in the leadership of International Schools in Qatar, Turkey and China and gained further experience in the development of primary school curricula in each of these settings. She returned to South Africa five years ago to give back to education in South Africa and has been teaching Grade 7 at Boston Primary School in Cape Town.
Welcome from the Principal"At Grace Primary we recognise each child as an individual, with unique abilities, interests and aspirations. We offer a small and caring environment where children are encouraged to grow in an exciting and engaging way, through exposure to a broad and rich curriculum and a variety of experiences that will enable them to reach their full potential.It is our view that the atmosphere in a school is a key ingredient to success. A child learns best and develops a love of learning when he or she is happy, stimulated, and supported. We provide a safe environment where mutual respect, consideration and cooperation prevail.We consider the relationship between the child, the parent and the school to be vitally important and that all must be fully motivated and committed to work in a partnership for the education of the whole child.Exposure to our value system leads to the healthy personal development of a child, providing moral direction and inspiration for life.I warmly invite you to come and to see our school in action so you can get a feel for the learning atmosphere at Grace Primary."
Ms Mabel Laubscher, Grace Primary School Principal
Our school is committed to serving the whole child, inspiring and guiding him or her to become a mature, responsible, engaging adult. We want to see young people prepared for life; able to relate rightly to God, themselves, other people and the world around them, for a lifetime of fruitfulness.
To this end Grace Primary implements the philosophy of visionary British educationalist Charlotte Mason (1842-1923) whose comprehensive pedagogy has been employed successfully in a variety of contexts throughout the world for over a century (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Mason). She emphasised that the understanding that children are persons is the foundation stone of life-giving education.
Our educational philosophy has four main values:
- Understanding that a child is a person
- Embracing a Christian ethos
- Fostering habits and attitudes
- Enabling self-education
These are discussed in more depth in the Our Values section.
A child is a person
A child is not a bucket to be filled or a lump of clay to be moulded. Every child is a person. created in God's image – equal in worth, dignity, wonder, complexity and basic needs to any other.
Far too often learning is seen as a means to an end – good exam results – rather than an end in itself. At Grace Primary we understand that good exam results are necessary for progression, but we will never let the legitimate demands of assessment obscure the central purpose of education: preparing young people for life.
Grace Primary exists to serve the whole child, inspiring and guiding him or her to become a mature, responsible, engaging adult.
I believe that the first article of a valid educational creed – children are born persons – is of a revolutionary character; for what is a revolution but a complete reversal of attitude?
A concern for relationships is the heart of Christianity. At Grace Primary we place the highest priority upon happy, considerate, cheerful relationships. An atmosphere marked by kindness, as well as order, simplicity and beauty, helps a child feel secure, comfortable and able to work to the best of his or her ability.
We consider it important for a child’s healthy personal development that he or she be exposed to a system of values and beliefs capable of making sense of reality and of providing moral direction and inspiration for life.
Class teachers and Board members are practising Christians. Christian teaching finds expression through assemblies and the emphasis we place in our curriculum upon direct knowledge of the Bible.
Grace Primary warmly welcomes children from all backgrounds.
Habits and attitudes
Growth in character is central to our concern. We often talk about the formation of good habits. We prioritise study habits such as the habit of attention (or concentration) and that of ‘perfect execution’ as well as personal qualities such as kindness, perseverance, truthfulness and service of others.
Nurturing a positive attitude to learning is among our most important objectives, and our educational methods are specifically tailored to achieve this. Our curriculum is designed to stimulate all children, regardless of their innate ability, by helping them form a ‘relationship’ with the best of our cultural and natural inheritance.
Children enter primary school full of curiosity and wonder. Far too many children emerge into early adulthood apathetic about genuinely interesting things. Our priority is to ensure they leave Grace Primary inspired, confident and creatively engaged with ideas and the world around them. Such a person has the prospect of a rewarding ‘life of the mind’ as an adult as well as being ideally suited to face the challenges of 21st century life.
Real personal growth only takes place when a child engages for himself or herself: the passive person might be able to give facts back in the short term, but learns nothing of lasting value. Unlike the short-sighted ‘teaching to the test’ and ‘spoon feeding’ that is so widespread, at Grace Primary, we emphasise independent learning using ‘living books’ (books which contain ideas that are worth talking about). Read more about our curriculum here.
Real learning – where knowledge is assimilated and internalised – can only ever occur when a student is actively engaged for himself or herself. Above all, this depends upon a student becoming a broad, independent reader. Such a person will not only derive pleasure from books in adult life but will also develop the intellectual patience necessary to think carefully and explore creative solutions to problems.
We place a high priority upon each child assuming increasing ownership for his or her own learning. Merit systems have no place – because learning is its own reward. The importance of self-education has implications for the teacher’s role. He or she is not a ‘fount of knowledge’ but a mentor or guide whose role is to help a child engage for himself or herself.
Fees and Deposit for 2017
|R 3 021 p.m.||
Base fee monthly over 10 months
|R 120 p.m.||
Art fees of R 120 per month over 10 months
|R 350 p.m.||
Development levy of R 350 per month over 10 months
|R 34 910 p.m.||
Total per month over 10 months
Stationery fee of R 1 000 per annum, payable by 31 January
|R 35 910 p.a.||
Total per annum
A non-refundable deposit of R 2,500 will be required by 31 August.
There is a 10% sibling discount available, applicable to the base fee.
We hold open mornings annually. You are also warmly invited to call us at any time to arrange a tour and a meeting with the Principal.
Applications for the Grade 1 class of 2018 must be made by the end of March 2017; acceptance to be confirmed by the end of May. There is an application fee of R300.
Where a particular Grade class is not full, we will consider applications at any point during the year.
Prospective learners will be booked in for a 'taster day' and a short assessment. The purpose of these visits is for the prospective student to get a feel for what it is like being here and for us to assess the child's core skills, particularly reading, spelling, writing and maths.
Children who are offered a place at Grace Primary must be able to access mainstream classroom teaching effectively. Where this is possible, we can offer a very rich learning experience. We do not have the resources to deliver a highly differentiated or individually tailored curriculum.
Following the 'taster day', the Principal or School Director will speak with parents about whether a place can be offered. In order to secure a place parents will need to return a signed Parent Contract and pay the non-refundable deposit of R2,500.
Term Dates for 2017
|16 January||31 March|
|18 April||30 June|
|24 July||29 September|
|9 October||6 December|
Extra holiday dates (on and around public holidays)
22 & 25 September
Other Important Dates