Oakley House High School offers sympathetic assistance to individuals whose learning difficulties prevent them from achieving their potential in a mainstream classroom.

Our priority is to build confidence and to develop a positive attitude to learning within an atmosphere of support, tolerance and understanding for each learner’s specific needs. We do this in an age-appropriate context of building independence, and of following the CAPS curriculum, our aim being for all learners to achieve a National Senior Certificate pass at the end of Grade 12. Examples of learning difficulties include ASD, ADHD, dyslexia processing and working memory challenges, anxiety, etc.

Oakley House High School offers an Alternative Stream within our school context for learners unable to cope with the CAPS curriculum. Alternative Stream is divided into the ASDAN and Transition Focused Education (TFE) phases. The three-year ASDAN phase has the UK ASDAN assessment body’s Personal Development Programme at its core. The focus is on building life skills for independent living. The TFE phase is a two-year programme designed to straddle the worlds of school and work, with continued focus on Communication and Numeracy skills. Learners receive practical work experience, simulated at school, and in real-life contexts as appropriate, supported by theoretical Adult Education and Training, and Work Readiness modules.

Oakley House High School also provides an avenue for learners who wish to achieve their General Education and Training Certificate (Grade 9), but require additional time and a lighter course load. This program follows the online Adult Education and Training (AET) system. Learners must complete Level 4 in English, Mathematics and Life Orientation, as well as some additional subjects to make up the required 120 credits. The aim is to allow learners the opportunity to progress to a FET college, without the pressures of the mainstream classes.

 

Criteria for acceptance
Applicants should be of average cognitive ability, or above, and must have an assessment from an educational psychologist – not older than two years – indicating that they have a Specific Learning Difficulty. As a small specialist school with a very limited number of places, we carefully assess the suitability of each learner during a week-long observation period before making a decision as to whether we can offer a place. Oakley House High School will not offer any learner a place unless the staff feels confident that they can help him or her. Oakley House High School will not accept learners who have emotional or behavioural problems which might seriously inhibit their progress or compromise the learning of others.

 

Assessments
Apart from the psycho-educational assessment (to determine potential), it may also be necessary for a learner to have a scholastic assessment (to determine actual functioning) on enrolment. If deemed necessary, a Speech and Language Therapy assessment may also be requested. All assessments come at additional cost. If your child has had any of these assessments within the last 12 months, copies of the written reports are required.

 

Curriculum
Oakley House High School follows the National Curriculum (CAPS) for Grades 7 - 12.

The compulsory subjects for Grades 10, 11, 12 are:
English Home Language
Afrikaans First Additional Language
Mathematics OR Mathematics Literacy
Life Orientation, incorporating Physical Education

In addition, learners in Grade 10, 11 and 12 must choose three of the following:
Business Studies
Computer Applications Technology (CAT)
Tourism
Life Sciences (Grades 11 and 12 only)
Physical Sciences
History
*Visual Arts
*Engineering Graphics and Design (EGD)
*Design

(*Offered in the afternoons off-campus by external service providers in Claremont. The school does not provide transport.)

Oakley House has a strong commitment to blended learning and all learners are required to have their own Apple iPad at school daily. The iPads are variously used to meet special needs requirements, to promote learning, as a platform for e-books, and as a personal organisation device.

We view Reports as record of past achievement but also as the basis for setting new directions. Detailed reports are emailed to parents at the end of each term. The Term 1 report comes with a Class Teacher comment, while the Term 2 and 3 reports come with comprehensive Subject Comments.

 

Extra-curricular activities
Supervised Homework Classes – Oakley House High School offers supervised homework classes from Mondays to Fridays, as follows:
Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays 15h00 - 16h00
Wednesdays 14h30 - 15h30
Fridays 13h15 - 14h15

Clubs – Learners are expected to sign up for a Club of their choice that meets in a Wednesday Utility Period. Current examples include Newsletter, Photography, Hiking, Outdoor, Paws and Claws, etc.
A number of ‘paid for’ extra murals are run by external service providers in the afternoons, depending on demand. To date we have had: Drama, Hip Hop, Self-defence, Computer Club, etc.

Supplementary Lessons – These are provided for those learners needing even further academic support. All sessions take place after school during the week. The lessons are mostly geared towards the core subjects in the GET Phase, and subjects identified as needing intensive intervention in the FET phase.

Sport – Oakley House offers cross country from the school premises as part of the Western Province League. Learners are otherwise welcome to participate in sport at the nearby Bergvliet High School.

 

Specialist staff and support
All staff are SACE registered and carefully selected for their expertise and ability to understand our learners. Staff receive training and support in teaching learners with specific learning difficulties. Regular training sessions are conducted from our in-house specialist training centre that offers a range of accredited face-to-face and online courses geared towards inclusive education.

Various models of in-class facilitation are available for learners needing individual assistance. To maintain standards, all facilitators are on the Oakley House staff. Facilitation is put in place by mutual agreement with parents and comes at additional cost.

We offer counselling sessions with our in-house registered counsellor to address the social, emotional and behavioural needs of our learners. When necessary, we refer learners off-campus for more specialised therapy. Fees and payments to referred providers is a private arrangement between therapist and parents.

Oakley House supports learners’ applications for the concessions relevant to their need. Concessions are offered for examinations and include extra time, scribing, reading, prompting, use of a computer, etc. Concession support (involving human readers/scribes/prompters) is provided at an extra cost.

 

Teacher/learner ratio – Grades 7 to 12
Small classes ensure individual attention and a caring and supportive environment, and enable teachers to work towards developing each learner’s strengths as well as guiding them to use compensatory strategies to overcome areas of weakness.

 

Homework and structuring of work
Homework reinforces the work done in class, it alerts the teacher to work that is not fully understood and it teaches independence and self-discipline. It is an important part of educating the whole child.

Parents are asked to support homework to the degree necessary and to sign homework diaries. A scheduled plan of homework ensures that the homework burden is spread and no learner is expected to do more than the daily stipulated maximum, provided they keep up with project work and assignments. Homework is recorded in a Learner Planner, which doubles up as a valuable form of daily communication.

Oakley House further assists learners with structuring their time by breaking projects into smaller tasks with intermediate deadlines. A calendar of these deadlines is issued to learners termly. Tests are written on an ongoing basis and are likewise published in a termly Test Calendar.

 

Leadership
At Oakley House we believe in accountability, ownership and leadership as important life attributes and we have a number of structures promoting both personal and institutional leadership. Oakley House has a House System and House Heads are appointed to assist in managing the House structure and organising events. Each class has a Class Representative to act as their mouthpiece. Class Representatives meet for fortnightly discussions. More informally, clubs offer further opportunity for involvement and leadership and we regularly hold Community awareness and outreach projects. Here too, learners are encouraged to show themselves as leaders capable of making a difference.

 

Medication
The normal procedure is for any necessary medication to be given by parents at home. However, arrangements can be made for special circumstances to prevail – as in the administering of Ritalin for example. Where it is agreed that medication is kept and administered at Oakley House High School, a relating schedule will be completed and signed by the administering staff member.

 

Uniform
Oakley House High School learners wear a comfortable uniform which can be purchased from the school’s secretary and School and Leisure in Rondebosch. There is no summer and winter uniform; learners can choose which items are the most comfortable.

 

Snacks and lunches
We believe that a learner’s diet has a direct influence on his or her ability to concentrate effectively. Oakley House has a tuckshop that currently operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays at break. The tuckshop is run by our TFE students and endeavours to offer what we consider to be healthier options. Pre-orders are available.

Being high school, learners are otherwise responsible for their own food choices but sugary foods and drinks are not permitted. Learners are encouraged to have a bottle of water with them each day.

 

Discipline
It is essential that all learners at Oakley House High School are made aware of the importance of good, well-mannered behaviour and we expect adherence to the standards that make our school a safe environment and one that is conducive for learning. A Code of Conduct and an incentive/encouragement (Merit) and sanction scheme (Demerit/Detention) are signed by learners and parents and every effort is made to reinforce whatever school rules are in place at the time.

Generally speaking, we believe that action and reminders to prevent undesirable behaviour are much more desirable and effective than a stream of punishments. The learners are always encouraged to take ownership of their behaviour and to help devise solutions to any problems that arise.

As part of our commitment to discipline and a safe environment, learners may not carry cellphones during the school day.

 

Stationery
Parents are required to provide personal stationery items, for example pens, pencils, colouring pencils, notebooks, files, as well as all textbooks and workbooks required in the grade. A stationery list is available on enrolment. A separate photocopying levy is payable each year and this goes towards costs of individual printing and academic hand-outs and modules throughout the year.

 

School calendar and School Hours (Grades 7-12)
Oakley House operates according to the WCED school calendar unless otherwise informed.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 07h50 - 14h45
Wednesday 07h50 - 14h15
Friday 07h50 - 13h00
The school gates open at 07h00 daily. Please note that there is no aftercare and parents are encouraged to collect their children as soon as possible after their day is finished.

 

Notice period
Should parents wish to withdraw their child from Oakley House High, written notice must be given not later than the first week of the learner’s proposed final term, failing which the fees for the following term will be payable in full, whether or not the learner returns to school.

We reserve the right to make amendments to the above information from time to time as and when the need arises.

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