Chameleon Junior School has been committed to building and sustaining an integrated, dynamic, developmental approach to education for the past 6 years. United by our anti-bias teaching, we are continually creating a child-centred, nurturing and stimulating environment, striving to expand our authentically multi-cultural community. In January 2010, Chameleon Junior School was established by Delia Cupido. Chameleons represent change, adaptability, colour and nature, all of which are relevant to our approach. We celebrate diversity and multiculturalism and strive to avoid bias in our programme and to instil an attitude of respect and tolerance. We also place an emphasis on respect for and knowledge of our environment. We started with two children and since then the school has grown, today we have 45 children.
As a community of concerned educators and parents, we are legally structured as a private educational institution with a Parent Body, and we are registered with the Department of Health, Welfare and the department of WCED. We provide a high quality educational experience for children between the ages of approximately 5 to 12 years. We also offer Aftercare and Holiday Care for our children. We encourage and support parents in their parenting skills, children’s development and involvement in the school. Your involvement as a parent is essential to bridging the gap between home and school and we therefore encourage open and constructive communication between the staff and yourselves.
Our aim is to facilitate the child’s optimum development in all areas – socially emotionally, intellectually, physically and spiritually. This is done through creating an environment, which is balanced between structure and choice. In order for children to develop the skills, which they need for life, it is important that they are able to explore, manipulate and discover within a caring, secure, stimulating and supportive environment. Initiative, problem-solving skills, curiosity, independence, confidence, self-esteem, humour and creativity are all attributes that we are sensitive to. Our aim is to develop these when interacting with the children and planning for their day at school. We follow the National Curriculum ie. CAPS.
We are committed to a philosophy of anti-bias. We regard as positive the inclusion of children with special educational needs into our programme. The children are involved in a specific daily programme which is prepared by the Department of Education. We do refer to CAPS in the planning that is done weekly by the teachers. We thus focus on literacy, numeracy and life skills. The staff concentrates on assisting children towards independence through establishing a healthy sense of attachment. Children are encouraged to identify and verbalise feelings and staff model this in their interactions. Discipline rather than punishment is used. We believe that inappropriate behaviour should be dealt with through positive, productive discipline and guidance, aiming towards self-knowledge, self-control and inner discipline. Our approach is always to look behind the behaviour for indicators as to how to assist a child who is vulnerable or having difficulty in co-operating. Staff meetings are held weekly which include discussions around children who need specific input. We also evaluate our programme and discuss specific events and educational input in these meetings
Parents’ involvement makes an enormous difference towards any child’s settling-in process and the extent to which they embrace the programme. We therefore encourage parent involvement as we believe the link between home and school is of vital importance. A quality education benefits from the establishment of a constructive relationship between parents/guardians, learners and educators. Building and protecting those relationships is essential to the long-term success of any school. We strive to create continuity between children’s experiences at home and at school through maintaining good communication channels between staff and parents. A parent’s understanding of the daily programme, as well as regular communication with the staff, impacts on learning and your child’s experience at Chameleon Junior School.
The key principles of partnership for parents /guardians
- Seek, in selecting a school, an optimal match between the needs of their child, their own expectations, and the philosophy and programmes of the school.
- Recognize that effective partnerships are characterized by clearly defined responsibilities, a shared commitment to collaboration, open lines of communication, mutual respect, and a common vision of the goals to be achieved.
- Respect the school’s responsibility to do what is best for the entire school community, while recognising the needs of their individual child.
- Familiarise themselves with and support the school’s policies and procedures.
- Provide a home environment that supports the development of positive learning attitudes and behaviours that are consistent with those of the school.
- Share with the school any religious, cultural, medical or personal information that the school may need to best serve their child and the school community.
- Seek to resolve problems and secure information through appropriate channels ie. Teachers and HOD’s.
- Maintain a respectful and professional, rather than a confrontational tone, in the face of the inevitable conflicts and challenges that may arise.
- Acknowledge that their payment of school fees is not an investment of ownership of the school, with related controls, but rather an investment in the educational process of their child.
We follow themes according to the department of education and would appreciate any related items that your child can bring for our interest or nature tables (where possible, please label these items). The theme is written up on the parents’ notice board. This is an opportunity for you to be more involved in your child’s learning.
Theme related outings will be organized on a regular once a term. Parents will be informed of these in advance. Written permission will be requested from parents before children are taken on outings. There may be a small fee to cover transport and entrance fees. We also endeavour to arrange for entertainment at the School on a regular basis. Examples would be visits by Fire-ed and traffic department etc. Parents with expertise in relation to any theme being covered during the year are encouraged to involve themselves wherever possible during that time.
Birthdays: Parents are welcome to send a cake and/or party items for their child if they wish. We would like to encourage you to donate a book to the schools’ library on your child’s birthday. We will place a “Donated by…” sticker with your child’s name on it at the front of the book. The children take great pride in this and donated books have assisted in encouraging care of and respect for books in the past.
Meet The Staff
We value our staff as supportive and positive role models who are sensitive to the developmental levels and needs of individual children.
Our staff is expected to follow a specific code of conduct and are only employed if they are able to embrace our philosophy of anti-bias and child-centred learning. Staff development is a priority so that self-evaluation towards optimal teaching practice is upheld. Consideration and support is given therefore to each staff member’s learning path.
Ms. Magdalene Forbes
Principal, Head of Facilitation and Special Needs Expert
Ms. Shana Sprague
School Facilitator and Head of Aftercare Holiday Care Programs
Ms. Jackie Kirby
Grade 2 Teacher and Art Extramural
Ms. Colette Schachat
Grade 3 Teacher and Promoting Emotional Wellness and Inclusivity
Ms. Pia Roberts
Grade 4 Teacher and Dance Extramural
Coach Jason Waldegrave
Head of Physical Education
Ms. Lara Redelinghuys
Head of Reading Club