• Synergy Schooling
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Swinging high: We can do it!Swinging high: We can do it!

Questions we feel are important to parents

How do you take care of the basics (reading/writing) while maintaining this cutting edge approach?

The Synergy Schooling experience embraces the necessity of certain skill development. The teachers are guided by the intrinsic motivation of the children to make the learning of these skills as authentic and meaningful as possible. It is this positive and supportive environment that enables effective skill development to proceed.

More importantly is the attitude to learning, which is embedded in relationships, that convey dignity and respect. Synergy Schooling works with the current educational systems to maximise choice and decision making for further learning. This will enable your child to attend universities and other tertiary educational institutions.

Tony Ryan, Headmsater of Rondebosch Boys Preparatory, an established and well known Government School in Cape Town, says "On hearing about Synergy Schooling for the first time I was concerned about the ability of Synergy children to filter back into other schools if their parents were transferred or moved.

These fears were more than allayed when my staff teachers spent the morning at the school, testing varying children to see where their competences were." Mr Ryan further goes on to say "I believe that, in future, (Synergy School) will be recognized as a pioneer in the way children are managed and educated.

They have conceptualized and realised a system that is far more effective and will have longer lasting education benefits for the child that will result in a more authentic adult emerging. People just need to go and visit the school and it will become very apparent to them.

Mr Ryan feels so strongly about this that he now sits on our Board of Governors.

An independent Curriculum moderator also came and spent a few weeks with our Grades 5 & 6 class and commented that what she saw was the best implemented example of our national curriculum she has seen nationally in the last 20 years! A fantastic achievement to the school!

See here for more comments from University Experts on our approach to learning.

How do you balance between what you believe is important and the expectations of society and the outside world?

This is where Synergy Schooling's real strength lies. Although Synergy Schooling works towards an idealistic vision of education and schooling, it is firmly grounded in the reality of the present. By working with the current educational systems and expectations, Synergy Schooling balances the direction of our future education with current expectations. It is about facilitating the transformation of the existing paradigm to a more authentic experience of living and learning.

How does the Synergy Schooling process of discipline work?

A person's behaviour reflects his perception of the world and his relation to it. These relationships are complex and deeply intertwined and include a person's self esteem, their sense of belonging, and the meaning they hold in their lives. If a child is feeling secure and has a positive perception of the world, then her behaviour is reflected in cooperation and participation.

Relationship and communication skills are therefore placed as a core element in our daily interactions and form the basis for our approach on discipline and guidance. This approach emphasises these relationships and the subjective interpretations of the learners.

We also equip each child with skills aimed at negotiation and conflict resolution and encourage respect for the feelings and experiences of others. Through this the group managers to resolve issues without demanding constant adult intervention.

How do you deal with difficult children?

If a child is feeling secure and has a positive perception of the world, then her behaviour is reflected in cooperation and participation. Children who are perceived as 'difficult' are often those children who are struggling with concepts of belonging and with relationship skills.

By engaging with these children, and by nurturing relationships built on trust and support, their behaviour patterns change considerably. This process is carried out by all the children through our focused awareness on communication, negotiation and conflict resolution skills programmes.

How safe is my child?

The physical, social and the emotional environments are structured to ensure that the children and adults can grow and develop in a space of security, well being and nurturing. Careful planning ensures that all children are under constant observation and are well supervised.

What kind of commitment does this involve from me, the parent and how can I become more empowered and involved in my child's education?

Yes! We view you the parent as the most important educator of your child. Through your attitude, your patterns and your life living, you are providing the role model on which your child is learning how to be human and how we as humans live our lives.

The learning environment of your child is wider than the traditional and linear technological learning of reading and writing. Therefore at Synergy School we work as a team with your child, you the parent and with the teachers to create an environment and attitude to life learning that is rich, dynamic and fulfilling.

As part of the Synergy Process, we offer a dynamic learning environment for both children and parents. Our commitment is to support the life experiential learning of all participants (including you!). We acknowledge that most parents are unfamiliar with a schooling approach that includes them as integral to the learning and living environment.

And at the same time we feel that a growing number of parents are recognising the value of their participation and are ready to engage in such a collaboration. The Synergy Process includes diverse forums and workshops around Parent Support, Parent Communication Skills, and Parent Information Programmes that empower you in the educational learning of you and your child. Synergy School is ready to work in partnership with you!

When can I sit in on a school day to see how this approach works?

Our school environment is not a closed system. Our approach to life and learning is transparent and appreciates your involvement. We believe in team teaching, and in rich group dynamics. We want you be an active partner with us.

How do I know my child will fit in?

The Synergy Experience begins by asking the simple question, 'How can we support your child so they feel secure and have sense of belonging?' We do not impose a system onto your child but start from an understanding of what your child's needs are.

This enables us to continually modify our environment to suit the needs of your child that supports their growth and social interactions. Synergy School encourages your child to develop and articulate his own interpretations, understandings and truth.

How will this approach help build my child's self esteem?

The building of your child's self esteem and confidence is realised by their empowerment. This can readily occur through dynamic relationships based on trust, respect and dignity. Here Synergy School provides a unique schooling opportunity where these complex processes and social subtleties are understood and consciously worked with.

Each person is supported in building self-esteem and a sense of personal identity and core being. Synergy Schooling encourages your child to develop and articulate their own interpretations, understandings and truth.

Will my child's learning be held back by children with learning difficulties?

Synergy School is not a Special Needs school. At the same time, all public school are encouraged to be 'inclusive schools'., Increasingly, the ability to relate and work with people is emerging as the most important skill and attitude a child should be developing. Synergy Schooling embraces the diversity of people as opportunities to grapple with these core social skills.

Why would Synergy School work for both me and my child?

The Synergy Experience is about gaining an understanding of what works best for you and your child. Through this we are able to provide an environment that is dynamic and supportive. Here emphasis is placed on the questions, issues and feelings that are important to you and your child, rather than what we think might be significant.