How do we prepare children for a changing world? For a start, by accepting that an education system that places emphasis on content above all else isn't appropriate - not when the Internet makes information of all sorts available within seconds. What matters now is entrenching values and building skills such as creativity, collaboration, curiosity, agility, and innovation. Skills, which can be applied across an endless spectrum of contexts are vital if students are to succeed. This approach helps to bridge the gap between education and employability and ensures that students are equipped with the competencies they need to find jobs in a world where organizations expect their staffers to be able to make a difference from the moment they sit behind their desks.
One of the biggest changes, which we are already seeing, is the impact of technology in the classroom. Whereas we may have been lucky if we had a large, slow computer at home, now students have access to a wide variety of devices. This means that the role of the teacher has evolved and we now function more as facilitators, helping students navigate the online offerings. Students are expected to play a more active role in their own education, as the days of a teacher standing in front of a classroom spouting factoids are long gone. After all, who needs this kind of pedagogue when one can hold the world of information in one’s palm? But students will also be expected to collaborate with their classmates, so that they can embark on shared voyages of discovery. At the same time, the learning process becomes more individual, with children able to tailor their experience to their own needs and pace.
With rote learning hitting the high road, teachers are being encouraged to explore and implement different ways of learning. That's good news for children who respond more to kinetic stimulus - learning by carrying out physical activity - than visual material - and a way of levelling the playing fields, because it takes into account the understanding that we don't all learn in the same way.
What does this all mean? The classroom, as we knew it, is obsolete. Just as we sniggered at the thought of taking a course in shorthand or marvel that people ever took the time to send a fax, so, too, our children will come to regard our former classrooms as relics of a quaint past.
But, while you may feel ill-equipped to help your children navigate a world that looks nothing like your own, there's plenty you can do to help. Start by getting them to ask questions and to stop accepting the status quo; to think about why we have always done things a certain way, and what would happen if we changed just one variable; to have conversations, especially with people whose lives are different from their own; to do just one thing differently, every day; to embrace learning as a never-ending journey - and as one of the most exciting things we can do in a world that never stops offering new discoveries.
When Giuseppe Plumari envisioned this wonderful lifestyle resort for all South Africans, his idea was to create a community rooted in the values of a bygone era; a time where family, friends, and neighbours were at the core of our existence. Family was a pillar of this world, and children spent hours poring over books, grappling with puzzles or kicking balls, or riding in the street with their friends, rather than hunched over devices.
It may sound like an Enid Blyton idyll, but it's the kind of world where people treat each other with integrity and respect - precisely the qualities we would like our children to display. This is what Steyn City School is about. We're striving to create an environment where your child will be at her or his absolute best: where they are sufficiently challenged in the classroom, so that learning becomes a fascination and a joy, an experience that rewards and fulfills our ultimate goal. Our ultimate goal: to cultivate a lifelong love of learning.
With this in mind, our curricula are carefully devised so that students' existing skills, values, and knowledge provide a solid foundation that is added to on an ongoing basis. Our approach is a spiral one, so that one year's learning is augmented by the next. We help children seize learning opportunities and incorporate a variety of learning styles into our teaching, so that all children are accommodated in our classrooms. Our intention here is to create in-depth understanding of all issues and topics covered, as we believe this to be the very core of learning. Our assessment methods, both summative and formative, reflect this approach.
Teachers necessarily play a critical role in implementing this approach. They undergo regular professional training and development and also appraised on an ongoing basis.
Steyn City School is more than a platform where individuals excel; it's also a space where they are encouraged to question and take initiative. This relates to the sports field, performance arenas, and the classrooms. Our outstanding facilities invite children to participate in several sporting codes, and our ethos and values stand as a guideline to nurture good sportsmanship.
Added to this, we offer a cultural programme where self-expression is encouraged and applauded. We take pride in providing our children with a safe space for exploring their own strengths and stretching their boundaries. By providing various testing grounds for talent, we believe that we are also providing the building blocks of self-esteem - and this, in turn, is the quality which helps our children respond to those around them with compassion and respect, while maintaining their own integrity.
This means that the education that students receive at Steyn City is a holistic one; not only helping to develop the skills they'll need to manage their jobs and relationships, but also making sure they are equipped to meet the challenges of a world in flux.
All who make up the Steyn City School community know that we are able to achieve our full potential in every area of school life. We discover knowledge with curiosity and delight, we compete with commitment and confidence, we perform with creativity and artistry, we live with care and respect, we lead with courage and restraint, and we serve with humility and generosity.
We are committed to a Christian ethos that acknowledges a diverse society where happiness, integrity, dignity, kindness, courtesy, flexibility, tenacity, passion, and rigour rest at the heart of everything that we do.
We cherish our African roots and dare to make a distinctive difference as significant global citizens, as we live out the school motto, “We Reach Beyond”.
The pillars that stand outside our school are a symbolic representation of our values, with Earth representing integrity, glass representing curiosity, wood representing service, fire representing tenacity, and metal representing respect.
Our offering is underpinned by an emphasis on personal growth, leadership, community spirit, and innovation.
Our purpose is for Steyn City School to develop our students’ potential by emphasizing these aspects:
Of course, the morals you're working to instill in your children are the foundation of who they will become in later life, but the school's culture plays an important role as well.
Although Steyn City School has been established as a non-denominational school, we uphold the values and morals of the Christian faith and the message of love intrinsic to all religious traditions. We hold qualities like truth, goodness, responsibility, sensitivity, openness, tolerance, patience, courage, persistence, and resilience dear. We believe that in this milieu children are able to develop the independence of thought and self-trust to express their individuality.
Growing up in a country where our children will have to feel comfortable interacting with people whose upbringing was vastly different from their own, this accent on acceptance and inclusivity is a precious part of our culture.
A teacher can build you to great heights, free your imagination and make you determined to reach your greatness.
This is why we have selected our faculty body with immense care. Our teachers have substantial teaching experience, and supplement this with at least 20 hours of continual professional development every year to ensure they remain on top of the most recent educational research, trends, and techniques.