The Junior Department strives to create the optimal environment for each child to progress to their full potential. We aim to develop an essential grounding in Mathematics, Literacy and Life Skills and to encourage independence through cookery, computers, sports, arts and crafts, physical education, music and cultural activities. Our goal is to enrich each child’s self-image and to foster a love of learning within an environment of acceptance, respect, honesty, compassion, understanding, and fun.
HOW TO ACHIEVE OUR MISSION STATEMENT
“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand” Chinese Proverb.
Our multidisciplinary approach ensures that each child is set up for success. Our teaching methods are specifically aligned to the needs and abilities of each pupil. Individual Development Plans (IDPs) are set up for every pupil, with input from the parent, our dedicated team of educators, therapists and the principal. The IDP goals are set within the parameters of the Differentiated CAPS curriculum (DCAPS) as well as PIVATS Assessment. We revisit the IDPs twice yearly to ensure that the ever-changing needs of each individual are met, and to ensure optimal academic, emotional, social, and personal growth per child. Our dedicated therapists spend time with our children in both Speech and Gross Motor groups. We pride ourselves on our collaborative approach as it allows us to have a holistic impact on each child who enters our classroom/s.
AUGMENTING DEVELOPMENT WITH SA SIGN LANGUAGE
Sign language has recently been accorded official language status in South Africa for the purpose of learning and teaching. Our Junior Department staff are trained in the use of SA Sign Language because early exposure to signing has been proven to help infants and young children develop their language and reasoning skills. Research has shown that sign language speeds up speech development and reduces frustration in children by giving them the means to express themselves beyond what they may be verbally capable of. This, in turn, offers psychological benefits such as improved confidence and self-esteem.
Our junior pupils range from 6 to 11 years old. There are two streams, based on the pupil’s ability. Movement between these streams is fluid, depending on the requirements of each child. The key focus is on Perceptual Skills, Functional Literacy, and Functional Numeracy, as well as empowering every child to be as independent as possible. Our classes are kept small with no more than 10 pupils per class, in order to facilitate as much face-to-face teaching time as possible. Each class has a Classroom Assistant to support the process and pupil Facilitators are accommodated. Unity College offers each child an environment that is most conducive to their immediate needs and allows them to develop in a supported and positive way.
Therapeutic Support consists of Group Therapy (Individual on request, payable by the parent). Therapy is integrated into the classroom in order to assist with the transfer of skills learned. Innovative teaching models like TEACCH are utilised during this phase to promote independent work. Junior Phase pupils receive two Group Speech and two Group Occupational Therapy Sessions per week, as part of the school fees. One lesson in Music Therapy is included in a week.
Our junior learners participate in one subject-orientated outing per term. The outing will either be based on the theme covered during the term or a shopping outing where we go to our neighbouring stores to reinforce the social skills learned. Some of the skills reinforced on our outings include money-handling skills, greetings, appropriate social behaviour, and skills of independence. Outings are a highlight in our phase and great fun is always had by all!
The full Junior Phase Orientation info. can requested from Admin: firstname.lastname@example.org | 010 109 0790.