MISSION AND GOALS
In Unity College’s Senior Phase, we nurture a love for learning, within an environment where there is respect, honesty, compassion and laughter. We aim to create a structured, but happy atmosphere for pupils in which they feel safe, are extended and stimulated in all areas of learning. The building of self-esteem and confidence is vitally important, and pupils are encouraged to strive to be the best they can be. We have a holistic approach and incorporate social, emotional and academic wellbeing on an individual level. We strive to equip pupils with the necessary skills in order to cope and become productive, integrated and independent members of society.
Classes are small, no more than 8 pupils per class, allowing for individual attention and care. There is no definite exit age in the Senior Phase because the learner’s emotional, social and academic readiness needs to be taken into account; for either Unity’s Vocational Training Centre (VTC), or the world of work.
There is strong flexibility between the Skills for Life Stream and the Vocational Stream in the Senior Phase; thereby allowing the learner to work at the appropriate level in each subject. Attention is given to academic subjects and vocational training; with entrepreneurship included into most subjects in order to enhance the learner’s ability to function in the world of work and business.
- Literacy and Numeracy:
These two areas are offered at varied levels. Life Skills stream being very basic functional numeracy and literacy, and the vocational stream being either Differentiated CAPS (DCAPS) curriculum or AET (Adult Education and Training) levels 1 to 4 (accredited through the IEB). Unity College also offers sign language as a first additional language.
- Computer literacy:
The DCAPS curriculum includes Office Administration, which ties in with Computer Literacy, focusing on the Microsoft Office Suite. We also offer Knowledge Network courses, which are accredited; encompassing Senior Primary Level 01 up to Level 03, as well as High school Level 01.
- PSW (Personal Social Wellbeing):
In PSW focus is placed on the social development of the learner to fit in and to learn what social filters are needed to function in society. Basic Human Rights are explained and taught; it is emphasised that with rights come responsibilities.
- Natural Science:
Focus is on the world around us and our place within the world. Caring for the environment and responsible use of resources are stressed. Orientation within the environment and finding our way around is also a focus in this area.
- Physical Education (PE) and Creative Arts:
Basic exercise is very important to all learners to enhance mobility and flexibility and therefore PE is designed specifically to the needs of our learners with input from the Therapy Department. Learners also get exposure to sport codes covered by the SOSA (Special Olympics South Africa) where learners get to participate in sport activities on a National Level. This includes, but not limited to, Swimming, Bocce, Chess, Soccer, Netball, Volleyball and Athletics.
For Creative Arts, we put on an annual concert where all learners are encouraged to participate. We also offer weekly classes in Dancing, Arts and Crafts, and Singing.
- Ancillary Health:
This subject concentrates on care of self, the elderly and childcare. Learners learn how to perform all the basic functions of care in these areas as well as the basic functioning of the human body and emotions.
- Office Administration:
In this area the learner learns the basic functioning of an office and the duties of different individuals within the office environment. Basic tasks associated with each area of the office are learned and practiced, in order to make learners comfortable and capable in an office environment.
- Consumer Studies (Food production):
Learners learn the functional operation of a kitchen and the processes needed to produce basic meals. They learn the health and safety aspect of producing food as well as how to make tasty healthy food for themselves and other people.
Work experience is considered a very important part of the preparation of our students for Independence and Maturity. The work experience programme is a placement of our learners at an employer’s premises. Learners carry out a range of tasks and duties as an employee would, but with an emphasis on exposure to the work environment. Learners are gradually prepared for the world of work throughout the senior phase at different levels, from sheltered workshops to the open labour market, where they gain experience through voluntary placements depending on the learner’s abilities. Overall work experience plays an integral role in developing a learner’s personal and social skills, as well as, giving them valuable opportunities to learn directly about the world of work. It also equips our learners with other skills such as communication, teamwork and commercial awareness.
THERAPY IN THE SENIOR PHASE
The following therapies are available:
- Educational Psychologist – psychometric testing and educational support as needed.
- Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy:
- Individualised & group therapy as necessary.
- Group sizes vary according to the learner’s needs and capabilities.
- Occupational Therapy Groups ranging from facilitation of basic functional activities to higher order work preparation.
- Functional language groups as well as pragmatic speech and language groups.
INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS (IDPs)
Individual Development plans are formulated twice a year and discussed by all stakeholders including parents/guardians, educators, therapists and the learners themselves. All facets of a learner’s life are covered, including academic, social, emotional and work-related goals.
Learners with delayed development have varying learning styles and mature at their own pace. The depth of offering within each course and across courses ensures that learners who require more time to mature either intellectually, emotionally or socially can be accommodated for more than five years. Such matters are discussed in depth in individual learner’s IDPs.