Look at the light in your children's eyes, they want to know !
We see it too
Children are born curious. At The Vine School, in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, children engage with a varied, fascinating curriculum that feeds curiosity and develops a love of learning. Careful attention is also given to forming mature character, by reinforcing the habits that make for success in life.
Within a carefully-fostered mentoring atmosphere, and a strong relational network of parents, teachers and peers, our pre-school and primary school pupils receive a rich, meaningful private education that equips them to reach their full potential.
A strong Christian ethos and principles of faith are introduced to children as part of the whole educational experience. This, together with the Ambleside teaching method, a low pupil:teacher ratio, a non-competitive approach and an holistic curriculum, differentiates our education from that offered by other schooling systems.
Come see how we do it.
When we look at a child, we see a whole person. Someone born with an innate desire to know that can drive learning for a lifetime. We see minds hungry for ideas. It is our job - our calling - to cultivate an atmosphere best suited for children to thrive.
While our teachers are more than capable of instructing the children, they have a strong method which guides their approach. It is in the strength of this that we maintain our consistency across the variety of personalities and backgrounds teaching in the classrooms. The method is the steadying force in each pupil’s growth as they move upward through the grades. Subjects and certain elements of the approach shift to meet their maturity, but the core remains consistent.
As a teaching environment, we believe there is none more well-suited than an Ambleside classroom. Teachers love their pupils and share with them their enthusiasm for learning. The content of each subject provides as much food for the mind of the teacher as for the children. The ideas are engaging at any age. Both for teachers and pupils, it’s an invigorating place to be.
Small class sizes only enhance the engagement. Pupils receive far more personal attention and it is easier to preserve an ideal atmosphere for learning. Visitors often remark how peaceful it is to walk through our school, hearing a subtle murmur of bright conversation in each classroom. In a close community, children of all ages interact more easily. A Grade 7 pupil may be seen playing with a preschooler or teaching a Grade 1 pupil the rules of a game. Relationships grow beyond each age grade and we encourage our children to be role models to one another.
Ideas that drive us
Children are not incomplete because they are young. They are whole persons, wonderfully made in the image of God, with unknown potential and an innate desire to learn and grow. Approaching one’s class with this understanding cultivates an atmosphere of acceptance. Every child feels valued, regardless of their apparent weaknesses. Shaping each child’s character and responding to their desire for knowledge is a priority so they are equipped to relate as whole persons to the world in which they find themselves.
Discipline and good habits provide structure on which layers of learning and understanding are built. Children have the freedom to operate in the fullness of their youth but they do so with experienced teachers walking alongside, helping to form sixteen academic and moral habits that will serve them for a lifetime. “Train up a child in the way he should go and it will not depart from him.” Prov. 22:6
The right learning environment is marked by peace, order and joy. A noisy, distracting work place, made more stressful by burdensome demands, negative competition and fear of failure is a toxic environment where survival tactics must be employed. At The Vine School we want children to thrive, not survive. We monitor the atmosphere, and take corrective action when it is not conducive to peaceful enquiry, discovery and giving of your best.
Knowledge is not just information - facts and figures. Knowledge should be grounded in ideas which inform us of the greater world that God has created. Ideas serve the mind like food serves the body. It’s important to know information, such as the date that Albert Luthuli won the Nobel peace prize. But more important and meaningful are the ideas surrounding this event, such as the context in which he lived and his commitment as a leader to peaceful resistance.
Love of learning
Every person enters the world with bright-eyed curiosity, a deep desire to know and delight in finding out. Sadly, traditional education suppresses that joyful appreciation and replaces it with an attitude of “what do I need to know to pass the test?” We believe it is our job to fan the flame of curiosity by introducing our pupils to great ideas in profound works of literature, art, music, maths, languages and the sciences. If learning is interesting and enjoyable, and knowledge has its own inherent value, children will not lose their love of learning.
Our pupils’ education is pursued with fullness of life in mind. This means we not only prepare your children for high school and a rich vocational life; we also shape them to become excellent friends, spouses, parents, elders and valuable members in any community.
It’s at the heart of everything we do. We believe all truth is discovered through relationship. Our students learn how to develop healthy, rewarding relationships with others, with self, with God and with His creation.
Role of parents, Role of teachers
Role of parents
Ideally, education should be a collaborative effort between teacher and parent, where each respects and supports the other in raising and training the children entrusted to their care. Families are a vital part of our existence and teachers are encouraged to build strong relationships with parents. Teachers are expected to keep parents informed about what they are working on and how their children are responding.
Role of teachers
Teachers are trained in a method that relies on their leadership to continually fuel a child’s growth. They are role models in the habits they have developed and in their own ongoing love of learning. They are encouraged to avoid practices which may stifle a child’s curiosity but at the same time lay foundations and build a framework that allows for deeper knowledge and growth of understanding.
We have a supportive approach to discipline, rather than a punitive one. Everyone, young or old, sometimes does the wrong thing or holds the wrong attitude. The key to effective discipline is to understand why. There can only be three reasons:
- They did not know what was right
- They knew what they ought to have done, but failed to do it due to weakness or factors that they could not control.
- They knew what they should have done, but chose not to do it.
Each of the above requires a different response. The first requires instruction. The second should be supported through correction, encouragement and reinforcement. Only the third should be responded to by imposing negative consequences. In our experience, most misdemeanours fall in the first two categories and may be dealt with by instruction or coaching. Teachers will sometimes ask parents to work with them to establish positive behaviour. Incidents of defiance will always be dealt with firmly, together with parental support.
Are you interested in digging deeper and exploring more about our approach?
Uncovering the ideas that shape our school
There are many ways to learn more about The Vine School. You may want to start by reading the information and following the links below. However, the best way is to schedule a visit to the school where you can see for yourself. Come touch, feel and experience the atmosphere and other essentials that make our school what it is.