Mitchell House

Junior Phase

About the Enrichment Centre

The Enrichment Centre caters for pupils with moderate to severe cognitive and, or physical disabilities who require extensive ongoing support in one or more major life activity in order to participate in integrated community settings and to enjoy a quality of life that is available to citizens with fewer or no disabilities. Support may be required for life activities such as mobility, communication, self-care and learning as necessary for independent living and employment. The Enrichment Centre Programme offers individualized education programmes for each of our children. The curriculum is based on the National Curricullum but ultimately it is created and implemented according to the needs of the pupils. Each child is unique and therefore requires an individualized programme. Essentially, the dreams and goals of the family form the foundations and the strengths of the child, the cornerstone of all our intervention strategies.

Each class has 8 pupils, one class teacher, two teacher assistants and one volunteer Project Trust student from the UK.

Behaviour modification strategies and Augmentative and Alternative Communication for non-verbal children is implemented at the centre as well as other programs such as SNAP and Tiny Handz. An Inclusion programme compliments each child's education plan. This is devised by the class teacher in collaboration with the mainstream class teachers and the parents. The pupils lead us in creating their curriculum and programme.

Junior Class

  • Cross Motor Activities
  • Fine Motor Activities
  • Perceptual Activities
  • Sensor Integration Activities
  • Cooking
  • Swimming
  • Hore Riding
  • Music
  • Freeplay
  • Art
  • Grooming
  • Social integration

Senior Class

  • Cross Motor Activities
  • Fine Motor Activities
  • Perceptual Activities
  • Sensor Integration Activities
  • Cooking
  • Swimming
  • Hore Riding
  • Music
  • Freeplay
  • Art
  • Grooming
  • Social integration
  • General Cleaning

Life Skills

  • Functional Numeracy
  • Fuctional Literacy
  • Small Business Development
  • Activities for Daily Living
  • Community visits
  • Shopping
  • Cooking
  • Swimming
  • Horse Riding
  • Sexuality Awereness
  • Vegetable Gardening
  • Job Sampling
  • Work Exerience (Catering, Admnistrative work etc)
  • Art
  • Music

Goals

  • To continually assess and expand on the programme we offer children with disabilities and to investigate current and new methodologies
  • To assess and expand the Literacy programmes for our pupils
  • To investigate and implement technological advances, eg the use of Ipads and Touchscreens.
  • To ensure each Teacher and Teacher Assistant is trained in First Aid
  • Continuous Staff development with regards to attending workshops or courses relevant to our work
  • Upgrading and ensuring maximum benefit from all our equipment
  • Taking the Life Skill vegetable garden to a new level of production
  • Introducing basic wood work into the Life Skill programme
  • Placing a high priority on parental involvement and their investment in extending their child's programme into the home
  • Empowering our families to take the initiative for fundraising.

School Times

Junior Senior Life Skills
Monday 07:30 to 12:30 07:30 to 12:30 07:30 to 12:45
Tuesday 07:30 to 12:30 07:30 to 12:30 07:30 to 12:45
Wednesday 07:30 to 12:30 07:30 to 12:30 07:30 to 12:45
Thursday 07:30 to 12:30 07:30 to 12:30 07:30 to 12:45
Friday 07:30 to 12:30 07:30 to 12:30 07:30 to 12:45

Meet the staff

Sue Altenroxel

Renate Wieffering

Head of Phase and Junior Teacher

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Mart Krause

Senior Teacher

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Jess Dale

Life Skills Teacher

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Supporting Documents

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History

A Dream becomes reality...

Pathways-Polokwane, a non-profit Section 21 Company, was established in October 1998, after an overwhelming demand for a Centre to cater for the needs of children with physical and cognitive disabilities. Pathways was based at the Mount Horeb Presbyterian Church. From inception children attending Pathways had siblings attending Mitchell House thus the bond between the two schools had always been strong. Visits and outings were an integral and natural part of the ethos of both schools. Pathways had always believed in Inclusion and had always cherished the dream of one day including their children into a mainstream school. When Mitchell House began planning their relocation they invited Pathways to join them on their new premises. Pathways was allocated an area of land and the Pathways Management Committee, Parents and Staff began planning fundraising events to raise funds for the building of the Enrichment Centre. The Nunes Family, Hansen Family and Shearer Family initiated a Golf Day hosted by Gary Player. A fund raising team was set up to co-ordinate the event and a substantial amount was raised with which to start building. Keith Baragwanath and Des Wentzel set about overseeing the building process and secured many generous donations and sponsorships to cover building costs.

After almost two years of strategic planning and fundraising, our dream became a reality... .Our Children were included into Mitchell House Preparatory School!!

Words cannot describe the feelings and emotions we all experienced watching our children arrive, proudly dressed in their blue and green uniforms, on Monday, 17th July 2006. To say a few tears of pure joy and happiness were shed would be an understatement!

Our Official Opening was held on Friday 21st July 2006. The children were addressed by Nicholas Serra, an incredible young man who was included into a mainstream class at St. Stithians in Johannesburg. Nicholas's speech describing his journey of acceptance and belonging was incredibly moving. As he ended his speech he played the song "the World's Greatest". Instantly Kgaugelo started clapping and singing along and all emotions which had been carefully held in tumbled out of us all.

Oscar Pistorius, Paralympic World Champion, informally addressed the children later in the day and then officially opened the Mitchell House Enrichment Centre at a cocktail party that evening and it was wonderful to see a gathering of our Families and friends and members of the community who have been so tremendously generous throughout the years.

Each and every one of the children at Mitchell House thoroughly enjoys the Enrichment Centre and all that it has to offer. Time tables throughout the school have been adapted to accommodate a more structured inclusion/integration programme based on each child’s individual education plan. Discussions with each class, from Grade 000 to Grade 12 are held and it has been extremely inspiring to hear the view points and opinions the children have regarding inclusion and various disabilities.

Watching the children interact with each other is heart-warming. As adults in the process we are quite redundant as the children quite naturally play, chat, laugh and get up to mischief together!!! All the children have amazed us with the ease with which they have adapted to our Inclusion process and the spontaneous way in which they have embraced each other.

We know that each and every child, throughout the entire school will benefit from their interactions with each other and we look forward to experiencing the journey and watching the process unfold.

Intervention for the pupils who attend the Enrichment centre involves Individualised Education Plans designed according to each pupil's unique needs. Each Individualised Plan provides a holistic, inclusive and supportive educational programme for the pupil.

At present 24 pupils attend the Centre, their ages vary from 3years to 18years. In any given community, whether geographic or cultural a certain number of children belonging to that community will require specific support interventions. The Enrichment Centre falls within the demographic of the Mitchell House school community.