Wandsworth School operates out of a beautiful home in Boskruin. The five classrooms each cater to either a 3-6 year, 6-9 year, 10 -16 year vertical grouping environment. Children progress through the school based on their chronological age and not their abilities. We have had the pleasure of discovering that regardless of the child’s challenges, an effective working environment facilitates incredible social development and peer interactions. The more able and older children help to encourage and guide those children who need more support. Role modelling and child-centred learning takes place daily – even with our special children. The compassion and tolerance exuded and encouraged by teachers and friends alike, transcends throughout the school.
Each environment is equipped with genuine and original Montessori equipment, all presented on appropriate shelving. The children have the opportunity to work on height adjustable tables, to sit on seating that is tailored to their physical needs, and utilise slant boards should they require them for their comfort and ease of learning. We strive to meet the children’s sense of order, and ensuring a neat and prepared environment is just the beginning in addressing this fundamental children’s need. One of our incredible physiotherapists, who, in addition to her children at school, donate her time to modifying chairs specifically for each child, to help with their posture, upper and lower body support, improving concentration and their ability to work. Standing frames, walkers, wheelchairs and communication aids abound – each being utilised with the guidance from our therapists.
As the school has grown we have unfortunately had to convert our sensory room into a classroom, but our very inventive directresses have made every effort to make provisions to create small class- based dark rooms using blinds and our light projectors. Luckily the equipment is portable and can be shared between the classrooms. We hope to bring this much-needed space back as soon as we can, but in the interim Montessori Peace Tables, our beautiful gardens and our Music Room do the trick. Our music room also received a mini-makeover in 2013, so it will, on occasion, double as a quiet space for the children who may suddenly become hypersensitive to the class environment and need a moment of solitude, away from their classmates, but still under the watchful eye of a staff member. When not being utilised for a quiet space, the Music room is a space of laughs, giggles, shaking, drumming, singing and great merriment. Our lovely teachers runs mini- music sessions through the week and this session is without doubt, a major highlight in the week for all the children.
Therapy Room and Therapists
Wandsworth is fortunate enough to be able to dedicate a room specifically for therapy sessions. The room is used by a team of experienced, qualified private practitioners. The therapists include: Neuro-Developmental Therapy (NDT) physiotherapists, Sensory Integration (SI) trained Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists. All the therapists bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their work with the children, the staff team and the school. They make every effort to reinforce the specific targets for their individual children, and discuss current goals with the teachers ongoing. This transfer of advice and practical goals to the directresses and Wandsworth staff further enhances the child’s growth because these skills can be incorporated into the daily teaching programme. Each practitioner is extremely passionate about their respective field of expertise and keeps Wandsworth abreast of the latest trends and procedures in each of their respective disciplines. Therapy fees are not included in the school fees and are billed privately by each practitioner.
Our Estate Manager makes every effort to keep our gardens in pristine condition throughout the year. The children love being able to slip out during the morning if they are sensory overloaded and need a quick reprieve on the swings, trampoline or to just stare up at the rays of light filtering through the tree leaves. At snack time, various activities are set up for playtime during the week, from a quick kick around or hoops with balls, to riding scooters, to colouring and playing dress-up has every child longing to go outside – a great motivator to get through their work and snacks! From an educational perspective the gardens provide numerous opportunities to work on learning areas like: physical development, social interaction and of course, language and communication development. Being able to play with the children or just stand back and observe their abilities and interactions opens up a world of possibilities for each child’s development.
We currently do not offer any sports or arts related additional activities in the afternoon as some of the children are already involved in activities like horse riding. We do have third party service providers who join us during the course of the morning offering gross motor, balls skill development and fun introductory dance and music appreciation sessions with Yolandi.