Facilitating Learning


Beyond hunger, some learners experience further barriers to learning. Some of these include dyslexia, motor-coordination or perceptual difficulties, the trauma of abuse, or hearing deficits.  A specific funding injection was received in August 2017  to support a pilot group of learners who experience learning difficulties.  So, the Smart Club was born.

The Smart Club helps subsidize support for learners with learning difficulties that their parents/guardians may be unable to address due to a lack of funds. 

The Smart Club helps subsidize support for learners with learning difficulties that their parents/guardians may be unable to address due to a lack of funds. Here are some of the areas in which we assist struggling learners:

Eye and hearing tests

Occupational and Speech and Language Therapy assessments and follow-up treatment sessions.

Play Therapy for children traumatised by abuse

Assessments by a Paediatric Neurologist in cases of suspected Attention Deficit Disorder (with or without hyperactivity) or Autism Spectrum Disorder

Diagnosis of dyslexia by experienced Educational Psychologists

Qualified Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)

Specialised Learning Support in English and Maths.

To date, the Smart Club has supported the learning of 80 -100 young learners at Good Hope Seminary Junior School over a two-year period.  We have begun to bring the same benefits to the learners of St Mary’s Primary School. 

Occupational Therapy assessments and treatments by a registered practitioner, have assisted learners with developing fine and gross motor coordination, handwriting, focus in class and confidence in sport.

TWO very young learners were diagnosed with epilepsy that was only picked up thanks to brain scans carried out under deep sedation by a Paediatric Neurologist.  The correct medication has made the world of difference to these children’s ability to learn.

EIGHT primary school learners discovered that their difficulties in the classroom were due to poor eyesight and they received free spectacles.  This eye screening was carried out free of charge by Wesley Language of Spec-Savers, Canal Walk.

We reached an arrangement with the School Nurse at New District Six Clinic for learners who require Ritalin to help them learn. These learners now receive this medication free of charge, monthly, from the Clinic. 

TEFL teaching built up the confidence of FIVE Intersen learners who had recently come to Cape Town from the Eastern Cape. They now communicate much more freely and confidently with educators and peers.

Speech Therapy assisted THREE boys with inhibiting stutters to learn strategies to overcome this speech difficulty.

A little Grade R girl, who came to school as an optional mute, progressed to speaking fluently in English with one-to-one speech therapy. She then encouraged another little boy who lacked confidence in speaking.

A Letter From A Student’s Parent 

“I am very happy because it seems as if things are going well and we are looking forward to working with you. Thank you very much for your efforts and pushing us, explaining to us exactly how the medication works and why we need it [Ritalin]. Where we are from, these types of medications are still seen as a taboo so we just want to say thank you again for supporting and helping us.”

A transcribed voice message from the father of a grade two pupil, thanking the Good Start Trust for supporting him, and his child in obtaining the proper medications to ensure his child can reach their fullest academic potential.