Some quick facts and requently asked questions
At Ambleside School of Durban our core values are
HONOUR - A 'culture of honour' is perhaps one of the most important pillars of our school: sincere respect for each person, kindness towards each other in speech and actions, believing the best of a person always, and upholding them both in their presence and their absence. This value also works itself out in deep integrity - honouring oneself and God, even when no-body is watching.
EXCELLENCE - We are consistently working towards being the best version of ourselves as staff, and guiding the learners to do the same. We aim for growth in areas of weakness and to gently inform areas of ignorance. We value effort, and resilience through struggles. We believe each person bears the image of God, and as such is capable of creativity and excellence in all areas of our lives.
INCLUSIVITY - Highly committed to inclusivity, we intentionally work to accept and include each person equally, regardless of any difference between us. We believe that we can work together and accept each other even when we do not hold the same opinions, perhaps have different backgrounds, believes, and life experiences, or make different choices. All of these can be surmounted by love.
Grades and Classes
We offer the following classes:
Pre-Grades: Grade RR (Ages 4-5) and Grade R (Ages 5-6)
Class 1: Grade 1
Class 2: Grade 2 and 3
Term Dates for 2020
School dates for the 2020 school year are as follows:
Term 1: 20 January - 20 March
Term 2: 15 April – 19 June *New dates
Term 3: 7 July – 18 September
Term 4: 29 September – 2 December
Fees and Financial Support
School fees will be discussed during your Introductory meeting with us. Financial support may be available to families who need it.
The Admission Process
If you are considering our school for your children, here is a guide to enrollment:
- Please make sure you understand about the type of education we offer - have a look at the fundaments of our teaching method, the values we work to embody, the curriculum we use, and know what to expect in terms of sport, technology, extra murals and class size standards. We also highly recommend taking some time to view the short videos put together by ASI (click on this link to view the videos).
- Submit an enquiry form - if you feel we are a good fit for your family then click on this link (also on our contact us page) to let us know you are interested and request application forms.
- Apply - Complete the application form and submit with supporting documents and application fee.
- Come for coffee! Our admissions officer will call you to arrange for a chat over some coffee or tea (an 'Introductory Interview'). More information will be available at that meeting, and any questions you have can be discussed.
- Entrance Assessment - An essential part of your application process is for your child(ren) to attend an Entrance Assessment to ensure that children are ready for the proposed grade - academically, emotionally, socially and physically, and has a good enough grasp of English, as we are an English-medium school. A feedback meeting will then be arranged with the parents to discuss the best way forward.
- Enrollment - Should your child be accepted, the school will contact you to offer a place. If no space is available in a particular class, pupils will be placed on a waiting list.
The main principals of our teaching method
A NON-COMPETATIVE, STIMULATING ATMOSPHERE
Here learning is the focus, not trying to out-do a classmate. Students are stimulated to observe, explore and understand - free to learn for the pleasure of learning.
THE DISCIPLINE OF HABIT
We believe that the process of growth and learning is as important as the end product. Instead of asking
What grade did she get? we rather ask
Did she put in effort? Did he attend? Was he thorough? - and so cultivate habits that serve children the rest of their lives.
EDUCATION AS VITAL, DYNAMIC AND LIVING
Real learning happens in an atmosphere that stimulates children to wonder, to ask why and how. Our students are not just learning for a test result, they are growing as people.
THE INFINATE DIGNITY AND POTENTIAL OF EACH CHILD
Incredible care is taken not to identify a child by their strengths or to limit them in their weaknesses. We believe that all students can learn and grow to their great potential for a full and fruitful life.
THE PRIORITY OF THE RELATIONAL LIFE
Children live in relationship with God, self, others, creation and the world of ideas. It is these relationships that are cultivated in the educational process through our broad, challenging, beautiful curriculum.
THE IMPORTANCE OF DELIGHT AND STRUGGLE
Children will naturally delight in the feast of ideas set before them. However there will also be times of struggle. Struggle is as essential to the learning process as is delight, and victories won through struggle bring the most growth in character.
To read a bit more on these principals,
What curriculum do you use?
We make use of the Ambleside Schools International Curriculum.
The learning materials have been carefully selected to provide what Charlotte Mason called "the food of the mind."
For more on this beautiful curriculum
Do you do sport?
As a cottage school we do not offer sport at Ambleside School of Durban. We can provide a list of sporting clubs in the area and encourage you to consider them along with a balanced view of extra-curricula activities for small children.
What is a cottage school?
A Cottage School refers to a small, independant community school, often held in somebodys home. At this time Ambleside School of Durban can be classified as a cottage school by that definition.
We want our learners to feel at 'home away from home'. To this end we strive to create an environment where the child is familar and comfortable, while still providing the structure, academic rigor and support to maximise learning.
Our class size is limited to 16 learners per class/grade, being led by one teacher.