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 serve children from age 4 up to Grade 4
2022 will offer Grade 5
2023 will offer Grade 6
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.
If you are considering Ambleside Durban for your children, here is a guide to application:
First off, please make sure you understand about the unique education philosophy 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 'schooling', sport, technology, extra murals and class size standards. We also highly recommend taking some time to view the short videos put together by Ambleside Schools International (click on
this link to view the videos).
Then submit an enquiry form - if you feel this is 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 the forms to submit your application.
Submit your application forms with supporting documents.
Introductory interview - essentially coffee and a chat, where we get to know you a bit and discuss some of the important ideas and issues around an Ambleside education. You have the opportunity to ask any questions you may not have already found answers too, and together we consider whether we should proceed with the application.
Assessment Your child comes and spends two full days with us, which gives us the opportunity to get to know them, glimps some of their strengths and their weaknesses, see how they cope socially, and emotionally, as well as (for the older ones) establish an academic knowledge marker to work with.
Feedback will be provided to you, and a decision will be made on whether this is the right place for your family.
The main principals of our teaching method
A NON-COMPETITIVE, 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 INFINITE 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.
This is a broad, varied and rich curriculum where the learning materials have been carefully selected to provide what Charlotte Mason called "the food of the mind." Materials are thoroughly reviewed on a regular basis to ensure the learners are using the best possible books and materials available, and that they have a good balance of local, international and classical influences.
For more on this beautiful curriculum
Do you do sport?
Ambleside has collaborated with another school in the area to be able to offer sporting opportunities to our learners. A variety of team and individual sports - such as cricket, soccer, netball, dance, chess, cross-country etc - are available at the sport campus in la Lucia, as well as interschool games, competitions and possibilities for provincial selection.
Are we a cottage school?
'Ambleside School of Durban' began as a group of families who have chosen to educate our children together at home in the beautiful, life-giving philosophy of living and of education as described by Charlotte Mason. As the number of interested families has increased we have chosen to formalise our efforts with the goal of establishing a private home-style pre- and primary school.
To this end we have affiliated with Ambleside Schools International for curriculum and support, and a legal NPC has been established. Work on application for registration as an Independent School with the KZN DoE is in progress.