At Woodridge we strive to help each and every pupil achieve their potential and in doing so produce caring, confident individuals who will be able to make a positive contribution to society. School must be a rewarding and fun experience. As a Preparatory School it is our role to lay the foundations, particularly reading, writing and arithmetic but, more importantly, to create a mind-set for life-long learning. At Woodridge we want our children to be open-minded, free and creative thinkers.
Children learn as much, if not more, outside the classroom, as inside; thus a huge emphasis is placed on extramural and outdoor education activities. The aim of our sports programme is to create a love for all sports and the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Outdoor Education creates an awareness of the environment and many of the activities are of the sort that build character traits such as determination, perseverance and self-belief. Culturally, our pupils are exposed to and encouraged to participate and explore music, arts, speech and drama activities. Children learn from experiences and, as a school, we strive to create these opportunities.
As the Woodridge slogan goes: “More than a school…an experience”
At Woodridge, we value an open and cooperative relationship between parents and staff. It is therefore important to ensure that the school has your correct contact details. In an attempt to streamline our communication we will be moving over from the D6 School Communicator to the Engage Parent Portal. More information about the Engage Parent Portal can be accessed here: https://engagesmis.co.za/engage-school-management-information-system/parent-portal/
The Engage Parent Portal will be rolled out grade by grade from the start of the first term in 2020. The school will communicate the process with parents, however we kindly request your patience in this regard. In the interim, all communication will be emailed to parents, with important documents and policies placed on the website under Term Dates & Documents
Our academic programme is run by an Academic Committee, made up of the Head of Foundation Phase (Grade 1-3), Head of Intermediate and Senior Phase (Grade 4-7) and chaired by the Headmaster. Their role is to ensure progression and continuity in the academic programme and that individual learning needs in each phase are met. Continuous assessment is carried out and regular meetings with parents ensures that pupils have a clear understanding of their strengths and areas for development. Examinations are only written in Grade 7 where we prepare the pupils for the rigours of the College curriculum.
In the Foundation Phase the emphasis is on developing the children’s knowledge, understanding and skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening, spelling and mathematics. Our thematic, cross-curricular teaching allows pupils to learn and consolidate these skills in a fun, safe and nurturing environment. We encourage our young learners to explore the world around them, ask questions, begin to form opinions and develop critical thinking skills. Our aim is to lay the foundation for our pupils to enter the Intermediate Phase as confident and open-minded learners.
Subject specialists deliver ICT, Xhosa, Music and Physical Education. Links across the curriculum are made wherever possible and all activities are planned and delivered to maximise first-hand experience and respond to differing learning styles. We take full advantage of our unique setting, giving the children opportunities to explore and develop their curiosity and wonder of the natural world. Regular excursions and visits by outside specialists enrich the curriculum and ensure learning is relevant and meaningful.
Our holistic approach to education considers all aspects of the child. Their social, spiritual, physical and emotional well-being are nurtured by our caring staff alongside their academic development. We stress the importance of moral values, respect and empathy for others and the need to make a difference in the world around them. Each pupil is encouraged to achieve to the best of their ability in every aspect of school life.
We strive to meet the learning needs of all children and have a dedicated learning support team on campus which consists of: Remedial Therapist; Auditory, Speech & Language Therapist; Occupational Therapist and Kumon.
Children arrive at school with minds full of curiosity, imagination and the need to understand the world. It is our duty to ensure that we fulfil these needs and through our academic programme, develop confident pupils who are able to question, think critically, work independently and collaboratively, and make their own assumptions about the world they live in. We strive to uphold a child-centred approach and make learning relevant, engaging and meaningful.
Our aim is to foster a love for learning and provide pupils with the skills and attitudes necessary to become confident life-long learners. We strongly believe a thematic approach to teaching and learning provides a rich foundation for developing these skills. We make every effort to link learning to real-life contexts and our cross-curricular topics ensure that what the children learn is motivating, challenging and relevant. We understand that children have different learning styles and so endeavour, wherever possible, to differentiate our teaching to accommodate these needs.
There is a emphasise on Mathematics and English, other subjects included in the academic programme are Afrikaans (1st additional language) Xhosa, Social Science, Natural Science, Life Orientation, Economic Management Sciences, Information Technology, Art and Class Music.
Arts & Culture
All pupils participate in a number of cultural activities in arts and culture lessons as part of the academic day. These lessons cover the disciplines of Art and Music and pupils are exposed to the basic principles of rhythm and note reading.
Learning takes place through a combination of singing, games and formal teaching. In addition, all Grade 2’s learn to play the violin, and Grade 3’s the recorder. Pupils can also be selected for the Marimba Band, Percussion Band, Senior Choir (Grade 4 – 7) or Junior Choir (Grade 2 and 3) as well as the chess side.
In addition, pupils have the opportunity to voluntarily participate in a number of extramural cultural activities as well. This additional cultural tuition is charged separately and parents need to give their permission by signing the Extramural Authorisation form.
Additional cultural activities include:
Speech & Drama
Speech and Drama is offered as a specialised extramural activity in the afternoons. Drama is valuable in developing good, clear communication skills and self-confidence which are essential tools in an increasingly media driven world. The students learn to interact harmoniously with one another and work effectively as teams, promoting good social habits. These lessons allow children to express themselves creatively through movement and vocal work whilst exposing them to a broad range of literature, music, dance and art. These skills are further developed in the extramural programme as well as more focus on vocal production, acting, theatre, arts and story development. The self-confidence children develop through this activity is very empowering and participating in regular public performances, rewarding for student and parent alike.
Individual Instrumental Tuition
Tuition options include Piano, Voice, Flute, Violin, Saxophone, Clarinet, Guitar, Drum Kit and Recorder. Music theory is either taught by the music teacher during practical lessons or in specialised music theory classes as when pupils advance and prepare to write external UNISA examinations. Students are also encouraged to enter external examinations through Trinity Guildhall and Trinity Rockschool. An informal school evaluation assessment and report is produced at the end of the first semester and a formal examination and report is made at the end of the year.
Extramural activities take place daily, Monday – Thursday afternoons. It is compulsory for pupils to participate in all the extramural activities scheduled for their age group. Boys and girls will participate in matches on Friday afternoons. During the second term inter-school netball, hockey and rugby fixtures are played on Saturdays. Parents will be alerted about these fixtures and children are expected to take part. Pupils are to bring their sports clothes to school every day.
The activities offered are:
Cricket, tennis, swimming, tag rugby, rugby, hockey, mini-tennis, mini hockey, athletics, trail running.
Tennis, mini-tennis, swimming, hockey, netball, mini hockey, ball skills, trail running.
Horse Riding, Judo and Play Golf are also offered but are not part of the official sports programme.
At Woodridge we adopt the Experiential Learning Approach. Children are involved in various ways in conservation. We are proud recipients of the coveted, world-renowned Eco-School Green Flag.
All the pupils from Grade 1 – 7 are taught outdoor adventure skills, including climbing, archery, fishing, camp cooking, orienteering, camp craft, cycling proficiency and bike maintenance.
We offer skills and stamina development in activities such as canoeing, mountain biking, archery and trail running. These are often included in the camping expeditions that senior grades undertake and the extra mural programme.
The camping programme comprises a gradual progression from Grade 1 – Grade 7. All pupils participate in 2 camps, annually.
Woodridge Equestrian Centre
The Woodridge Equestrian Centre offers a wide variety of schooled horses and ponies for the riders to train on. We have a full-size sand dressage/ show jumping arena on which our riders train on. Woodridge offers a limited amount of stabling for the student’s horses, with grass and shaded paddocks for the liveries.
The Woodridge Equestrian Centre offers the following lessons:
- Morning lessons are offered for parents on Wednesday and Friday mornings.
- Lessons for Grade 000 to Grade 00 are offered on Thursday mornings.
- Preparatory School riders have lessons from 13:00 onwards every day of the week.
- College students have lessons from 14:00 onwards every day of the week.
- The centre is open from 08:00 until 16:30 during the week.
At the Preparatory School we offer boarding for boys and girls from Grade 1 – 7. The Grade 1 – 3 boys and girls are catered for in a separate house on campus.
Our focus is to make the boarding establishment a ‘home away from home’. The boys’ and girls’ residences are separate and run by house parents. The house parent’s homes are attached to the boarding residences. The resident staff and interns assist the house parents with duties and prep sessions. The boarding is termly, however, children may go out on weekends with the permission of their parents.
Activities such as outings to the beach, movies, game parks and shopping centres are arranged for those staying in over weekends. On Sundays all the children attend Sunday school. There is a Sanatorium with qualified nursing sisters on duty to attend to medical needs of the children. Transport is arranged to and from the airport and bus stops at the end and start of the mid-term breaks and school terms.
Although the daily routines of the boys’ and girls’ boarding house differ slightly, a common day in the boys’ boarding house would take on the following format:
06h00 – Rising Bell
06h20 – Inspection
06h30 – Breakfast
07h50 – Leave the boarding houses for school
13h30 – Change for sport
13h50 – Sport
15h45 – School prep
16h30 – Return to boarding houses
17h25 – Supper
19h00 – Prep
19h45 – Shower
20h00 – Quiet time for Grade 4 – 5
20h15 – Lights out for Grade 4 – 5
20h15 – Quiet time for Grade 6 – 7
20h30 – Lights out for Grade 6 – 7
Foreign pupils interested in boarding at Woodridge must, in accordance with the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002), supply the school with a valid study permit, issued by the South African Department of Home Affairs, prior to the commencement of attendance.
Trevor von Berg
Campus Head of Outdoor Education
Grade 7 - English
Learning Support, Head of Girl’s Residence
Grade 7, Head of Kingfisher Residence
Director of Prep Sport, College Housemaster (Kohler)
Head of Prep Outdoor Education & Pastoral care
HOD: Foundation Phase
Francois van der Walt
Boarding Matron (Prep)
IT, Physical Education, MIC Cricket & Hockey, Assistant Hostel Master
Tammy van Rensburg
Van Staden's Pass Heights
Latitude: -33.916796 | Longitude: 25.203623