Pro Ed House School, a specialist school for children with learning and attention difficulties, is celebrating its 21st birthday having first opened in 1998 with a handful of students.
Founded and led by psychologist, Dr Anita Worrall and assisted by a team of well trained teachers, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, reading specialist and maths specialist, the children who attend Pro Ed House are intelligent but struggle in mainstream school due to difficulties with reading, spelling, writing, working memory, impulsivity and social issues. They come to Pro Ed House with a low self-esteem and are demoralised because they find school work or the school environment too overwhelming.
From the beginning Pro Ed House adopted approaches aimed at helping students to reflect on their learning by teaching them specific strategies for planning, organising, self-monitoring, working memory and approach to reading, writing, written expression and mathematics. This has given them a repertoire of strategies to choose from and the skills to select what strategies would help them the most.
Pro Ed House has always focused on the children’s thinking skills by using various programmes to enhance thinking such as Bright Start, Thinking Maps, Habits of Mind, Thinking Hats, Bloom’s Taxonomy, Visible Thinking Routines and Growth Mindset.
It has recently been awarded Global Thinking School Accreditation by the University of Exeter in the U.K. and now joins other thinking schools in South Africa and beyond.
“The world is changing so rapidly we have no idea what the job market will be like in 20 years time and have no idea what skills our children will need when they enter the job market. Our children will live in a world of change – they will require resilience, flexibility, interpersonal skills, critical thinking, communication skills and creativity. They need the opportunity to develop these skills – to encourage the growth of all these skills in specific tasks but also in life’s challenges” says Dr Worrall.
From left to right: Mrs Sheila Schuurmans (Principal), Dr Anita Worrall (Executive Director/Psychologist), Professor Lena Green (representing Exeter University) and Jane McIntyre (CEO, Thinking Schools South Africa) having received the Global Thinking School Accreditation plaque at a recent Thinking Schools workshop.