Prospectus

PROSPECTUS

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Introduction

The school is situated on the northern side of Pietermaritzburg, in a suburb called Northern Park and was first established in 1966. It has classes from Grade R to 7, as well as an LSEN class, with English being the language of instruction. The LSEN class is for learners with special educational needs.

 

The School Badge was established on 24 November 1966 with Miss E LC Pechey being the first principal.  The “Sun in Splendour” represents the northern sun while the tree represents the word “park” and hence Northern Park. The books on either side of the sun represent knowledge while the white birds in flight, in the blue chevron in the centre of the badge, appertain to the frequent visits by Egrets to the school’s grounds.

The school’s motto is: “PERSEVERE WITH HOPE”.

School's Mission Statement

Northern Park Primary School’s purpose is to extend individual learners to reach their full potential, so that, they may confidently make decisions and solve problems as individuals.  Social skills are developed, so that they may work effectively in groups, interacting confidently as creative team members.

The school aims to create a structured environment which provides a balance between academic, cultural, spiritual and sporting activities, in order to encourage the all-round development of the learners.

Furthermore, the school endeavours to provide learners with a rich variety of learning experiences, which develop skills required for happy, rewarding and successful lives.

School Routine

School Hours: 

  • Monday to Thursday, school starts at 07h40 and ends at 14h10 for Grades 1 to 7.
  • Fridays, school starts at 07h40 and finishes at 12h50 for all Grades.
  • Tea and lunch breaks are from 10h30 to 10h50 and 12h50 to 13h10.
  • The school’s main entrance gate is opened at 7h00 daily and closed at 15h00 from Monday to Thursday and at 14h00 on Fridays.

At least two educators are on duty every morning duty from 07h15 and at least one is on gate-duty in the afternoons until 14h30.  Learners are strongly discouraged from arriving at school earlier than 07h00 in the morning and ought to be collected by 14h30 in the afternoons, unless they are participating in any of the extra-curricular activities offered by the school.  Extra-curricular activities are offered from Monday to Friday and commence at 14h15 and end at 15h40.  An after-care service is provided by the school and therefore, no learner is allowed on the school premises after 15h40, except, if accommodated at after-care.

On Thursday mornings, a phase assembly is held at the commencement of the school day and all learners are required to attend.  Learners are under the principal’s authority during official school hours and hence, no learner may leave the school grounds without his/her permission.  On the last day of each term, school closes at 10h30.

Office Hours:

  • Office hours are from 07h30 to 15h00 Mondays to Thursdays and from 07h30 to 14h00 on Fridays.

Uniform and General Appearance:

The general appearance of learners is viewed as an important discipline in the school.  Well-presented learners usually demonstrate a well-managed school.  Given that the principal, the staff and the School Governing Body make every effort to uphold high standards within the school, every learner is expected to be neat and well-groomed and should, at all times, be proud of his/her school and its uniform.  Learners are required to wear their uniform in its entirety and may not wear parts of it, lest an unacceptable dress-code be created.  This ruling also pertains to the wearing of school uniforms after hours. 

Boys’ hair must be kept short and neat at all times, meaning that it should be off their ears, their collars and out of their eyes.

Girls’ hair must be well maintained and if longish, must be tied back with clips, scrunchies and/or ribbon in school colours. Girls may wear extensions in their hair provided these are black in colour, are plaited close to the girl’s head and do not pass the collar.  No exceptions to this privilege will be permitted and girls not complying with this, will be required to remove the improper extensions.

Both boys and girls may wear watches, however, only girls with pierced ears may wear gold or gold-coloured studs or sleepers in only one hole per ear.  No other earrings or jewellery may be worn except for medical identity tokens which must be registered with the learner’s class teacher.  Nails must be well groomed and no nail varnish and/or tattoos is/are permitted.

Administration and Academic Structure within the School

School Management

The academic and day-to-day running of the school is invested in the authority of the principal.  He/she is assisted by a deputy principal and three heads of department, one in the Foundation Phase, another in the Senior Phase and the third being responsible for the school’s entire extra-curricular programme.  The academic heads of department attend to and administer all the academic needs of their particular phases.  Other members of staff are allocated a variety of responsibilities which ensure that the school functions optimally.

Term Leaders

Grade 7 learners are appointed as Term Leaders on a rotation basis.  It is an honour to serve in this capacity and all learners are encouraged to strive to achieve this recognition.  Although these learners serve an invaluable function in the school, the main purpose of this exercise is to expose them to a variety of basic leadership responsibilities and to develop their leadership skills. 

Learner Assessment

Foundation Phase

In keeping with the Education Department’s current curriculum, assessment in the Foundation Phase is conducted continuously through the year informally.  No formal examinations are conducted in this phase.  The assessment is based on work done by the learner as an individual, as well as being a member of a group.  Work covered in Literacy, Mathematics and Life-Skills is used for assessment purposes.

Senior Primary Phase

In keeping with the Education Department’s current curriculum, learners are evaluated on a continuous basis.  All work done by the learner, either as an individual or as a member of a group, is assessed and contributes towards his/her final assessment.  Learners are exposed to a variety of learning experiences which may include, but are not limited to, group assignments, individual self studies or research projects.  This is done with the intention that learners may gain an insight and interest in a wide variety of skills.

To ensure that learners are comprehensively assessed and that every facet of their work is covered, the assessment programme consists of two components, namely:

(a) Formal assessment; and

(b) Informal assessment.

The formal component includes tests that are written under examination conditions while the informal component includes results from class- and homework, class tests, projects, self-study tasks, oral activities and any self- or group assignments. 
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Homework

A compulsory homework programme forms an integral part of the learner’s academic experience and is used to reinforce work done in the classroom.  It affords learners an opportunity to do controlled, self-study projects on their own.  Learners enter their daily homework into their homework-notebooks, which is then signed by a parent or care-giver upon completion thereof.  Homework is set for all grades from Monday to Thursday inclusive.  Should a learner not be able to do homework due to an unforeseen reason, a letter of explanation must be handed to his/her teacher the very next day.  The homework not done, must be caught up immediately thereafter.

Homework varies in form and amount from Grade to Grade.  Homework given in the Foundation Phase consists predominantly of reading, spelling, bonds and tables.  While these are also set regularly in the Senior Phase, homework is also set for mathematics and for research work.

School Discipline

School rules are necessary and essential for keeping law and order in any establishment and their prime function is to ensure the safety of all learners.  Learners are therefore, obliged to observe and practise the required standard of behaviour and dress code, at all times.  Parents are required to support the school in its endeavour to maintain a high level of discipline.  In addition, the school practises an effective discipline system based on respect, honesty and integrity.  Learners are encouraged to develop a self-respect for themselves, with the intention that if this is in place, they will in turn, show their neighbour and his/her property respect as well.  All learners, while in school uniform, are expected to show respect and loyalty towards their school, irrespective of whether they are at school, on the way to or from school, or on a school-based excursion or at a shopping mall.  The school’s discipline system is supported by the School’s Code of Conduct for Learners, which, if necessary, allows the School Governing Body to suspend a learner from school for up to 5 days or should a learner’s conduct be so dissatisfactory, to request the Provincial Head of Education to expel the learner from the school. 
Code Of Conduct

Staff Development Programme

Regular staff development programmes are held throughout the year to promote the professional growth of the staff in order that educators may teach more effectively, be exposed to – and respond to educational changes and innovations. This programme has to date, promoted a common bond between the educators, causing them to work effectively as a team to the mutual benefit of the school.  Every educator is required to belong to a professional body, namely the South African Council for Educators (SACE) and is required to following its continuous, personal training and development programme.

Extra–Curricular Activities

The school’s policy intends to develop each learner in a holistic manner, therefore, a wide range of extra-curricular activities are offered by the school.  While it is not the intention of the school to force any learner to participate in a particular sports code or activity, every learner is strongly encouraged to participate in at least one extra-curricular activity per term.  The school goes to great lengths to arrange matches against other schools, therefore, once a learner has elected to participate in a particular code, he/she is expected to committed him-/herself to the practices and/or match participation of that code.  A learner will only be excused from an extra-curricular activity by presenting a letter from his/her parent to the teacher/coach before the practice.

The extra-curricular programme includes, but is not limited to: Art Club, Athletics, Chess, Choir, Cricket, Cross-Country, Drama, Hockey for boys and girls, Netball, Speech & Drama, Scripture Union, School Plays, Soccer and Swimming. 
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Physical Education and Sports Dress

The physical education programme is included in the Education Department’s current curriculum and all learners are required to participate in it.  It is not a voluntary activity and therefore, only learners who can produce a valid medical reason as to why they ought to be excused from this programme, will be permitted to do so.  Learners are informed of the correct sport and practice dress-code and are to ensure that their kit is clean, complete, correct and neat.  

For sport practices, the prescribed school T-shirts and shorts are required with appropriate footwear.  White shorts and shirts are required for cricket.  Coloured footwear is not allowed and learners are advised to establish from their coach the sports-code requirements prior to purchasing sports gear.

Learners may wear their school tracksuits on cold days or to cover sports kit.  The track-suit top may be worn on its own as a wind-breaker, however, if the pants are ever worn, these must be accompanied by the top as a full track-suit. 

Excursions

The school arranges a number of academic and educational excursions each year for various Grades and all learners from the particular Grade are encouraged to participate in them.  These outings usually take place during school hours but some tours extend over 2 or 3 days, requiring learners to spend time away from school and home.

School Governing Body

The South African School’s Act requires all public schools to be governed by a Governing Body.  The School Governing Body is elected every three years through the election of 5 parent members, 2 teacher members and 1 non-teacher member, with the principal being an ex-officio member.  The primary purpose of the School Governing Body is to establish policies pertaining to the governance of the school, while the day-to-day management of the school is invested in the principal’s authority.  The School Governing Body is a statutory body and may therefore, enter into contracts, employ additional staff and set school fees to support the activities it has elected to perform.  Once school fees for the following year have been approved at an annual meeting held with the parent body, the School Governing Body may enforce these to be paid.  The School Governing Body employs additional staff in order to enhance the effectiveness of the school.

Accident Insurance

Each year, the School Governing Body negotiates a low premium, comprehensive insurance policy which covers a learner from the time he/she leaves home in the morning till he/she arrives home in the afternoon, providing this is a direct route. The insurance is extremely worthwhile, particularly when one considers that many learners use public transport to get to school and back home again.

IMPORTANT CAUTION: Learners transported in the back of a light-delivery-van or truck are NOT covered by this insurance even if the vehicle is fitted with a canopy of any description. 

Loss or Damage to School Property

Should a learner intentionally damage or lose any of the school’s property, his/her parents are notified accordingly and may be requested to reimburse the school for the said damage or loss.

Stationery

Learners are required to supply their own stationery and are provided with a list of minimum requirements.  It is essential that learners have these requirements because borrowing from one another is strongly discouraged.  Not only is the practice of borrowing unfair on those who have had to finance their own stationery, but it also deprives them of the use of their own equipment.

School Funds

The school enjoys what is referred to as a Section 21 status.  In order to provide the service the school does, school fees are charged and the School Governing Body is responsible for drawing up its annual budget.  This is approved at a meeting to which all parents of the school are invited to attend.  Once approved, the school fees become compulsory and the School Governing Body may enforce the payment of these.  The school offers concessions only to deserving families who are not in a position to pay full fees.

School fees are used to pay for all services rendered to the school which include, but are not limited to:  additional educators’ salaries, lights and water, photocopying, purchasing of stationery, academic materials and sporting equipment, school maintenance and upgrading.

Parents are encouraged to commit themselves to the payment of school fees, as it becomes difficult to prove the quality service parents of the school have grown to expect and appreciate.

Thrift Shop

The School Governing Body runs a Thrift Shop for the convenience of the parents and a wide range of the school’s uniform is in stock.

Media Centre

The school is privileged to have a well-stocked Media Centre which is most certainly a very active part of the school.  Most of the books, charts and items of interest in the Media Centre have been purchased through school fees.  Learners are required to look after books with the greatest of care to avoid the unnecessary replacement thereof.  Should learners not return books timeously, a fine is imposed and should a learner lose a Media Centre book, it becomes the parent’s responsibility to replace the book or pay for it.

Appointments and Messages

Parents are encouraged to visit the school to discuss their child’s progress with his/her educator, however, appointments must first be made through the school secretary as educators may not entertain visits by parents during teaching time. Should it be necessary for a parent to see an educator during teaching time as an emergency, the parent must first approach the principal who will either arrange the extra-ordinary appointment or relay the message to the educator immediately.  Under no circumstances should educators be contacted at home, save for an absolute emergency. Messages, lunches, sports equipment etc. may be left at the secretary’s office, who will endeavour to relay or get these to a learner or educator at her earliest convenience. 
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Parent Interviews 

Parent interviews are conducted during the first and third terms where parents are afforded the opportunity to meet with their child’s educator to discuss their child’s progress and/or any learning challenges the child may be experiencing. 

Lost Property

Often the school experiences complaints from parents that a part of their child’s uniform has been stolen, only to discover that the item of uniform has been handed in to lost property.  Parents are encouraged to ensure that every personal item that their child brings to school is clearly marked with their child’s name.  Learners who have a personal item go missing should report it to their educator and also make enquiries at the Media Centre where lost property is handed in.

Money, Valuables and Cell Phones

The school does not accept any responsibility for monies or other valuables being lost by its learners.  Learners should hand money and/or any valuable to their class-educator for safe keeping.  Learners are strongly discouraged from bringing cell phones and/or other costly items to school.  However, should it be necessary to bring a cell phone to school, learners must switch them off immediately upon entering the school premises and request their educator to secure it safely during the day.  Under no circumstances may a learner be in possession of a cell phone that is switched on during official school hours.  Learners not adhering to this regulation, will have their cell phone impounded and his/her parent will be required to come and retrieve it from the school.  Should a learner fault on this regulation a second time, he/she will be given a written instruction forbidding him/her from bring a cell phone onto the school’s premises.

School Houses

A lively spirit of competition is encouraged in the school through the 3 sports houses to which learners are allocated upon being admitted to the school.

Absence from School

Learners are encouraged to attend school regularly and if at all possible, every day throughout the school year.  The School Management Team and staff ensure that teaching and learning commences on the very first day of each term.  Should it be necessary for a learner to be absent from school for a particular reason, the learner must then bring a letter of explanation from his/her parent, upon returning to school.  Should a learner be absent for 3 consecutive school days, the learner is required to submit upon returning to school, a doctor’s certificate explaining his/her absence.  Telephonic explanations are encouraged but only as a means to inform the class educator of why a learner is absent and these must be followed with a written explanation.  Medical appointments during official school hours are strongly discouraged unless in the event of an emergency.  The principal is not authorised to grant any learner permission to be away from school for extended holidays.  Given that teaching and learning takes place throughout the term, learners are discouraged to absent themselves from school unnecessarily.

Change of Address and/or Telephone Numbers

Parents are strongly requested to inform the school secretary of any changes of addresses and/or telephone numbers at home or work.  The school has often been unable to contact parents in an emergency, only because parents have failed to furnish the school with their new details.

After-Care Centre

An after-care facility is offered by the school and learners who are not collected within 20 minutes of school or sporting activity ceasing, are required to go to after-care. Anyone wishing to make use of this service is encouraged to contact the school secretary on 033-3423222, to obtain more details and/or enrol one’s child at after-care.
An additional fee is charged for this service.

Admission to Northern Park Primary School

Prospective parents who wish to enrol a child to Northern Park Primary School, must complete and submit the necessary Registration and Admission forms to the School, together with all relevant documentation.  It is also important that prospective parents familiarise themselves with the information contained in this Prospectus, the Code of Conduct for Learners and the Constitution of the School Governing Body.

Entry into Grade R (Reception Class)

Northern Park has its own reception school called The Northern Park Beehive.  This pre-primary school offers Grade R in a pre-school facility.  While it is not compulsory for learners entering Grade 1 at Northern Park Primary to have been at Northern Park Beehive, these learners are given preference.  The first year of a child’s school career is vitally important and the school encourages an inclusive style of child development, meaning that it works in partnership with the child’s parents in affording the child the highest level of academic, social, spiritual and emotional support it can.  Parents are advised that the school cannot educate children on its own and it is therefore, dependant on parental and home support.  Learners in Grade R are given an excellent foundation in school readiness, ensuring that they are well adjusted and ready to proceed with formal schooling.

The School Song

Beneath the Sun and Splendour

With trees around us tall.

We work and play and grow each day

Proud of who we are.

We learn to be strong and steadfast,

honest, kind and true,

from the classroom to the playground

And in competition too.

You’ll always find us proud and sure

In everything we do.

So let us all go forth in life

Enriched by all we’ll learn,

And Lord please grant us

All the Grace to Persevere with Hope.

 

Fay Forbes - 1991