For our latest Spotlight, IPC International Preschools pay a visit to Olive Ridge School in central South Africa. Based in the safe and secure Wild Olive Estate in Bloemfontein, the institution further boats being set in an up-and-coming new neighborhood in the city.
Olive Ridge opened their doors shortly before the onset of pandemic with only five learners. And while few educational institutions can claim to have been successful having initiated their activity in January 2020, the school happily states: “We grew in numbers and popularity and we have been going strong for just over two years.”
Coincidently, IPC has accompanied Olive Ridge from day one, not only by offering and assisting with a host of tools, an internationally-recognized curriculum and teaching support, but crucially also allowing the school to differentiate themselves from others by being able to publicize the fact they are part of the global IPC international Preschools family.
“The IPC curriculum makes me remember why I became a teacher, I am excited every day to come to school.”
A perfect illustration of Olive Ridge’s success in spite of the crippling effects the pandemic has had on schools all across the world, is that it has grown to now have 51 learners from four different nationalities. The school currently employs seven qualified educators and two assistant educators.
As for the after-effects resulting from Covid restrictions, Educational Specialist at Olive Ridge Debbie Van Wyk explains: “We are fully operational, keeping some of the protocols in place, like mask-wearing indoors and sanitizing/washing hands frequently. Parents are further reminded to keep an eye out for possible symptoms on a regular basis.”
Ms Van Wyk adds that their biggest challenge has been the influence the pandemic had on reading and spelling.
“More specifically learning to read and write in the Junior-preparatory phase, and fluency and comprehension in the Senior-preparatory phase. We have utilized the expertise of two qualified and experienced, on-premise reading therapists to remediate some of these cases with great success.”
With Olive Ridge having gone from strength-to-strength in the past two years, it believes it success has been to certain unique selling points, such as having controlled classrooms (which are limited to 15 learners per class), the IPC International Preschool Curriculum, technologically advanced classrooms, expert teachers, and an out-of-the-box approach to education.
“Our students have their best day at school, every day”, Ms Van Wyk continues in her comments to IPC.
A large part of Olive Ridge’s success during one of the toughest periods in the history of modern education has been attributed to the IPC.
“IPC is a world-class curriculum, taking the pressure off the educator, making it easy for them to teach with all the resources available and the hands-on assistance of support staff at IPC”, Ms Van Wyk explains.
“It makes learning big concepts so much fun, that learners don't even realize they are being taught. One of my teachers mentioned once that this curriculum makes her remember why she became a teacher, she is excited every day to come to school.”
The school is the regular recipient of glowing testimonials and reviews, and we end with allowing parents at the school to do the talking for what has become an institution of choice in central South Africa.
One parents reveals: "We love the pictures she is bringing home every day; I can see that what they learn in class is fun as she constantly talks about it at home".
While another parent adds: "Olive Ridge caters to the needs of my child by giving him individual attention in a safe environment, through nurturing and patience. The teachers are committed to ensuring he performs to his full potential", and finally another parent concludes: “Olive Ridge School offers a multi-lingual, multi-cultural, internationally endorsed education in a world-class setting while keeping to the traditions and morals of South Africa."