This April, Waterfall Preparatory breathed life into the newest facility on the iThemba Campus – the SALT Centre, which stands for Science, Art, Languages and Technology. This building is the result of six years of rapid growth in the Prep and signals the start of a new chapter for the school and everyone in it.
“Waterfall Prep has been blessed to have enjoyed the two buildings that have offered us the use of 16 classrooms for our eight grades,” says Prep Headmaster Brad Cooper. “These are beautiful, large classrooms. However, there has been very little room for flexibility with respect to classroom availability, given that we also have specialist Afrikaans and isiZulu lessons during the day. The SALT Centre has addressed this and more.”
The SALT Centre includes:
- dedicated classrooms for Afrikaans and isiZulu
- a spacious Art Studio with breathtaking views of the Valley of 1000 Hills
- a Technology classroom for IT, coding and robotics
- The Co.Lab – a space that can be booked for project-based work and is connected to the IT classroom by concertina doors that can be opened to create an expanded area for larger group sessions. This has already been used extensively for Science practicals and other creative lessons.
- The Discovery Hall – a multi-purpose hall that comfortably seats a whole grade or up to 100 parents for workshops and other events.
“Every time the children walk into the Art Studio they are amazed by the space,” says Art teacher Shannon Conway. “It has inspired them to do some creative pieces of work. With this big space dedicated to Art, I am able to set up lessons beforehand, allowing the lesson to flow better and maximise the time I have with each class. We are also able to try different mediums, like clay, charcoal and acrylics. I am so grateful for this space.”
Previously, the Prep’s language teachers would move between classrooms, but now they have a space that is all their own. “I am able to adjust lessons according to the needs of the learners, as all my resources are in one place and it is easy to access the worksheets or books that I need,” says Afrikaans teacher Nieves Graham. “I am also able to make time to do more extensions and fun activities. I am able to welcome my kids with Afrikaans music, as I have everything already set up, and they love this. They have a different mindset, as they know when entering the classroom they need to switch to Afrikaans.”
“We now have a reading corner, which we never had before,” says Sitho Piyoos, isiZulu teacher. “Our pupils absolutely love utilising this space, where they can grab a cushion, sit on the carpet and read. Others prefer just laying on their backs to read their book. The best part is that they appreciate being in their own Zulu classroom. From a personal perspective, I finally have a teaching space that I can call my own and can add my personal touch.”
“This new space has revolutionised our timetabling and put in place opportunities to embark on new learning methods that encompass many of the 21st-Century skills,” Mr Cooper concludes.
We look forward to celebrating the official opening of the SALT Centre later this month and witnessing the value this state of the art Centre adds to iThemba Campus, and our iThemba Scholars Programme in particular.
Author: Hayley Dennyson