Assisted Learning, Education, Recently, The Bridge

THE BRIDGE ASSISTED LEARNING SCHOOL: EXPANDING TO SUPPLY IN DEMAND FOR QUALITY SUPPORTIVE EDUCATION

  • The Bridge Assisted Learning School
  • Category Assisted Learning, Education, Recently, The Bridge

The Bridge Assisted Learning School in Lonehill, which opened in 2018 and rapidly became one of the top Neurodiversity-specialist schools, is expanding due to the high demand for its unprecedented support provided to students throughout their academic journey.

In 2021 the school started phasing in its high school offering, and the first Grade 10 group was welcomed at the start of this year. 

“We found that students in assisted learning schools had very limited options when it came to transferring to a suitable high school once they reached Grade 7,” says Dr Greg Pienaar, Principal of The Bridge Assisted Learning School.

“Previously in Johannesburg, there were hardly any high schools that provided support to these students while creating a safe and Neurodiverse friendly environment. This has now been remedied by the expansion of our school, to enable students to remain in this supportive milieu for longer,” he says.

Neurodiversity is not a condition that is meant to be ‘fixed’, ‘cured’ or rehabilitated. Neurodiverse students however are taught how to manage their condition, by way of high-quality support programmes. 

“These neurodiverse conditions don’t simply go away at the end of Grade 7. That is why it was important for us to extend our offering into High School, providing these high school students with the opportunity to write the normal IEB matric exit exams while assisting them holistically along the way,” Dr. Pienaar says.

He says parents often fear that the future prospects of their children will be limited when they stay in an assisted learning environment, but that that simply is not the case at The Bridge. 

“At The Bridge, we offer our students the kickstart they need to get them through to Matric and set them on a path into tertiary studies at a university, college or other further studies. Alternatively, students can also move on after completing their IEB matric with us to pursue their own path.”

The Bridge is in the process of expanding their physical infrastructure on campus with the addition of a new hall, therapist rooms and more classrooms to accommodate the tremendous growth their school has seen. 

Their High School offering is distinct from that of other mainstream schools in that they have specialist teachers that are remedially trained but follow a mainstream curriculum. Class sizes are optimised for a high support assisted learning environment where students benefit from extra support. More than the academic support it also is an environment where students can flourish emotionally.

“We tend to see students with high anxiety levels. Therefore, we have set out to create the ideal environment for our students that allows them to excel and not to settle for anything less than a normal Matric. 

“We ensure that students have their eyes set on a successful future and assist them to determine a pathway to that future.”

The Bridge Assisted Learning school extends an invitation to parents concerned about their child’s current environment and trajectory to meet with the school to map out the best pathway to matric and beyond based on their child’s individual needs.

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