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Pinelands North Primary School Innovates Education with Practical Skills Development

Published December 29, 2023
7 months ago

In an era where education is rapidly evolving, Pinelands North Primary School in Cape Town is taking a pioneering approach to learning by incorporating essential life skills into its curriculum. Recognizing the importance of preparing students not only academically but also for the unpredictable nature of everyday life, the school has introduced a variety of hands-on skills that go beyond the conventional educational model.


Sport administrator and teacher Josh King, who also leads the horticulture program at the school, has emphasized the incorporation of practical life skills into the Grade 6 curriculum. This includes learning how to change a car tyre – a task that many adults find daunting. King pointed out that such skills are imperative for students to navigate real-world scenarios successfully. He states that "pupils are well prepared for the challenges they may encounter beyond the classroom," highlighting the school's commitment to well-rounded education.


The life skills program at Pinelands North extends to other practical abilities, such as wiring a plug, tying a tie, making a bed, imparting financial literacy, and understanding the workings of a car engine. This comprehensive hands-on experience not only equips the learners with essential know-how but also develops their teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.


Recognizing that life skills may not always be taught at home due to parents' or guardians' busy schedules or lack of expertise, the school sometimes enlists the help of parents in teaching these crucial abilities.


In addition to these life skills, Pinelands North Primary School has integrated modern subjects like coding, robotics, needlework, woodwork, information technology, and horticulture into their regular curriculum. The innovative spirit of the school is apparent in these initiatives, and according to King, a detailed horticulture curriculum is also being developed for Grades 4 to 7, revealing how deep-rooted this commitment to innovation in education is.


Moreover, to address emotional intelligence and conflict resolution, the school has implemented narrative therapy lessons for Grades 6 and 7. These sessions are designed to build soft skills that are increasingly viewed as vital in personal and professional environments.


Principal Ann Morton has articulated her vision for the school, emphasizing the need for innovation in education to reflect the changing dynamics of the world we live in. She asserts that the traditional education system is no longer sufficient to prepare children for their future. According to Morton, the aim is to provide cutting-edge thought leadership and experiment with educational practices that are untried by others, thereby setting Pinelands North apart in its educational offering.


This unique approach by Pinelands North Primary School is a testament to its forward-thinking strategy, responding to the evolving demands of 21st-century education. The school is setting a new standard and is likely to inspire other educational institutions to rethink and broaden the scope of their curricula to better equip learners for life's many turns.



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