Dreaming it forward
Two not-so-ordinary teachers had a resolute dream to start their own school. A school that would embody what they believed about education.
They believed in the joy of learning; and that children are natural-born learners.
“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon seem inevitable.” ―Christopher Reeve
André de Coning and Dylan Cavanagh dreamed of a school where they could teach children in the way that they learn.
Where children could be involved in constructing their knowledge.
In 2015, their dream was realised when they acquired Broadacres Farm Nursery School, well known in the community for over 30 years.
At that stage, the Nursery School only went as far as Grade 0.
From small beginnings
In 2016, the first Grade 1 class, an existing wooden structure with a thatch roof, opened with just 8 children!
For André and Dylan’s Dream to grow, it soon became evident that more classes needed to be built to provide for an extra Grade 1 class as well as a new Grade 2 class in 2017.
The school that kept on growing
The space was available on the 7-acre stand of the existing school.
With retained earnings, and plenty of blood sweat and tears, the new Wendy House wooden classrooms were erected.
There were a few adventures along the way… like the contractor disappearing halfway through the job!
It just so happened that an entrepreneurial Samaritan Contractor drove past the site. He saw the slow progress – and the business opportunity – and by word of mouth just happened to mention that if there was a need, he could take over and finish the job.
Which he thankfully did. (Was it a coincidence his name was Klaas?)
The beginning of the 2017 saw the three new classes and the Communal Learning area ready for the new school year. Much relief all round!
And a great thank you to our community of teachers and ground staff for the major efforts in getting everything ready. Thank you too to the parents who patiently shared the dream.
A vision shared
And so, the wooden classes were home to the over 80 Prep School children for two years.
During 2017, a symbiotic partnership with Skye Education was formed.
This brought about the realisation of another dream – dynamic new facilities designed around the learning philosophy of the school.
During 2018, three additional ‘temporary’ classes were added adjacent to the wooden Wendy house classes while the building plans for the new school were formalised.
Our Ground Breaking Ceremony took place in May 2017.
Cutting edge facilities
The new Prep School opened at the beginning of the 2019 school year.
So, what happened to the wooden Wendy house classes?
They stayed on, providing temporary facilities for the Tutor Centre and the Aftercare.
When the time came for the ground breaking of the new preschool, the wooden classes had to be dismantled and removed.
What would be the fortunes of the humble structures that were so integral to the realisation of the resolute dream of André and Dylan?
One vision enables another
Time to pay the dream forward … to another dreamer and activator of big dreams. Michael Flockhart is the director of Sportstec and the Homeground Initiative in the Drakensberg.
Michael’s successful Sportstec NGO uses sport as a tool for social development in over a 120 rural and township schools.
Michael has also piloted a community-based Initiative called Homeground. The Homeground Initiative is based in the tiny village of Geluksburg in KZN.
The focus of the project is to create a sustainable community that is based around the Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre and the community schools, helping local children and parents uplift themselves.
Our Broadacres community donated educational games and toys to this ECD Centre as an outreach programme in 2017.
We also hosted the ECD Centre staff here in 2018 to assist them in their further training and development.
Déjà vu for Klaas
And so, the same contractor who saved the day for the Broadacres team, by completing the project for them in 2016, packed up the classes and took them down to Geluksburg.
The classes have been re-erected and purposed as flexible dormitories and classroom facilities.
Repainted to blend in beautifully with the Drakensberg rural scenery, they provide a vital cog in the plan to create the self-sustainable community Michael has dreamt of.
The wooden classrooms recently housed the first international social development tour for volunteers from the USA (the Global Leadership Academy).
The team spent two weeks bringing health awareness to the community. The funds from this tour went back into the community, creating a vital income stream to assist in sustaining the Homeground project and enabling the local community.
A testimony to dreams realised
How fulfilling to know that the classes that embodied the realisation of one dream, have been instrumental in the fulfilment of another.
Miles away in a quiet rural town, they stand testimony to the fulfilment of meaningful and sustainable dreams. How special. How significant. How heart warming. Dream it forward!!