Senior Preparatory Staff2019-01-06T19:14:28+02:00

Senior Preparatory School Staff

André de Coning

My teaching career started in 1990, in the North-Eastern Cape. Right from the start I realised that there are institutional “truths” that fly in the face of how children learn.

This led me to deeper investigation and studies which have shaped me as an educator.

For many years I have envisaged having my own school where I could create a learning environment that would nurture my core beliefs regarding education.

I believe that children are inquisitive, risk takers, adventurers and love to find things out for themselves.

Children are natural collaborators and care about each other. They don’t have to be coerced, threatened or punished to learn – they do it naturally.

My responsibility as a director of Broadacres Academy, is to ensure that the school develops a learning ethos where children are confident enough to step outside their comfort zones in order to develop and grow.

This means that each classroom and learning space is organised, safe and adequately equipped to provide a rich learning experience. It means that each learning activity should lend itself to gaining knowledge, asking questions and solving meaningful problems.

You can read Andre’s full biography here.

Open the tabs below to meet the Broadacres Academy Senior Preparatory teachers.

Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners,
and the love of bringing the first two loves together.
-Scott Hayden-

Karen SteinKaren Stein

Education and interacting with children is food for my soul.

It is what we, both the children and me as the teacher, learn every day. It is involving ourselves in activities and opportunities in which we create new knowledge together.

I originally studied at Rhodes University, completed my B. Ed. Honours at the University of Johannesburg and I am presently finishing off my M. Ed. in Curriculum Studies at Wits.

While I have taught throughout the Senior Primary, because of my love for Mathematics and especially problem solving, much of my experience has been in teaching mathematics to all the Grades.

My priority was to change the perception of mathematics from the “drill and kill” of my school days to the fun, real life, investigative mathematics needed in today’s world. What fun we had.

However, recently, as a Grade 3 class teacher, I had my most rewarding time in teaching. Unbound from tests and examinations, and empowered by a flexible curriculum, I was able to explore all sorts of exciting learning experiences within the classroom.

And when I ran out of school time, I started an afterschool activity called ‘Out the Box’ where we experimented, played games and tried out new things.

Joining Broadacres Academy as a Grade 4 teacher, the first in the Senior Prep, and being given the directive to integrate, investigate and explore knowledge within blurred curriculum boundaries, is a challenge I could not resist.

So, my aim for my Grade 4s, in 2019 is to have moments, lots of moments when I’ll look up and notice that my little people are

“learning, working hard and are happy, every single one of them; and that there is an unmistakable classroom busy-i-ness sound purring away in the background, and I’ll think to myself, we’ve got this.” (adapted from ©From the Pond).

I am married to Robert and we have two children, Nicholas and Samantha, who are both university students.

Central Learning Facilitator

Jo HarmseJo Harmse

I’m a very creative and “out of the box” thinker. I see myself as a fun, enthusiastic teacher that encourages and motivates young learners.

I believe that the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow; and that a teacher assists in laying down the foundation for each child to reach their full potential.

I love the outdoors and try to find any opportunity to explore nature. I’ve travelled quite a lot in my life and enjoy learning about different cultures and traditions.

My love for teaching became evident after I matriculated in 2014. I was unfortunately involved in a car accident before my 18th birthday and wasn’t sure what to do or what path to take until I grabbed an opportunity to become an intern at St Peter’s for Foundation Phase teaching.

It wasn’t long until I realized that teaching was what I was meant to do with my life.

I’ll be obtaining my Bachelor’s degree in Foundation Phase Education at the end of 2018. I’ve also completed a Phono Graphix course through Read for Africa.

I cannot wait to start my teaching journey with Broadacres Academy in 2019.

Learn more about the Communal Learning Area here.

Jeanne-Marie BarnardJeanne-Marie Barnard

When I began my school journey at the age of 5, I announced to my parents that one day, when I was big, I was going to be a school teacher… and so my dream came true.

I have now been in education for the past 25 years and whilst I have studied Psychology and Psychometry, I always land up back in the classroom; my happy place. If anyone asked me about a magical ingredient for each child’s life with whom I have come into contact, I would answer that I would love to give him or her the gift of self-esteem.

A key factor in the debate on strategies for raising pupil achievement is self-esteem. I am very excited and privileged to have become a member of the Broadacres Academy team in 2018, and I endeavour to do my utmost to ensure your child develops to his or her full potential.

Your children will be exposed to numerous successful experiences involving the ability to use cognitive, social and behavioural skills that will enable your child to make wise decisions and choices and develop a true sense of personal competence.

My little darling, who stole my heart 11 years ago, is my son Ashton, who is the absolute light in my life. We share a home in Lonehill with our two very naughty little Daschunds, who most certainly rule the roost and adore walks and picnics in the Lonehill Park.

My little boy attends Cedarwood School, as he has a learning difficulty, which has certainly made me a far more compassionate and sympathetic teacher, as I am only too aware how tough it is to face challenges.

My personal philosophy is, “If a child cannot learn the way he is taught, then he must be taught the way he can learn”.

Prep School Aftercare

Deirdre HodgkinsonDeirdre Hodgkinson

I started teaching at the age of 20 and have loved it ever since. It has been my goal in life to be the best teacher I could be and to be better than the teachers who taught me. My teachers at school affected my confidence and I vowed to never allow this to happen to children in my care.

In 2000 I married my high school sweetheart and in that year we had our first child, Jared. Once becoming a mom, my passion for children grew. After our second child, Aimee, was born in 2003, I left teaching for the corporate world for financial reasons. I endured this for two years and after being desperately unhappy, I went back to teaching in 2005.

I started working at Broadacres Farm Nursery School in 2009 and taught the Chameleons Class. I learnt and grew so much during my six years at Broadacres. I became a better friend, a better mom and better teacher. I became a confident person who loved life and love people and making children and adults feel special and cared for.

I left Broadacres in 2015 to go and teach at Chartwell Country College, where my son goes to school.  I am thrilled to be back at Broadacres Academy; it’s like coming home.

Think. Explore. Investigate. Wonder. Inquiry-based learning at its best!

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“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
-Henry B Adams-