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.
Learning spaces and learning activities in the natural settings of our wonderful academy grounds can include the farmyard, farm animals as well as vegetable and herb gardens.
The continuous professional growth of each teacher in order to keep learning experiences relevant and meaningful for each child, is one of my priorities.
I also believe that technology is enabling us to move towards more individualised learning programmes, rather than a “one size fits all” system.
Engagement in physical activity is paramount in a child’s development. We are in the process of developing a unique concept in promoting a fun way of acquiring sporting skills, including swimming.
Thank you for entrusting your child to us to provide them with a quality and relevant education for the times in which we find ourselves.
André holds a Master’s degree in Education Management and Leadership from the University of Johannesburg.
After a long and eventful career in education, it feels as if I have only just begun. I have been given the incredible opportunity to grow and develop our own school; to implement the philosophies and methodologies that I have studied and encountered throughout my career, in a meaningful and purposeful way.
We are well on our way in creating a unique learning environment where children are guided on a journey of learning and exploration that enhances their natural love of learning.
How incredible it is to be living my dream.
As a director of Broadacres Academy, it is my responsibility to ensure the school succeeds as a business and that we never compromise our standards and beliefs.
The building and development of our Preparatory School is a continual focus, and we are well on our way to ensure that we have a full Preparatory School solution by 2020, which will include a completely refurbished Preschool facility.
Another area of focus is the development of a High School within the Broadacres area. We want to continue our learning and education philosophy all the way to Matric.
With all these goals and aspirations, my career in education has evolved from the dynamic environment of teaching and being a principal of a school, to building and developing a unique educational environment for 21st century learning.
Dylan holds an Honour’s degree in Education Management and Leadership from the University of Johannesburg.
Broadacres Academy and Farm Nursery School is allowing me to fulfil my dream of working with children and adults in a happy, beautiful environment, where real learning is happening every minute of the day.
It is simply wonderful to be in the company of like-minded people, who are as driven and as dedicated to the growing and developing of children in a nurturing, carefree manner as myself.
I refer here to the two owners of our magic school, Dylan and André. I have known them since 2004 as we taught together at Kyalami Preparatory.
I recall, with fondness the many conversations we shared about the way education ‘is supposed to be’ and our dreams and aspirations for a better way to impact upon the learning process.
Not one of the three of us ever felt that learning happens though our teaching, but rather through being the facilitators of learning.
We frequently discussed how we need to continually strive to offer unique, exciting opportunities for children to be inspired and thus to love learning, through all the grades. Thus, it makes sense that we find ourselves working together, to fulfil these aspirations and dreams.
While I have had bouts of working in the corporate sector, in adult training mostly, I have continually returned to the world of children as this is where I am happiest. Having been in education for the past 27 years, I believe inherently that children impact upon our lives daily and that all we must do to experience their impact upon us, is to be present, in the moment.
I married my best friend, Anthony, in 1994. He works for an Australian company selling simulation to the mines globally, so he travels extensively and works very hard.
We have two beautiful children. Tayla is 22 and in her 4th year at TUKS, studying LAW. Ross will be 20 in November and has been teaching English in Thailand this year. Both are driven, happy, charismatic individuals who inspire me to go beyond myself continuously.
The other ‘loves’ of my life are my two gorgeous Pekinese puppies, and four cats that we rescued. Together we live in a beautiful little home in Fourways.
My motto in life and words that I sprout frequently to the staff working alongside me:
“They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Carl W. Buehner
Lee-Ann holds a BA (Education) degree from Wits University.
I obtained my Higher Diploma in Education with distinction, from the Johannesburg College of Education at the end of 1992.
My educational career spans twenty-four years and has been incredibly diverse, starting with high school teaching in the beginning, moving right down to the Grade 0s that I currently teach.
I have always been a passionate educator who has a genuine love for children and I know that I have made a significant difference in many little lives over the years.
Even though I am Senior Primary trained, I have been working in the Pre-Primary and Foundation Phase since 2007, and this is where my true passion lies.
My approach to learning involves creating a positive, happy, fun and secure space where learning is integrated, hands-on and differentiated.
A place where children are seen as individuals, where they find their ‘difference’, understanding what makes them special and unique.
Over the years I have come to firmly believe that teachers should expect remarkable things from the children in their care. If you believe they can, they will.
I have been married to Richard for the past twenty-one years and we have two gorgeous teenage children who keep us on our toes. Nicholas is eighteen years old and is currently in Matric, and Julia is nearly fifteen and she is currently in Grade 9. Both children attend school at St Stithians College.
Confession… I have absolutely no formal teaching education nor experience in teaching (unless dog training counts?).
I have no idea of how to demonstrate a concept in three unique approaches so that learners at different levels can all understand in their own way. I am clueless about the school syllabus and what needs to be achieved in each year of schooling.
What I DO have though, is exceptional administrative, operational and organisational skills to ensure our educators and principals have the correct tools and facilities they require at the correct time to enable them to do the most important job in the world!
I also have an immense amount of respect for all our educators with their passion and pride for what they achieve every single day.
My heart leaps out of my chest with a sense of awe when I witness children at Broadacres Academy flourishing, expanding their horizons and the glowing pride on their faces when they have that, “A-HA” moment.
I have this frequently with my own two children, Taylor and Dylan, who have been at Broadacres Academy for many years now. I have incredible joy in watching them evolve and how they simply LOVE learning!
I have a flair for arts and crafts, creating themed decor – you should just see my house at Halloween and Christmas time! I look forward to using my operational excellence and creative spirit to enhance the Broadacres Academy experience for parents, educators and learners.
My entire career has been spent in large corporate environments in varying roles of customer account management and managing teams.
The lessons I have learnt in dealing with different personalities and expectations have been priceless, and taught me empathy where I can completely feel and relate to anyone of any age.
My happiest moments were pulling teams together for a common goal and enjoying the journey together…. sometimes bumpy, but passion and a common purpose are incredibly motivating. I bring this same passion and purpose to Broadacres Academy to achieve our goals.
I am so proud to be a part of the kindest, most nurturing environment with the highest integrity I have ever seen.
Broadacres Academy Staff
“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
-Henry B Adams-