Overview from the Principal

Our Story

Vision Statement

In a quiet, green leafy spot in Claremont lies a school steeped in history yet focused on the future and determined to produce children who are leaders – each in their own unique way. The Grove is a school with many strengths including commitment to inclusivity; excellent teachers, a culture of performance, a committed parent body, and enthusiastic, happy learners. It has delivered excellent academic outcomes; proof of this is The Grove earning the status of the ‘top co-educational primary school’ over the past number of years. Our vision is to make our Sharing Grove philosophy a reality. Sharing Grove speaks to our values as a school rooted in excellence, affordability and inclusivity. It reflects our intention to better harness the enormous skills, energy and commitment within our staff, our parent body and our children behind our common educational purpose. It also captures our commitment to finding ways in which we can make a positive contribution to improving the education system as whole. Thank you for considering The Grove as an option of where your child, and family, could benefit from the quality education that we have to offer. We hope that this website provides you with a snippet of what happens in our school and better informs one of the most important life decisions that you will make for your child. Sally Shield

Three Pillars

Three Pillars

We have a vision of The Grove Primary School as South Africa’s laboratory of public primary school excellence – a dynamic learning environment striving to achieve educational best practice and committed both to the whole educational need of each individual child at the school as well as to sharing its practices and knowledge with other schools.
 

Excellence

The Grove is committed to excellence in education, with a focus on our children. We recognise that The Grove has enjoyed a  deserved reputation for academic excellence, but acknowledge that excellence is never a static endpoint. Excellence requires constant renewal, improvement and innovation if it is to be maintained. To this end we endeavour to be a Thinking  School which nurtures thinking, making it visible so that a culture of thinking is  built and a strong learning community established. This entails a whole-school practice of thinking routines, behaviours and tools which enable the children to be self-actualised, adaptive  and confident with a broad range of skills and capacities in the academic, cultural and sporting realms. Within this holistic approach to education, The Grove has a particular emphasis on arts and cultural excellence. We recognise also that excellence flows from a school ethos rooted in sound core values where children are free to learn and develop in an unfettered open way. Our approach to excellence is also reflected in a commitment to external verification through benchmarking ourselves with comparable schools both in South Africa and internationally and from engaging in research and pilot projects. For Grovites to excel and thrive, they need to be inspired by outstanding teachers. To support this, The Grove has a very generous training budget which gives opportunities for every member of staff to grow and continually develop their skills. This is not limited to academic, but extends to administrative and support staff as well.

Inclusion

The Grove is committed to being an inclusive school that embraces diversity. We seek to create a school community with a wide range of differences bound together by a shared commitment to learning and through mutual respect in order to build positive future citizens. We seek to establish an ethos of anti-bias and non-bullying that is translated into conduct and action.  All that we do is rooted in our five Grove values: Kindness, Respect, Integrity, Pride and Responsibility. We also want to be a school  where all members of the school community feel a common ownership and pride and can recognise themselves and their cultural values as intimately part of the school. This commitment to inclusion accepts everyone is an individual with unique views, unique capacities and unique needs that need to be respected and catered for. Excellence in this inclusive perspective is thus not primarily about the achievements of some of the pupils, but it is how we enable every child to optimise their potential. We see our richness in differences and our commitment to embracing them as unique strengths from which we leverage creativity, new thinking and innovative practice.

Affordability

The Grove’s commitment to inclusion is not only about the internal functioning of our school community;  it is as much about engaging with and supporting the broader education effort. The Grove cannot be an island of excellence when much of our education system is dysfunctional and where most children in our country do not receive an acceptable level of education.  We are committed to finding ways in which we can be more inclusive, and share what The Grove has to offer. We think it is necessary to establish principles to guide our commitment to affordability. These are:
We are committed to providing excellent value for money and aspire to be Cape Town’s best- value school. The essentials of general excellence will be prioritised and waste and non-essential expenses limited. This effort will be supplemented by improved financial governance and management that is transparent and accountable.
We are committed to ensuring that our fees are in the mid-range of similar schools in the southern suburbs of Cape Town and that our fees will remain significantly lower than similar private education. School leadership and management regularly explore ways of reducing costs without compromising excellence. To sustain excellence it is expected that all parents will prioritise paying for education and finding non-financial ways of contributing.
Our vision for the school and its on-going development into the future, however, also requires  going beyond current revenues based on fees. We are committed to an approach to funding with an emphasis on growing sponsorship and bequest income and leveraging other assets such as voluntary effort and the leasing of our school facilities to reduce costs and increase revenue.

Policies

Policies

The Grove’s Code of Conduct and Policies underpin our vision of “striving for excellence in an integrated, nurturing, dynamic environment.”

School Governing Body

School Governing Body

 

A Message from our SGB Chair

There are many things that make a great school great. But two things are core – the teachers who craft the learning experiences of our children and the parents, who hold up that bridge between the education in the school and the learning at home. The Grove continues to gather, support and nurture teachers to be the best they can be. And this school has always found a parent body willing to engage, wanting to show up and, in many ways, working to continually build a better school that holds and nurtures our children. Every three years, parents and staff in 27 000 schools across the country vote in new School Governing Bodies. At The Grove, a number of parents and teachers in the lead up to the elections, put up their hands to say, “Count me in. I want to help make this school even better”.
The willingness of so many parents to step forward and the numbers who turned out to vote, is another example of the deep tradition of parental involvement at the school. Those of us who were elected onto the SGB stood for a number of issues that resonated with the parents and staff. These included strengthening the financial sustainability of the school, creating multi-lingual learning environments for all of our children and ensuring that The Grove is even more deliberate in creating a school where all children and staff feel they belong. We have work to do, there is no doubt. But the work has already begun through the time and effort the previous SGB gave in commitment to The Grove.
We all want this school to continually be on a path that deepens, enriches and broadens the learning experiences of children. We all want our classrooms to reflect the world around us and prepare us for a future that is dynamic, diverse and uncertain.  We all want to walk through grounds and buildings that inspire us and offer us spaces to run, rest and play. We all want to walk among, work and learn with people who, through our differences and similarities, teach us something about ourselves. The Grove offers us pieces of this. As parents, staff and children, we all get to keep putting the pieces together that make The Grove great. That makes The Grove even better. Dylan Wray SGB Chair

Elected SGB Members

Dylan Wray – SGB Chair

Robyn Tyler – Deputy Chair

Suhail Suleman – Treasurer

Feroz Koor – Co-Treasurer

Carern Kieffer-Walker – Secretary

Sally Shield – Principal

Jonathan Molver – Parent Rep

Naseema Parker – Staff Rep

Barbara Calothi – Staff Rep

Staff Gallery

Staff Gallery

We have a vision of The Grove Primary School as South Africa’s laboratory of public primary school excellence – a dynamic learning environment striving to achieve educational best practice and committed both to the whole educational need of each individual child at the school as well as to sharing its practices and knowledge with other schools.
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