Garden Cities to build innovative new private school in Sunningdale
‘Redesigning education for the future’
Garden Cities has formed a partnership with Rallim Preparatory Modern Learning Environment to build an exciting new private school at its West Coast flagship suburb Sunningdale.
The school is set to transform the educational landscape through an innovative and progressive approach in its singular vision to redesign education for the 21st century. Rallim Prep will open on Berkshire Boulevard in Sunningdale, in 2019, for students aged 3 – 13, with plans in place to establish a secondary faculty in a few years’ time.
Group CEO of Garden Cities, John Matthews, says the company’s decision to invest in the development of a private school was in line with Garden Cities’ holistic approach to the development of its suburbs, which included the provision of a comprehensive infrastructure for residents. The school also represented Garden Cities’ on-going commitment to education.
The company’s Archway Foundation will have been responsible for the building of 100 school halls when the company celebrates its centenary next year. The halls, of which more than 600 are still needed, have been built with funds provided by the Foundation, and latterly, in collaboration with the Western Cape Education Department. The foundation also sponsors school science learning centres. Head of Rallim Preparatory Modern Learning Environment, Colleen Millar, whose 21-year educational career includes previous management positions as both deputy principal and principal of private schools, says that the founding of Rallim Prep was premised on the belief that schools should comprehensively prepare children for the future, and for careers that may not yet exist.
Millar highlights the rapidity with which the world is changing, and maintains that the structure, organisation and pedagogy of today’s schools support a system whose century has passed. She believes that no school has the luxury of remaining static. ‘We urgently need to rethink the task of education in a changing world,’ she says.
‘There will be new goals for performance and cognition in education in the future which Rallim Preparatory aims to achieve through its flexible, open and adaptive architectural design as well as its new models of learning.
‘We shall have unique and relevant facilities that are designed to ‘make learning visible’ and create collaborative, shared tech-infused workspaces with moveable walls that will replace the traditional classroom and provide for our master classes in a quest to personalise our approach to learning.’
‘The Rallim Prep model envisages providing an education that redefines the borders of the classroom and school through its innovative pedagogical approach, its new anatomy of language and its unique physical structure.
‘This approach of transcending traditional academic boundaries will ensure that Rallim Prep reshapes the educational paradigm within a local context without relinquishing the fundamental requirements. Rallim Prep will chart a new landscape for education and pioneer the 21st century school of the future.’
‘Further to our aim of establishing an innovative, progressive and vibrant campus, we firmly believe that Rallim Prep’s appeal as a school will lie in our strong sense of community. Our commitment to realising our students’ potential will be built around providing a balanced education that addresses their intellectual, cultural, social-emotional and physical wellbeing. This will involve the establishment of sporting and cultural centres of excellence to support both the needs of the school and the wider community.’
‘In addition to this, we intend to provide a teacher learnership programme from the outset, that will ultimately result in the development of our campus to a tertiary level of teacher training to help address a national need.
The objectiv,’ says Millar, ‘is to offer a unique, affordable, customised learning experience and to be considered leaders in educational innovation by keeping abreast of new trends.’
‘We want to be the choice parents make for their children on the Western Seaboard as well as in greater Cape Town.’