Academics at Ambleside

Academics

Drawing on Charlotte Mason’s collected works, the Ambleside Schools International (ASI) curricula aims to make schools a place to develop care for others, a love for learning and habits that will serve children for the rest of their lives.

Our rich, varied and challenging curricula are based on the philosophy that education is:

  • An atmosphere (we learn best in a safe, nurturing, non-competitive environment that stimulates our thought life)
  • A discipline (habits of mind or body are formed definitely and thoughtfully)
  • A life (an education for life needs to provide intellectual, moral and physical sustenance)

“This kind of living education empowers students to author lives that are full and free - rich in relationship to God, self, others, ideas, work and creation. It provides the tools needed to live well in all aspects of life - personal and professional, present and future.”

As children mature, the curricula they encounter broaden and deepen. They move beyond fundamental skills to advanced work that prepares them to cultivate a rich intellectual life, regardless of their post-secondary paths.

Comprised of skill-based (disciplinary) and content-based (inspirational) instruction, curricula consist primarily of living books and narratives. Some are classics that stand the test of time; others feature beautiful language, universal themes, rich characters or intricate plots. Still others offer disciplinary information in an inspirational, accessible format.

Whenever possible, ASI selects books that are in print and readily available, to accommodate the broadest possible audience.

In Pre-School, young children are nurtured through the relationships of teacher, text, self and others. There are many “firsts” for them, and it is our unique privilege to lead, direct and guide them in proper relationships with all of life. As we introduce text, number, nature, letter, poem, paint and pencil, the children flourish as they use these distinct mediums to communicate ideas and expressions in an atmosphere of focused attention, clear instruction and joy.

"an atmosphere of love, affection, support, safety, learning and growth”
"an atmosphere of love, affection, support, safety, learning and growth”

We believe that a child’s trajectory for their schooling begins in Pre-School, and their affections towards learning are formed. We therefore provide an atmosphere of love, affection, support, safety, learning and growth, with well-formed habits and an appetite for ideas that will bless each child for their whole life.

Curriculum

Pre-School Class

  • Bible
  • Mathematics
  • Phonics
  • Quiet work
  • Reading
  • Poetry
  • Picture study
  • Read-a-loud
  • Practical life
  • Seasonal art
  • Worship

Uniform

There is no uniform in Pre-School.

Aftercare

We have an aftercare facility where the little ones can continue their day in a carefree and safe environment.

Tuck

A dedicated team of staff serve tuck on a daily basis.

The Ambleside teaching methodology enables our students to fully engage with what they learn, taking them from being mere learners to individuals who are truly educated. Our small classes (on average 16 and no more than 18) enable students and teachers to attain their goals, and our low homework policy allows the children to experience all of life without the burden of excess work.

"We believe in focused and disciplined learning from rich texts found in living books and primary sources that allow our students to engage great ideas”
"We believe in focused and disciplined learning from rich texts found in living books and primary sources that allow our students to engage great ideas”
"As children mature, the curricula they encounter broaden and deepen, preparing them to cultivate a rich intellectual life"
"As children mature, the curricula they encounter broaden and deepen, preparing them to cultivate a rich intellectual life"
Maturity Traits
Above is an extract from one of our Assessment forms to give you an idea of how we help guide our students in their personal growth.</p><p>"The strength of the student’s maturity traits/relational habits has been demonstrated to the given degree listed above."
Above is an extract from one of our Assessment forms to give you an idea of how we help guide our students in their personal growth.

"The strength of the student’s maturity traits/relational habits has been demonstrated to the given degree listed above."

We believe in focused and disciplined learning from rich texts found in living books and primary sources that allow our students to engage great ideas, beautiful language, universal themes and intricate plots expressed through a variety of subjects. These draw our students into the heart of what they're learning, turning it into a "living education". Our skills-based learning offers disciplinary information in an inspirational way and in an accessible format.

Short lessons allow children to remain alert and interested throughout the day. In addition, the classroom schedule alternates between inspirational lessons such as poetry or nature study, and disciplinary work such as grammar and maths. This constant movement between subjects that encourage reflection, and those that require focused skill is refreshing for the students' minds, as is time spent outdoors in physical activity and exploration.

As children mature, the curricula they encounter broaden and deepen, preparing them to cultivate a rich intellectual life, regardless of their post-secondary paths.

Curriculum

  • Bible
  • Mathematics
  • Phonics
  • Spelling
  • Afrikaans
  • Life Long Sports
  • Read Aloud
  • Reading
  • Literature
  • Composition History
  • Transcription
  • Poetry
  • Recitation
  • Geography
  • Science
  • Music
  • Choir
  • Nature Study
  • Handwriting
  • Picture Study
  • Citizenship
  • Grammar
  • Dictation
  • Handwork
  • Composer Study
  • Art

Life Long Sports

In addition to the subjects listed above, Ambleside includes LLS in its curricula. We believe that education includes the relationship with "ourselves", which is why we encourage the stewardship of our physical bodies. The participation of our Primary School students in this programme ensures that they partake in physical activities and games aimed at developing their motor skills, enhancing their reflexes, improving their hand-eye coordination and promoting a healthy body posture; while encouraging the development of friendships and the reliance on others.

Assessments

For those of you who are new to this process, assessments at Ambleside are different from what you may have experienced as a child. They are not approached with anxiety or dread.

Students are given broad questions covering aspects of the term's study in each subject. Younger students dictate their answers, which are scribed for them; older students write their answers. Assessments in disciplinary subjects may also include solving equations and reproducing maps, tables, nature-study specimens and works of art, depending on their grade level.

Prior to Grade 7, there is to be no extra study or review in anticipation of assessments. Each student's assessment is to reflect what the student has truly learned during the course of a term's studies instead of how many facts or how much information they have mastered.

According to Charlotte Mason, examinations that measure a "child's basket of wares" test a limited kind of memory, and are irrelevant in evaluating real knowledge. We, however, view assessments as our opportunity to see what our students really know and give insight into what they have absorbed and understood through their books, lessons and observation.

Assessments are taken at the end of the 2nd and 4th terms.

Ongoing Student Evaluation

Students are expected to pay attention and demonstrate effort every school day. All students are active participants in the learning process and are called upon to narrate and discuss each day's readings and presentations. Depending on their grade level, students are also expected to produce written narrations, compositions, drawings, diagrams, maps and charts, all of which demonstrate and deepen knowledge.

This work is kept in student notebooks and copybooks, which are accessible to the parents at any time. Teachers evaluate the students daily in areas of comprehension, skill and habit development. Knowing that learning is a process that manifests itself in a product, teachers are attentive to both individual student growth, as well as the achievement of expected mastery. Teachers communicate to the parents regarding their child at regular meetings throughout the year.

Primary School Camp (Grade 5 to Grade 7)

Primary School students attend an annual camp where life skills are taught and applied, community across grades is strengthened and relationships with teachers are fostered.

Uniform

Ambleside believes in both the freedom of expression as well as the order and discipline found in a school uniform; for this reason we have designed a multi-form which is comprised of a range of tops and bottoms which the children can mix and match to suit their taste and style.

Aftercare

We have an aftercare facility where our students can continue their day in a carefree, supervised and safe environment.

Tuck

A dedicated team of staff serve tuck on a daily basis.

Students at Ambleside School of Hout Bay matriculate with an IEB-accredited matric and receive a National Senior Certificate.

"The rigorous curriculum that our High School students engage with is underpinned by the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education, and our small student-teacher ratio”
"The rigorous curriculum that our High School students engage with is underpinned by the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education, and our small student-teacher ratio”
"Students at Ambleside School of Hout Bay matriculate with an IEB-accredited matric and receive a National Senior Certificate"
"Students at Ambleside School of Hout Bay matriculate with an IEB-accredited matric and receive a National Senior Certificate"

The rigorous curriculum that our High School students engage with is underpinned by the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education, and our small student-teacher ratio (on average 16 and no more than 18 per class) ensures that each student reaches the fullness of their potential.

The range of subjects below allow for combinations that open doors to all options in tertiary education.

SUBJECT CHOICE GRADE 8 - GRADE 9

Compulsory subjects in Grade 8 and Grade 9

  • English First Language
  • Afrikaans First Additional Language
  • Mathematics
  • Life Orientation
  • Bible
  • Life Long Sports
  • History
  • Art
  • Geography
  • Music

Additional compulsory subjects in Grade 8

  • Composer Study
  • Picture Study
  • Life Science
  • Additional compulsory subjects in Grade 9
  • Physical Science

SUBJECT CHOICE GRADE 10 - GRADE 12

Compulsory subjects

  • English First Language
  • Afrikaans First Additional Language
  • Maths Core OR Maths Literacy
  • Life Orientation

Elective subjects

  • Physical Science
  • Life Science
  • History
  • Art
  • Geography

Additional subjects

Students are also welcome to study additional IEB-approved subjects under private tutorship and at their own cost.

High School Camp

High School students attend an annual camp where life skills are taught and applied; the community across grades is strengthened and relationships with teachers fostered.

It’s a time of fun and adventure - a highlight for all.

Uniform

Ambleside believes in both the freedom of expression as well as the order and discipline found in a school uniform; for this reason we have designed a multi-form which is comprised of a range of tops and bottoms which the children can mix and match to suit their taste and style.

Tuck

A dedicated team of staff serve tuck on a daily basis.

Ambleside schools are venues, not only for the education of children, but also for the training of parents and teachers interested in developing their understanding and practice of Charlotte Mason’s thought and the Ambleside Method of education.

We hope that you find these resources enlightening and empowering.

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Connect

120 Milner Avenue, Hout Bay, 7806
Cape Town, South Africa

+27 (0) 21 790 4449
school.office@amblesideschool.co.za
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Accreditations

Independent Examination Body
Ambleside Schools Internation - South Africa
Western Cape Department of Education
Ambleside Schools International
Independent Schools Association South Africa
My School - My Village - My Planet
"Learning to Live
Living to Learn"