Ethos, Mission and Aims
When you are part of Cannons, you are part of our family. We strive to foster relationships between teachers and pupils, among classmates and across grades in an inclusive and nurturing environment. Each child is supported as he/she develops his/her unique and special qualities. We celebrate the successes whether in schoolwork, on the sports field or on the stage. We help them up when they fall and encourage a growth mindset as they practise resilience. Our children and their families are what makes Cannons Creek such a happy home-away-from-home where we all love learning together.
Cannons Creek Independent School is a safe community school with a Christian ethos, staffed by passionate professionals who endeavour to educate confident, trustworthy individuals who are encouraged to reach their full potential.
Cannons Creek and the staff will endeavour to:
- Maintain small classes – 16 pupils per class in the Primary School and 20 pupils per class in the High School, with two classes per grade;
- Strive for academic excellence;
- Provide a happy, stress-free learning environment;
- Nurture the children to be responsible, well-adjusted and positive members of society.
Cannons Creek pupils are:
- Self- Aware
Pastoral Care is an integral part of the Cannons family. Cannons Creek employs two Pupil Counsellors - Mrs Paddy-Kew Simpson (High School), and Mrs Claire Arton-Powell (Primary School) who are available to our pupils. The pastoral arm, however, does not reside purely with the counsellor, but stretches out to all of our staff. The nurturing of relationships, based on mutual trust and respect, is the primary aim of our school community. This allows pupils to reach out to any teacher with whom they feel comfortable.
The culture of counselling is one of ease and accessibility, as we at Cannons strive to ensure a safe and nurturing environment for our pupils to grow and learn.
One of the primary aims at Cannons Creek is that of forming nurturing relationships with our pupils within the educational context. Over the years at school, pupils build relationships with their teachers across the spectrum of subjects, and in their Tutor Groups. In the Grade 11 year, pupils select Teachers who they believe would be a suitable mentor to meet both their academic and emotional needs as they enter into the matric year.
Each pupil is allocated a mentor who will walk the Matric road by their side. Regular mentor meetings are set up in which the pupil and mentor are able to navigate the needs and demands of the Matric year for that individual pupil. The needs, both emotional and academic, are vastly different for each young person. It is for this reason that the mentor relationship is so valuable. The mentor is that staff member who has consistent and continuous individual contact in setting goals, action plans to achieve these goals and ensuring that the holistic needs of their mentee are managed successfully.
One of the benefits of having small classes is that the teachers can get to know their pupils well and provide the individual care and attention that they need. In the Primary School, we hold “Care Circles” in class, sometimes splitting into boy and girl groups in the grade, where relevant, to allow the children space to express their feelings and thoughts and also to provide guidance on general areas that affect the group, such as friendship issues, for example. We encourage the children to be empathetic towards each other, not only in their class or grade, but also across the age groups. The Grade 6 pupils each have a Grade 1 “buddy”, with whom they form a bond. They help and guide their buddy during the year and also interact in fun-filled ways, like playing games and reading to them. In 2022, we introduced multi-grade Care Groups.
Pupils at Cannons Creek spend time exploring various career fields in their Life Orientation curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to realistically consider their strengths, interests, abilities, values and personality as they navigate the vast landscape of potential career options. This is naturally facilitated in the home environment where parents will discuss their children’s ambitions in the home.
Job-shadow is part of the Grade 10 and 11 Curriculum where pupils immerse themselves in the day- to-day reality of specific jobs. These experiences are consolidated through projects which require reflection on the myriad of aspects involved in the ‘normal work day’. Informational interviews with people in the career field provide an opportunity for a realistic insight into the field. Sadly, this has not been possible with Covid protocol but we look forward to this important activity resuming as soon as possible.
Various institutions are hosted in classroom lessons to provide insight into the vast array of opportunities for study. The world of work is constantly developing and careers exist which certainly were not around during previous years.
Cannons Creek is a school with a Christian ethos and we teach and practise sound morals and values. We welcome families of all religions in the school and, while maintaining our Christian identity, believe in the importance and value of teaching our children to embrace diversity and to respect all people in our society. We celebrate Christian holidays and festivals and encourage all our families to join us.
Our weekly Primary School assemblies are usually based around these virtues, and Bible lessons, prayers and hymns are enjoyed. The Pre-Primary and Foundation Phase children listen to Bible stories in class. From the Intermediate Phase onwards (including High School), religious studies forms part of the Life Orientation syllabus and the children are exposed to other religions and cultures as part of the topics which they cover. Pupils can join Kingdom Kids, or Christian Impact Union, as an extramural.
In the High School, assemblies usually have a Christian-based devotion portion. We run a Christian society, GO.com where all faiths are encouraged to join.
The Board of Cannons Creek Independent School, is responsible for the overall policy and strategy of the School, ensuring sound financial management, which will further the objectives of the school.
The Cannons Creek Parents’ Association (CCPA), established in August 2022, is intended to be a body that represents all parents of the school, and engages in activities to help realise the school vision and enhance the parents’ experience of the School. Through collaboration, inclusivity and increased transparency - the aim is to harness the energy of our parents, encourage participation in school activities and build a vibrant school community.
The School also offers several family-focused events throughout the year, with two highlights being the Family Fun Run, and The Cannons Carnival.
The Family Fun Run event takes place in the early evening during Term 1. The event offers various running options, ranging from 2km jog-alongs to an 8km run, catering for all interests and abilities. Whilst the event is open to the public, all Cannons Creek families are encouraged to get involved.
The Cannons Carnival is an annual event held at the school, usually on the last Saturday in October. Some of the proceeds raised from the Carnival are allocated to the fundraising for the Matric Dance to be held the following year and some funds are allocated to purchase items on the High and Primary Schools’ “wish lists”. The Carnival also forms part of the Grade 7, 8 and 9 Entrepreneurial Activities and all Grade 7, 8 and 9 pupils are expected to run a stall as part of the EMS syllabus, where they keep the profits made by their stalls.
The pupils of Cannons Creek benefit through:
- greater opportunities for extending individual potential;
- receiving a caring attitude and individual attention;
- early detection of problems and early intervention;
- outings and hands-on learning;
- a learning environment that is secure, stress-free and stimulating.
Your child will experience:
- small classes;
- expert teachers;
- tutorial sessions;
- development of learning skills;
- regular assessment;
- professionally coached sport;
- cultural and social activities;
- aftercare facility;
- enriching, subject-related activities and excursions;
- staff in close communication with parents;
- extension of the National Curriculum.
Hear it from our Parents
Parent Testimonial: Sarah Goldstein
Parent Testimonial: Shelly Stamatiadis
Parent Testimonial: Sunett Potgieter
Hear it from our pupils
In line with school policy, Cannons’ current academic staff are all academically qualified for the grades and/or subjects they teach. Several of our staff members are long-serving, and have had/ currently have their children enrolled at the school. Our staff regularly attend external additional training courses, conferences, and webinars to keep up-to-date with trends and developments in education policy and methodology; along with regular internal training workshops.
- The hall known as the Cultural Centre, has three sound-proofed music teaching rooms, a gallery, a movable stage and large doors, especially constructed for opening onto the field so that events can be held both facing inwards and outwards from it. The hall is used for assemblies and other cultural events.
- 2 Computer Laboratories, including a bank of iPads
- 2 Science Laboratories
- 3 Netball Fields
- Beginner Tennis court area
- Use of Pinelands Tennis Club
- Cricket nets
- Use of Hartleyvale Stadium Astroturf
- Use of Kelvin Grove / Old Mutual Squash Courts
‘Kids today tap, swipe and pinch their way through the world. But unless we give them the tools to build with computers, we are raising only consumers instead of creators’
- Linda Liukas, author of Hello Ruby.
Cannons Creek School aspires to create pupils who are self-sufficient, responsible users of technology, who collaborate digitally, think flexibly and maintain a healthy balance between the digital and real-world. Throughout their time at Cannons Creek, pupils are exposed to a wide variety of technology tools and operating systems including iOS, Windows and Google.
Discrete digital skills are taught from as young as Grade R, in a formalised progressional curriculum, and the use of technology as a teaching and learning tool is embedded successfully by teachers within each curriculum area.
Cannons Creek’s driving philosophy behind technology integration is one of balance. Technology is used in a discretionary way by teachers, that promotes pupils to actively construct understanding and become creators of digital content. Technology devices are used as a vehicle to enhance and enrich learning, but never seen as a replacement for the traditional, relationship-orientated teaching, on which Cannons prides itself.
As a Google School, our pupils are taught from an early age to manage themselves in a cloud-based environment. Each pupil is provided with a supervised Cannons Creek account which gives them access to all the Google for Education applications they need for their studies.
Coding and programming are emerging subjects in South African education. Cannons Creek boasts a well-established coding programme from Grade R to Grade 9 which continues to grow. The curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and proficiency of one coding language at a time, with age-appropriate resources.
Coding is a new form of literacy, it helps children develop an appreciation of how computers work, which given the extent to which technology shapes our lives, is a vastly important skill. More importantly, coding teaches children that complex problems are simply a series of smaller parts to be addressed in sequence. At Cannons Creek our pupils learn that it is not technical skill that makes great coders, but rather a mindset. One that pupils will benefit from, regardless of the subject or circumstance.
At Cannons Creek the digital safety and security of our pupils is of the utmost importance.
We have strong protocols on our network and a firewall to ensure safe browsing. The managed Google suite environment allows teachers to guide and support pupils as they navigate the online world. This, coupled with a strong digital citizenship and cyber safety curriculum ensures that Cannons Creek pupils are well-protected, discretionary users of the internet.