The concept of an intimate school with small classes, where children could experience the fun side of education whilst still doing the syllabus with lateral teaching, came into being with the founding of Cannons Creek...
The teachers were carefully selected to ensure that they would teach using the ethos of the school –encouraging and fostering each child’s potential and strength, and respecting each child’s individuality.
As much as possible, education had to be taught using hands-on experiences, which children remember more readily. Formal teaching would then follow and pupils would learn various studying methods ending in tests and examinations.
I am proud to say that we have managed this with teachers being given the freedom to teach, using all sorts of tools and methodologies resulting in the children having fun. The emphasis is placed on praising pupils’ work and effort, rather than concentrating on weaknesses. The concept of responsibility is encouraged.
The concept was to take the ‘fear’ out of being educated and to put “fun” back into the classroom.
Respect for each other has been a focal point and this has worked well with each pupil learning how to fit in, not only with the classroom work ethic, but also being taught to manage their time well in preparation for entering High School and later, the business world.
The other value that Cannons Creek has embraced is that of honesty, and we are proud to say that our history reflects that this can be taught. We have also embraced all the aspects of what makes a rounded child therefore we have included Academics, as well as Arts and Sports in the educational process.
Quite simply, our pupils are proof that we have all the necessary ingredients: in that not only have they achieved here at Cannons Creek, but once they have completed their school career with us, they have been very successful later in life.
Mrs Tracy Wahl (Principal)
At Cannons Creek Primary we offer a rounded and relevant academic programme, which progresses from the Pre-Primary Phase through to the Intermediate Phase. English, Afrikaans and Mathematics are our core subjects and we pride ourselves in cementing a strong foundation on which our pupils can build as they advance through the higher grades.
isiXhosa is taught to Grade 1 - 6 pupils once a week for 30 minutes. Grade 1 to Grade 3 students are taught the culture, tradition, music, different click sounds, and famous South African people, following the different themes covered in Afrikaans. Grade 4 - 6 pupils follow an isiXhosa workbook, further developing their conversational isiXhosa.
IBL (Inquiry-Based Learning) for Grades 3 - 6, and PBL (Project-Based Learning) for Grades 1 - 2 are increasingly becoming more exciting ways of learning and teaching. This collaboration across subjects (Natural Science, Geography, History and Life Orientation) allows for deeper thinking and/or understanding. Pupils learn all kinds of wonderful skills such as critical thinking, peer-teaching, and research techniques; and focus on real-world application.
This new way of teaching promotes a growth mindset and is child-centred, meaning that pupils learn from their mistakes and can proceed at their own pace.
Creative Arts and Physical Education provide healthy and creative ways for the pupils to express themselves. Computer Literacy is presented in various ways to ensure that our children are on track to be responsible participants in the digital world in which they live. Life skills are woven throughout the curriculum and the emotional well-being of every pupil is important.
Foundation Phase: Grades 1-3
In this phase the emphasis is on:
- Giving pupils a good foundation in Reading, Writing and Mathematics.
- It is endeavoured to impart self-confidence and independence to the pupils, as well as a sense of responsibility. This is brought about through a balanced approach to both academics and sport, as well as through social interactions.
- The teachers also attempt to instil good manners and respect for others in the pupils.
- Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) (Grade 3).
- isiXhosa (Grades 1 to 3 - conversational).
- Technology (iPads and computer laboratory integrated online).
- Community awareness through regular outreach initiatives.
Intermediate Phase: Grades 4-6
In this phase we build on the good foundation laid in the Foundation Phase years by encouraging greater independence and responsibility. Research skills are honed and co-operative, relevant learning takes place within groups; learning is also taken out of the classroom through outings to pertinent places. Teachers strive to make learning a fun-filled activity. Classes have interactive TVs and access to laptop computers in the Computer Laboratory. iPads are integrated into the curriculum.
The subjects that are offered in this phase are:
- Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) for Natural Science,
- Technology and Social Sciences
- Life skills: Personal and Social well-being; Creative Arts (Art, Music and Drama); Physical Education
- Computer Technology - Technology integrated into classwork either in the Computer Laboratory or through iPad use in classrooms.
The Intermediate Phase attends an annual camp. The emphasis for the Grade 4s and 5s is on bonding, having fun and supporting one another. The Grade 6s have leadership activities and are inspired to develop these skills as they prepare to enter High School.
Chatterbugs / Chattertots are interactive groups, run by a Kids First facilitator. It aims to boost the foundation skills for effective spoken and written communication.
In the Orff Ensemble, children will play a variety of percussion instruments, which includes the special Orff melody instruments (xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels) as well as non-melodic instruments. Playing these instruments requires skills easily learned by most children and is a lot of fun. It is a wonderful way for children to play together as in a small orchestra and helps them become sensitive listeners and considerate participants. For the Grade Rs, lessons are presented with an element of 'play' and children learn at their own level of understanding through stories and nursery rhymes.
This programme, run by a Foundations For Life facilitator, focuses on nurturing a child's social and emotional competence. Social and emotional well-being is closely linked to children's school readiness and their ability to cope with life’s obstacles.
Art Club is for Grade R-6, with three different slots available dependent on age. They produce exciting mixed media projects, using a variety of different mediums and techniques. We encourage our young artists to explore their imagination whilst focussing on enjoying the creative process. In our Pre-Primary phase, we encourage our younger pupils to enjoy the process of making art rather than just focussing on the end result.
Computer science is the new language of the world, and it’s also one of the fastest growing occupations. Almost every field of human endeavour relies more and more on software and software development for success. Children need to learn how to code because computers and connected devices are what will shape their world as they grow up. Another benefit of teaching children how to code is that it builds their confidence and creativity and provides the tools to create a world of limitless possibilities, where they can build their own paths and solutions in their own way. Overall, coding is a very empowering skill. Coding is offered for two separate groups - Grade 3, and Grade 4-6, where the basics of coding will be learnt using fun games and activities.
We offer Intermediate Phase pupils the opportunity to audition for their grade’s Marimba Band. Our pupils have raw talent in abundance. The bands provide an outlet for creativity; their skills are honed and by working collaboratively to create music, these young musicians learn the value of teamwork. Our Marimba Bands perform regularly at school events as well as festivals in the community, and have achieved excellent results at the Eisteddfod.
The Drama Clubs have been divided into smaller Grade groups, with maximum fun to be achieved. The weekly sessions will stretch the imagination, explore story-telling, teach teamwork, develop self-confidence, and problem-solving will be encouraged through improvisation exercises.
Children get to learn and talk about God, what He is doing, share stories, sing and do real life lesson applications. Children from Grade 1 to 3 are welcome.
“For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.” - Margaret Heffernan. This extramural is reserved for Grade 6s.
We have a dedicated choir (Grade 2-6) who meet every Tuesday and Thursday morning before school to practice. Singing is a wonderful way to express ourselves and we sing not only to entertain, but to bring joy, inspire and uplift the listener. Our motto is service through singing.
Nifty Needlework is a practical, useful and fun activity suitable for all children from grade three onwards. The lessons are held weekly and the focus is on learning basic knitting, sewing and embroidery skills. The experience is fun and the children are always incredibly proud of their handiwork which they are able to take home at the end of the year. The benefits of learning skills such as needlework are numerous. It encourages children to follow a process in order to complete a project. It develops focus and concentration, enhances critical thinking, increases hand/eye coordination, develops small motor skills and builds self-esteem.
Playing a musical instrument requires discipline and dedication. Young Strings comprises pupils who are ready for the challenge of playing in a small ensemble. In addition to attending their individual lessons, these pupils meet once a week on a Tuesday afternoon. At Young Strings pupils learn to hone skills like awareness of blend and balance, intonation, accuracy in keeping beat, and attention to detail when reading music. More than that, they are given the opportunity for musical, academic and social-emotional growth.
Sports Hub is an outside extra mural for the Grade RR and Rs. They work with small groups working on the fundamentals of ball sports and introducing the love of sport in a fun and exciting way. Sports Hub facilitates the transformation from natural movement into competent playing of a variety of sports.
Individual music tuition is offered for the following instruments: Piano, Violin, Recorder, Flute, Fife, Classical Guitar, Electric Guitar, Voice and Drum kit. Only Violin is offered for Grade R pupils.
Pupils come together to create, organise and plan activities in order to assist the charities that Cannons Creek supports. The Outreach Club ‘work’ for many different charities (Deaf, Animal Welfare, Hatch, Cancer, Underprivileged Schools, to name but a few).
This extramural is for children who are needing some additional support with fine motor skills such as finger dexterity, cutting, control of writing tools and coordination of hands to perform tasks. It is not a replacement for Occupational Therapy which may have been recommended. Children will be selected through recommendations from the class teacher.
We explore Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics through exciting activities and projects.
Tennis is offered as an extramural for Grade R-3 pupils, either at school or at the Pinelands Tennis Club. The McCarthy Tennis Group offers a fun, yet challenging programme based on sound sport science development principles discovered and developed by leading medical and sports institutions around the world. The tennis programme has been designed to allow your child the best possibility to achieve their full potential while shaping them into sound, principled people. The tennis programme being offered to Cannons is the basis to which the above can proceed. However it must be stressed that while technique and playing ability are very important; fun, sportsmanship, and camaraderie also take a main focus at these levels.
*Please note that some of these Extracurriculars are at an extra cost.
Cannons Creek outreach is about sharing, contributing and helping others improve their quality of life. This being individuals, families and communities.
Our team encourages younger generations to give back to the community and to others less fortunate, by donating their unwanted items to less privileged communities.
Cannons cares and our primary focus in Outreach is giving. This we cannot do without the generosity of our parents, teachers and children. With everyone's wonderful support, we have brought so much joy, many smiles and much happiness to the countless individuals and communities. Thank you to the wonderful parents for always supporting the outreach team and their efforts.
Some of the organisations that we have supported are: New Beginnings, Little Footprints Educare, Salvation Army Manenberg, Sunshine Corner Educare Centre, Edu-tots Educare in Garden Village.
Each week the boys and girls and members meet to volunteer their time and skills. It takes a team, and together we can make the change.
Teaching and learning in the Primary School is enriched through the use of a variety of technology. All classes have access to the school’s Ipad bank for curriculum integration and weekly computer lessons in the Primary School’s computer room allow pupils to hone their computing skills and digital competencies.
Pupils are introduced to touch typing, learn how to conduct proper web-based research and navigate new software and applications for content creation. From Grade 1 onwards, the Primary School pupils are introduced to the school’s Google for Education suite of applications and learn how to work within a cloud-based environment.
In the later primary years, digital citizenship becomes a key focus as pupils learn how to be digitally responsible and manage themselves online in preparation for having their own personal Chromebook device in Grade 6.