Being a small school with a favourable teacher- pupil ratio, our dedicated teachers are committed to creating an environment in which each girl can develop a lifelong passion for learning. Within this nurturing atmosphere, girls can feel safe to make mistakes and, in so doing, discover themselves. Girls are encouraged to build resilience in order to have the confidence to face new realities and embrace challenges with courage and determination.
Whilst reading, writing and arithmetic remain the core of our curriculum, we also seek to develop the following values:
Girls are encouraged to be original and imaginative in their thinking, trying out different solutions and evaluating their effectiveness, whilst also having the confidence to consider alternative approaches to comprehension and understanding.
Girls are taught to use all forms of communication, whether written or verbal. They are given the tools and confidence to be curious, ask questions and explore different methods of finding answers. In addition, they are given opportunities to be heard, as well as learning to listen attentively and effectively.
Girls learn to work effectively in groups, developing flexibility, cooperation, tolerance and the ability to compromise to achieve a common goal.
Girls acquire the skills to analyse, evaluate, understand complexity and solve problems.
The Learning Hub
The Learning Hub is a centre for dynamic learning which promotes innovative approaches to inquiry-based teaching and learning for all students and staff. It is a shared learning space designed to engender contemporary learners with capacities for critical, creative and reflective thinking through inquiry and problem solving, and appropriate use of ICT.
Although catering for collaborative and individual learning, it also provides a relaxed and restful space just to be. Guiding and directing all the activities is the Learning Hub Director. Her constant presence means that she can discuss the girls’ interests and help them choose age-appropriate books to read. She is also available to help and support girls working on the iPads and assists with the integration of technology into the curriculum.
Art lessons taught by a specialist teacher take place in the beautiful, spacious, light and well-equipped Art Room. At DSG we are able to offer a wide range of arts and crafts in many mediums, and the girls approach their art work with great enthusiasm. Creativity and self-expression are the key elements of the art programme and it is rewarding to see how children develop through their interpretation of subjects and media throughout their time in the Junior School.
In the weekly drama classes, the girls are taught to express themselves through characterisation, performance and voice projection. Drama teaches learners more about themselves and develops confidence, as we explore many themes throughout the year, play games and improve communication skills. In addition to the annual whole school production, girls have the opportunity to take part in regional inter-school art festivals.
Girls who love to dance can learn either ballet or contemporary modern. The girls are given opportunities to perform in productions and there are optional external assessments for those who wish to progress formally.
Music is an integral part of the daily lives of the girls. Two full-time music teachers operate from our campus, while a number of part-time teachers assist with lessons on instruments such as piano, flute, violin, saxophone, clarinet, cello, percussion, trumpet and guitar. In addition to class music, the girls are encouraged to be part of ensembles and bands,or perhaps participate in the Junior Choir. There are plenty of opportunities for our young musicians and singers to perform throughout the year.
Design & Technology
The Design and Technology curriculum is designed to encompass skills such as creativity, innovation, team work and problem solving. Each year, the girls produce wonderfully innovative creations.
Clubs & Societies
Involvement in various clubs and societies creates opportunities for girls to develop and expand different aspects of their skill sets. Each term the girls are encouraged to dip their toes into something different. From expressing their creativity through embroidery, expanding their spiritual knowledge through a Bible study, learning editorial and journalistic skills through the Media Club, leanring Sign Language or principles of demand and supply in the Entrepreneurs’ Club.
We have the privilege of having access to the Eastern Cape’s sprawling hills and valleys in our back yard and incorporate nature in our curriculum in our extensive outdoor education programme.
Community Engagement is an essential part of life at the DSG. We encourage our girls to recognise that as they give of their time and energy to others, there will be concomitant personal growth. We give our girls the opportunity to engage with others and, in so doing, begin to see similarities and appreciate their differences. We believe that in reaching out to others, girls will learn they can have a positive effect on the school, the community and the nation. Regular outreach activities have included visiting residents of a local retirement home, helping at the SPCA and tutoring students who come from schools with limited resources.