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Why Jan Kriel? »
Typical Profile
Vision and Mission

Jan Kriel School offers tuition to learners from the Readiness Grade up to Grade 12.  The curriculum offered is according to the National Revised Curriculum Statement, the same as that of mainstream schools. At the end of Grade 12 learners write the external Senior Certificate Examination of the National Education Department.

Roughly two-thirds of the learner population of Jan Kriel School are Afrikaans speaking and about one third are English speaking. We strive to unite English and Afrikaans speaking learners in a close community where the language and culture of both groups are respected and promoted.

From Grades 1 to 9 learners are grouped according to their language medium of instruction. From Grades 10 to 12 Afrikaans and English speaking learners are grouped together for their subjects of choice.

  1. Class groups are significantly smaller than in mainstream education.
  2. Teaching techniques are adapted to meet the special educational needs of learners.
  3. We strive to promote the scholastic progress of learners, restore their confidence and self-esteem and equip them with the necessary skills for re-integration into mainstream if at all possible.
  4. An occupational therapist, speech and language therapist and a physiotherapist address perceptual, language and physical backlogs experienced by learners in close cooperation with the class educators.
  5. Learners with serious reading deficiencies are assisted by providing reading and learning material on MP3 players and helping them to utilize this aid.  Tests and examination material are also presented to those learners orally or on audio also when writing the external Senior Certificate examination in Grade 12.
  6. Learners who have serious difficulties in communicating their knowledge in writing are assisted by educators and specially trained scribes to do oral tests or examinations, called amanuensis.  Extra time is granted to learners with writing difficulties or slow writing speed.
  7. Two nursing sisters are available to assist learners in need of medical care and supervision, to help monitor the regular use and effectiveness of medication (e.g. for epilepsy and ADHD) and to liaise with educators, medical professionals and parents.
  8. The services of an EEG technician are available at the school should EEG examinations be requested by a pediatrician, in order to assist with the effective control and stabilisation of epilepsy.
  9. Three psychologists handle admissions and discharges of learners.  They counsel learners regarding personal and scholastic problems, subject choices, job opportunities and study methods.  They also offer guidance to parents and coordinate the functioning of the multi-disciplinary team at the school.  A learner who needs regular or intensive therapy is usually referred to a private psychologist or psychiatrist.
  10. A social worker forms part of a team and gives guidance to parents on aspects outside the school environment that may affect the well-being of our learners.  She handles applications for subsidies as well.
  11. Our physiotherapist, together with an occupational therapist, offers therapy, job preparation (for senior learners), and specialised attention to our physically disabled learners, including those in wheelchairs.  They are also involved as trainers and organisers of sport for the disabled at our school as well as on a national level.

At Jan Kriel School tuition is offered, according to the National Curriculum, from pre-school up to grade 12.  Individual learning programmes as well as smaller class groups are conducive to our team approach and remedial outlook.

Typical Profile of Learners at JKS

Learners who benefit most from placement at Jan Kriel School are learners who, despite adequate cognitive abilities as to comprehension, reasoning, abstract thinking, verbal expression and retention, experience barriers to development and learning.

These specific barriers may manifest as:

  • significant lags in specific perceptual abilities needed for formal learning.
  • significant lags in language development (reading, spelling and/or written language).
  • significant lags in numeracy.
  • the inability to maintain concentration and complete tasks due to attention deficit and/or hyperactivity.
  • whose specific learning needs could not be significantly met by inclusive mainstream education.
  • With sensory impairments, e.g. visual or auditory, who could benefit in the school situation once the impairment has been satisfactorily addressed by appropriate apparatus.
  • With medical and physical conditions like epilepsy and physical disabilities which can be accommodated within the infrastructure of Jan Kriel School.

According to the policy of the Western Cape Education Department, learners from other provinces are not admitted to Jan Kriel School unless an arrangement, involving financial implications, can be negotiated between the directors for specialised education of the education departments involved.  Dr Theron at the Western Cape Education Department may be contacted in this regard.

Vision of Jan Kriel School

That each learner with his / her unique educational needs will achieve his / her full potential and grow towards maturity, in order to become an independent and valuable member in society.

Mission of Jan Kriel School

To use specialized and individualized structures to educate and support each learner with special educational needs (especially the learner with specific learning barriers and / or epilepsy) so that each learner may grow spiritually, intellectually and socially in realising his/ her potential.

2008 - Different, but not less
2009 - Success
2010 - Make a difference
2011 - We Build
2012 - Gratitude
2013 - I, you, we can
2014 - Knowledge Empowers
2015 - Victory from within
2016 - Do the best with what you have
2017 - Avoiding the soft option

This recognized centre of excellence for the education of learners with special needs has grown from very humble beginnings.  Ten years after the death (1925) of their 17 year old son, who suffered from epilepsy, the Rev. Kriel was elected as chairman of a general Committee of 14.  They bought the old rectory in Kuilsrivier from the Dutch Reformed Church in 1936 after the decision was made that education of children in the Jan Kriel School and Home for people with epilepsy should resort under the Department of Education.

Due to the passionate efforts and hard work of Mrs Kriel the facility was officially inaugurated on 4 May 1937.  She was a remarkable lady whose faith and perseverance moved people from all over South Africa to become friends and sponsors of the children of Jan Kriel School.  Funds were dearly needed to appoint staff, to alter buildings and to take care of the growing number of children.  Farmland was bought in 1939 and the boys were settled in the cowshed while the New School moved to the stables, accommodation being a pressing problem.

In 1942 the Dutch Reformed Church took over the Jan Kriel facility and started the vital partnership between the Department of Education and the Institute.  This led to the steady development of infrastructure and the growth of support structures that today provide opportunities for approximately 550 learners.