• Synergy Schooling
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These are things we celebrate and love about our school and this approach.

Social Integration

Social Integration is one of my favorite parts of the day here at Synergy. It gives everyone a chance to reconnect from the previous day and discuss anything that might be upcoming. It is such a wonderful start to the day and it is amazing to see the fun that the parents have with the learners. A great Social Integration time makes for a really great day. I look forward to many more here at Synergy.

Multi-age time at Synergy

I am a new teacher at Synergy. Everyday I am stopped in my tracks as I experience something new and deeply moving especially when it comes to noticing powerful, healthy ways to communicate.

Such was the case when last Wednesday, Synergy held a 45 min multi-age session. This is when small groups of children meet for 45 min at a time every second Wednesday. Each group is made up of children representing all the classes and ages of the school. This was the first session and the task was to, together as a group come up with ideas of what they could do in the next sessions. They had to be activities that could embrace all ages. What struck me was the sensitivity, consideration and repect that passed back and forth between the younger and older children as they brainstormed activities that they could take on.

At one point I heard an older boy of eleven answer a petite little four year old girl who had asked to do ballet, "Mmm,I think it might be possible for us all to do ballet."

"Or," said the petite little girl. "I can learn to do rugby."

So simple, so profound.

Teachers in training!

On the last day of holidays we hosted 20 teachers for continued training and development. It was a great day, exploring what had opened up since their last development workshop, and then deepening the skills of conflict resolution. Questions were answered, technicalities explained, new insights explored and shared. My sense is that an awareness was cultivated that by increasing our consciousness and communication skills, we can radically change our classroom environment and the quality of our interactions with ALL people surrounding us. That’s right, RADICALLY change the quality of those interactions! And it is possible and not only for the elite Gurus out there, but accessible to each and every one of us.

Some Feedback

What an amazing day. Through the skill training and role playing I really got that these skills can make a huge difference to me in my life, let alone in the classroom. Why weren't we taught these in college?

and another

I had heard about the Synergy Schooling Approach before, but after coming here today I can actually see (and experience) that this is what education is actually all about. People, people, people. And to increase the quality of these relationships, we need to increase our awareness levels and our communication skills. I am so excited to come back and learn more!

Transformation in action!

Synergy School held a 4 day workshop for 52 teachers based on coaching and empowerment training. These teachers came from local and national schools to experience the possibility of making a difference to their own lives, as well as the lives of the children they teach.

This project falls under the Synergy Vision of tranforming teachers into passionate individuals who really know how to consciously make a difference to the lives of the children in their care.

Changing people's lives

A parent shared this with me the other day. It brought a smile to my face: "Being part of this school has really changed the quality of the relationships in our family. I can see the growth in my child, visibly and tangibly. The skills we have learnt as parents in supporting the development of our children have actually supported ALL the relationships in our family, most especially those between my partner and myself.

I had never thought that an institution like a school could so deeply change the positive well being of a child and subsequently the family. For this, I am deeply humbled and in gratitude."

Parent Sharing After our workshop on Self Esteem

Hi Robin

I just want to say thank you very much for an incredibly insightful and powerful workshop over the last 7 weeks. What I've learnt has been incredible and armed me with tools that I never realised were out there. We all strive to be better parents but with a slight shift of vision we can really attain this goal and guide our children to be successful adults.

I have found it challenging and sometimes incredibly difficult to put in place what I've learnt but when it's worked, it certainly has been so rewarding to see the results and the positive responses from the kids. It's going to be a journey but armed with those amazing tools that I've amassed during these 7 weeks, it's going to be quite a ride. As I said this morning, it's not only affected my relationship with my kids but with my work colleagues, friends, family and husband.

Again, thanks very much Robin.... you certainly know your stuff and I'm humbled by the deep insight, thought and passion that goes into your work. I'm certainly privileged to be part of the Synergy team !

We made the best decision!

We have only been at Synergy for a month now and my boys are incredibly happy. The growth we have seen in the month has been so inspiring and assuring that we have made one of the best decisions in changing our boys from a main stream school (Bishops) to Synergy! What a privilege for our boys to experience a system like the Synergy Schooling!

Soccer for Fun

On Monday the Under 9 soccer team played a match for the first time this year. What I love is that anyone who wanted to play got to play in the game. The focus was on having fun. I heard some of the conversation just after the game where kids were being so complimentary to each other and about each other and the way they had played. A healthy sense of competition had excited them all. Of course all the proud (and loud) Synergy moms yelling encouragement from the sideline was delightful.

Playing soccer!

When a school community gets together and plays soccer, whether they were 3 years old or 38 years old, there is lots of fun to be had.

And then, after an afternoon of playing, they get together and have a social evening of friends and family, this is what this school is all about.

Activities like these are carefully designed to bring us all together as a community of people who value feeling connected.

Living and Learning Together.

A box of chocolates

I love watching visitors and new children's faces when they enter our gate and see the playground for the first time. Our school is unassuming viewed from Kommetjie Road and one could be forgiven for being unsure of what to expect. Once you pass the gate and before you lay the scooter track and a giant sandpit with pulleys and climbing frames and trees so perfect for climbing and, and , and... You can't help but be filled with a sense of wonder. (and as an adult a little jealousy that your playground didn't look like that when you were a kid)

From my office I have a great view of the playground and the magic continues on a daily basis when I see children explore and expand their abilities, interact with peers, teachers and their parents, build friendships, learn lifeskills and grow in their confidence and self esteem.

So, that's why I think of our school as a box of chocolates. The good stuff is on the inside.

Synergy up there with the International Trends

An ex-Synergy Teacher emigrated to Australia. She writes back sharing what she sees.

"I am so enjoying being part of an international system and being inspired by what's happening world wide. More and more focus is on the emotional well being of the child and the teachers becoming competent in communication with the children in this way. (But let me tell you that many things that are happening in SA, especially what you are creating at Synergy, is right up there with international trends.)"

Parent Connections

The relationships I have made with parents at Synergy have been rich and rewarding. You know who you are. I have had amazing conversations, have recieved ongoing support and I know I can rely on you. Thanks for your friendship and always being there. I think this, intuitively, has a positive impact on our children as well knowing that there are play dates and relationships built amongst us. These relationships are founded on trust and trust in the community feeds upon itself.

Regards

Gav 

What a great Journal! So insightful.

I just wanted to acknowledge you for your superb journals! They make for interesting reading and I love your insight into the days activities and the growth of the children.
I am also impressed with the manner in which you addressed the “situation” with Bay and Tahra last week by promoting a general discussion in morning ring.
It’s been a pleasure being a parent in your class so far.

Giving my child the best

My husband and I visited Synergy 2 days before school started and we were assured that the environment and the teacher, Cindy, would be the natural transition for Gilah into a schooling situation. Synergy offers a hands-on, nurturing approach to learning that embodies both the philosophy and the methodology that I want for my child. Having been intimately involved in the education process through home schooling I have found Synergy to provide an extension of learning in a similar loving and nurturing way, that moreover, gives Gilah the space to explore her independence.

A place of Emotional Intelligence

Our youngest 4-year-old son cried every morning and did not want to go to his old pre-school. He was unhappy, that was clear and he did not have enough words to tell mom and dad what was wrong. The misery of the youngest family member made the whole family unhappy. In retrospect, it seems crazy that we did not change schools sooner especially as it only took him 3 days to settle at Synergy. He is now smiling in the morning and what a smile that is; it makes the whole family happy! This year, our middle son has joined Synergy. He is enjoying a new school experience with an amazing teacher who makes every school day new and interesting. Our family wishes that Synergy also had a High School so our oldest son could join. Who knows, the way staff and parents work together at Synergy might make this happen

Synergy as an International School

Synergy is more then a great school with professional and engaged teachers who also are life-coaches. Synergy has become a feel-good place for our whole family. Coming from Scandinavia this is the first school in South Africa we recognize as having a similar philosophy to Swedish and Norwegian schools.”

Support from Synergy

Jason our 3 year old started at Synergy on Wednesday. He has had fantastic support from his teacher Debbie in many respects. The feedback we have had on how he has settled and the information on daily journals have been very encouraging. Kerri, Haley's teacher has also allowed Haley our 5 year old to regularly look in on Jason to make him feel comfortable and to see if he is ok. The interaction, the affirming words, the sms's and phonecalls and the information available make us as parents feel very secure that our little boy is well looked after in his very first experience of school - thanks to Robin, Debbie, Kerri and Annette in particular!!

Celebrating working at Synergy

I am celebrating working at Synergy School because Synergy gives me the space to be who I am and supports me in my studies in becoming a core teacher. I am also celebrating the fabulous staff members we have!
Victoria.
Assistant teacher.

Watching it all unfold- staff as emerging leaders

As the principal of the school, I love to see the staff meetings where I need to play less and less of a leadership role. I see the staff themselves taking on new inspired leadership roles and the sense of the meetings being run and organized as a collective. Every week a different staff member manages the meeting such that everyone refines and re-defines themselves as competent leaders. Now we sit around a table as a group of competent and dynamic leaders. Synergy is cultivating the leaders of tomorrow such that leadership is about passion, skill, competence and awareness. I judge my job well done when I need to say less and less. Well done to the Synergy Staff!

What I am celebrating about working at Synergy

What I am celebrating about working at Synergy:

  • having the space to grow and develop as a teacher with great support and many opportuntities
  • having parents in my group that care for me and take a genuine interest in my life
  • seeing children grow and develop and change on so many levels
  • seeing children change from being scared and unsure to being confident, courageous and empowered
  • seeing children manage conflict with respect and doing so independently
  • being able to create a curriculum for my class that they find inspiring and meaningful. That centres around things that they are interested and motivated to learn about
  • knowing and experiencing that with challenges also comes growth. Knowing that I am growing here!
  • being part of pioneering an exciting approach to education that deeply values children. Where there is en emphasis on empowering children: respecting them and supporting them to develop powerful communication skills. I love the way that we treat children at Synergy, through this they learn to value each other and themselves!

The thing that I find amazing

The thing that I find amazing is the difference an empowered teacher makes in the classroom. Never before have I seen such growth of children than when their teachers take their own growth on.