Bridge Reporter —
HARARE school, Rishworth House, situated in the northern suburb of Hogerty Hill, has endeavored to stick to their vision of educating the whole person by following a curriculum that does not only concentrate on the academics.
Established in January 2015, the school which accommodates pupils from crèche to Grade 7 has seen its enrolment increase steadily, from an initial compliment of 40 pupils in 2015 to 160 pupils.
This is largely because of the investments they are making to have an institution that caters for all the pupils’ needs.
The Sunday Mail Bridge heard from Joanne Martin, the specialist art teacher at Rishworth House and she emphasized on the school’s vision,
“Rishworth House has embarked on an infrastructural development programme to enhance the sporting facilities as the student numbers now allow the formation of teams to participate in competitive sports. Outdoor facilities like a fully equipped playground and two all-weather multipurpose tennis, volleyball, netball and basketball courts. Work is in progress to complete the 25-metre Olympic swimming pool as well as the sports field to cater for rugby, soccer, hockey, athletics etc. There is still a large area of land reserved for future developments at the school. The current infrastructure can sustain a total of 340 students,” she said.
A multiracial, multicultural school, which follows both the Zimsec and Cambridge syllabus, Rishworth House’s first Cambridge Assessments are scheduled for later in the year and the 2017 Grade 6 class will be first class to sit for these assessments. The Zimsec syllabus was amended in 2016 and there will be some changes this year which the school will incorporate within the Ministry of Education’s guidelines after their 2016 Grade 7 class became the first to write the Zimsec examinations last year.
“At Rishworth House we provide a competent foundation for education through our Creche and Nursery School Department. Children as young as Two years old are accepted into our baby class and they move through the classes up to the Grade 0 class where they are expertly tutored and prepared to cope with the demands of Grade 1 which is the start of formal education. A Grade 0 Graduation Ceremony is held yearly to honour the students for their hard work and effort. The department is well equipped with different work areas to support all the developmental needs of the students according to their age groups. Students from our Grade 0 class get first preference into our Grade One classes,” said Joanne.
On the IT side, the school boasts a fully equipped IT laboratory which is used by all grades. The IT laboratory is supported by the Computer society of Zimbabwe and the children benefit from the CSZs e-learner programme, the precursor to the well-known International Computer Driver’s Licence(ICDL).
Joanne added that the school also boasts a library which contains both fiction and reference books, all arranged by reading ability and grade. The children take great pride in their library and make frequent book donations. In addition, pupils from Grades One to Four hone their reading skills by using the New Way reading scheme.
As the Teacher in Charge of Art, Joanne’s pupils’ artwork can be seen on display throughout the school.
The School’s choir rehearses under the expert tutelage of well-known musician Prudence Katomene-Mbofana and, in its first appearance in the National Institute of Allied Arts Eistedfodd, was awarded a First Grade certificate. The choir gave a memorable performance at the school’s 2015 and 2016 Carol Concerts and both performances were a fantastic end to the last Term of the Year. Music features as a class subject on the morning timetable, as does French.
“In the spirit of a holistic approach to education, Rishworth House held its first Entrepreneurs’ Day in November 2016. This was done to encourage an entrepreneurial character among the students. Today’s world is a competitive jungle and students need to learn skills to survive even in the toughest of conditions. Each student came up with an idea of something to sell as well as a design for their stall to make it attractive and inviting. They were also responsible for all the advertising and selling of their products, with some help from the parents of course. This was a resounding success!,” said Joanne.
On the sports front Rishworth House has competed in cross-country invitationals at several CHISZ schools, home fixtures have been played on the newly completed courts and rugby matches are played on an away basis, pending the completion of the sports field. PE is also incorporated as a lesson everyday for all the classes.
Joanne said that, “Owing to our low student to teacher ratio each child is given individual attention and lessons are conducted based on the students’ needs.”
And on diet, she said, “The school has a canteen with a kitchen where healthy meals are prepared. Students and staff members use the school’s dining hall to enjoy their meals at break and lunch times. Afternoon activities are conducted after lunch until 3.30pm with students taking various activities according to their capabilities. These activities cover supervised homework, sports and clubs which vary depending on the school term and calendar.”
Rishworth House approaches its second anniversary having made its mark on the Harare educational map. The school strives to constantly improve its facilities and prides itself in offering an all-round private school education to its pupils whilst keeping its fees at modest levels.
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