A Centre of Excellence in the Community, for the Community
Bellavista School (est, 1967) is a small remedial school, centrally situated in Johannesburg, Gauteng. It is a Non-Profit Organization with a PBO status. Bellavista is a member of The Independent School Association of Southern Africa, The British Dyslexia Association, The International Dyslexia Association and SAALED (South African Association for Learners with Educational Differences). The well-established assessment centre is registered with the Board of Health Funders and has a practice number as a child development clinic. The school is 50 years old and celebrates a legacy of excellent delivery over the decades. Past learners of the school continue to call in and drop word of their progress and success later in life.
Bellavista was founded with the purpose of delivering the curriculum to learners with barriers to learning that prohibits them from participating in mainstream education systems. It is a co-educational school from Grade R to Grade 7 (ages 5 to 14) that attempts to offer:
- intervention to remediate difficulties;
- excellence in education;
- an inclusive, multi-cultural environment that prepares children for the long-term world of work and a meaningful place in society.
Bellavista School, based in Rosebank, comprises of some 240 learners drawn from a broad demographic region across Gauteng. Learners travel from the East and West Rand, Sandton, Randburg, Alberton and Soweto to receive the support they need. For the majority of the families, attendance at the school requires some financial sacrifice, others are supported through bursaries sourced or provided by the school. The school has an open admissions policy and will, when placement allows, accommodate all learners who have been identified as having learning potential but are presenting with barriers to learning.
The full staff complement sustains a very favourable learner: staff member ratio. Each learner is allocated a multi-disciplinary team to assess, monitor and devise intervention programmes. The team might include a Speech Therapist, an Occupational Therapist, a Psychologist, a Remedial Therapist and an experienced teacher. Because the school believes in the whole child, sports coaches and facilitators are also contracted to the school. The school’s budget is substantially loaded towards salaries and a small portion only to other basic operational overheads so as to afford the learners the maximum attention possible. Staff members are highly trained, skilled professionals who have a deep-seated motivation to see and reach the potential in every child. Bellavista invests considerably in staff development and training and each professional member is encouraged to journey as lifelong learners. Staff turnover is minimal.
Bellavista School is governed by a Board of Governors comprising of parents past and present. The members of the Board freely and generously give of their time and expertise, offering sound governance, legislative compliance advice and prudent financial management of the school’s affairs. The Board guards the ethos of the school and ensures its past and future legacy.
Apart from a genuine, deep sense of care for each and every individual under its wing, Bellavista School, that being its Board of Governors, staff and parents, is committed to pursue research based, cutting edge intervention strategies that will offer its learners the best possible chance of reaching their full potential. The school is relevant not only to remedial education but to best practice in education in its entirety.