St John’s builds for the future

One of East London’s oldest heritage schools, St John’s Road Primary, will soon be able to house more pupils, thanks to the school’s newly built early childhood centre.

The new centre has four new classrooms and a play area with swings and a jungle gym. It is set to accommodate 160 pupils.

FUN TIME: St John’s Primary has a brand new grade R classes and a new playground. PICTURE: Sibongile Ngalwa

This comes as an early birthday present, as the school will be celebrating its 107th year next month.

The preschool area was built for the school by the department of education.

Provincial education spokesman Malibongwe Mtima said: “It’s a commitment of department to ensure that all its pupils learn in an environment fit for teaching and learning.”

The North End school is close to the heart of East London, and has 1 691 pupils.

Principal of the school Lorenzo du Plooy said the new space would have a positive impact on pupils.

“The growth and strength of a school is always measured by its foundation phase. The solid foundation a pupil receives makes promotion and progression into higher grades easier.”

The school has weathered many seasons over the years. For the last six years it has been housing grade zero to nine pupils, acting as a high school to accommodate the influx of Grade 8 and 9 pupils.

This year it was rationed down, and has gone back to being a primary school.

The building of the preschool area began in the middle of 2016, and was completed this month. The keys were officially handed over to staff members last Tuesday.

The school’s head of the Early childhood development and foundation phase Cassie Plaatjes, said: “Previously the preschool took up classes that were allocated for primary pupils. Emphasis must be placed on the development of the pupils prior to coming to ‘big school’.”

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