At Curro, we understand that learners sometimes need additional, individualised academic intervention in order to succeed. Therefore, our assisted learning schools provide high-quality support for learners who need immediate, in-class attention due to ADHD, anxiety disorders, Asperger Syndrome or other challenges. These learners follow the same mainstream curriculum offered in mainstream schools (CAPS), but teaching styles and classrooms are adapted to suit the individual needs of the learners.
These schools generally include a support team of therapists and professionals, who help learners to achieve or progress from the level at which they are currently functioning. Several schools also have assisted learning streams that provide temporary intervention to help learners reintegrate into mainstream classes.
What is assisted learning?
Assisted learning helps children who need immediate support and smaller classes in which they can get the support they need, and not risk falling behind their classmates. Learners continue to write the national matric exams (NSC) and receive the necessary support, such as concessions, provided by the National Department of Basic Education (and the school). When learners require assistance to develop increased competencies in reading or other fundamental processes, this approach ensures immediate support.
Classrooms and teaching styles are specialised
Classrooms in schools with this specialised approach are designed to promote concentration and serenity, while daily school times and schedules remain consistent throughout the year. In this way, we create a great sense of security for learners prone to emotional or routine-related needs. At Curro, we minimise visual and tactile distractions (especially for children with ADHD) by considering the learning environment as a whole. Overhead lights are strategically placed, assessments are often printed on off-yellow paper rather than stark white paper, font sizes are often enlarged on assessments and learners may apply for other assessment accommodations during exams.
Teachers at these schools are highly trained in how to handle learners with unique mental or physical needs. They build a relationship with each learner in order to understand and interpret their triggers or responses. In addition, Curro schools with this specialised approach generally have a team of therapists on site to provide remedial support when more in-depth assistance is needed.
What is the difference between assisted learning and remedial learning?
Remedial learning involves a tailored study path to address a learner’s specific difficulties and learners often remain in schools with that specialised approach throughout their school careers. Assisted learning, however, allows learners with anxiety disorders and ADHD, among other challenges, to gain immediate support while still following the traditional curriculum.
Therefore, learners need to be able to maintain the basics of the mainstream curriculum with the support provided by the school. Learners who are unable to do so, would benefit more from remedial learning.
How is assisted learning different from mainstream schooling?
Besides providing academic intervention, these schools offer a nurturing environment that helps learners to develop self-esteem and the life skills necessary to function in a mainstream society. Furthermore, learners gain access to assessment accommodations and other means of assistance that might not be available at a mainstream school.
Is this approach meant for learners with severe disabilities or impairments?
This specialised approach aims to reintegrate learners into mainstream environments. Therefore, it is not suitable for learners with high-intervention needs, such as severe physical disabilities, intellectual impairment or Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), as they may be unable to integrate into mainstream environments. Learners with severe disabilities or impairments would benefit more from remedial learning or schools that specialise in providing specific interventions.
Want to know more?
Find a school near you that offers assisted learning.