Thuthukani Preschool is an Early Intervention Centre, and Partial Care Facility, that accepts learners with special educational needs. Children with Autism, ADHD, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy or any other significant developmental delays or disorders are catered for. Unfortunately there is no other affordable school in our area that caters for the needs of these learners, and therefore Thuthukani Preschool was ‘born’ as a Mission project of the Mission of Lutheran Churches and the St. John’s Lutheran Parish in Shelly Beach.
Lene Schnackenberg opened the doors of Thuthukani Preschool in her home on the 1st of September 2014.
Thuthukani Preschool provides a structured, well planned, Christian environment, on the premises of the St. John’s Lutheran Church, in the Manse, where learners are given optimal opportunities to develop physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually to their full potential. Due to the high educator to learner ratio both the learners and educators are fully involved with the educational activities. Within limits, the children are free to select and explore learning activities at their own pace and according to their own interests and abilities.
Unfortunately we are running out of space, as there are no more bedrooms in the house available to transform into classrooms…but luckily – The Lord has heard our prayers and answers them in ways that are much better than our own ideas and answers could ever be…
The couple Hanlie and Kingsley du Plessis had a 17 year old daughter, Megan, with Special Needs. She sadly passed away in 2016. After 1 year of mourning they are now ready to pursue a project they have had in mind for some time. They own a farm in Marina Beach, Bushy Vales, with a big shed on it, which they would like to transform into a Special Needs Centre, especially for older children. Lene approached them and asked if Thuthukani Preschool could ‘join’ their project – and they approved!
So we are in the process of developing and opening ‘Megan du Plessis Special Needs Centre’, in remembrance of Megan and to the glory of God, in 2018. This new Centre will be the Happy Place for many and our joy, expertise and passion will continue as it has in the past at Thuthukani Preschool.
Many renovations and alterations need to be done, and are being done at the shed and the Senior Sections of the Centre needs to be designed and developed.
As a Partial Care Facility we are not bound down to a specific Daily Routine with a specific curriculum. To ensure optimal learning and development however the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) from the Department of Education will be used as a foundation to all learning activities.
The curriculum will be adapted to meet the needs and circumstances of the learners. The preschool curriculum is based on themes selected by the educators. The Daily Routine for the older learners includes many activities that form the foundation of life skills. These include arts and crafts, home industry and maintenance, community and environmental projects, gardening, computer skills, basic hygiene and safety.
A trans-disciplinary team, including the educators and facilitators, speech and occupational therapists and a counselling psychologist work closely together to ensure development for each individual learner.
Learners are assessed on a continual basis according to observations, parent-interviews, assessments, portfolios, learners’ behaviour and development. Detailed written reports are distributed in June and December.
Thuthukani Preschool accepts learners from 3 years old to the age of about 14 years, and once our Senior Section is up and running we will accept learners from the age of 14 to 30. The teacher to learner ratio of 1:5 ensures good individual attention. If we have 8 learners per group an assistant will join the group. The learners we accept need to be teachable. We are unable to accommodate learners who need total one-on-one care in order to cope with the daily routine or who are completely unable to help themselves in any situation.