Thuthukani Preschool is an Early Intervention Centre, Grade R and Grade 1, 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.

The CAPS curriculum, introduced by the Department of Basic Education, is adapted to meet the needs of learners in the Foundation Phase. The Early Childhood Development Phase curriculum is based on themes selected by the educators. A trans-disciplinary team, including the educators, speech and occupational therapists and a counselling psychologist work closely together developing Individual Education Development Plans (IEDP’s) for each learner. These are reviewed frequently.

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 Grade 1. A maximum of 8 learners are  accommodated per group with a teacher and an assistant in the preschool and a maximum of 5 learners with a teacher in the Foundation Phase.

Thuthukani Preschool is an Early Intervention Centre, Grade R and Grade 1, 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.





7:00 – 8:00
Free Play
Toilet Routine (Informal)


Indoor & Outdoor Puzzles
Morning Ring
Days of the week
Bible story & prayer
Theme Related Activity
The same for 4 days
Fridays – baking
Toilet Routine
Music Ring
Free play
Play dough
OT Ring
10:30 – 11:30
Clever work
Free Play
Cut & Paste
11:30 – 11:40
Toilet Routine (Informal)
11:40 – 11:50
Story time
11:50 – 12:00
Home time


Thuthukani Preschool will accept learners from 3 years of age up to Grade 1 learners, subject to availability.

Each individual learner will be given an observation period  of two weeks to determine if this environment is definitely beneficial for the learner. If however, during the course of the learner’s attendance at Thuthukani Preschool it becomes clear that this environment is not beneficial for the learner, the parents will be notified, advised and together with the interdisciplinary team a solution will be looked for and hopefully found.


A maximum of 8 learners will be accepted in the Preschool class and a maximum of 5 learners in Grade R and Grade 1.


We thank the LORD for all His kindness and generosity, for our wonderful   school, for our happy place! We ask the LORD to bless Thuthukani Preschool.  Bless the therapists, teachers, parents and learners and we ask that each child may grow according to his or her ability.

  • We ask the LORD that he will guide and assist us teachers to do our job well. To give us kindness and patience to help the learners grow according to His will.
  • We ask for premises that will provide for necessary space and security, for a school that can accommodate those in need.
  • A prayer for parents…Dear Lord, heavenly Father, You have blessed us with the joy and care of children, with this joy comes anxiety, exhaustion and pain.  I ask you for calm strength and patient wisdom to deal with each situation in a way that is according to Your will.  I thank you for the blessings You have bestowed upon me, to whom You have entrusted the care of my very special child. Forgive my shortcomings and failures as parents and grant me Your grace that I might faithfully bring up my child in Your nurture and instruction with love and kindness.  Send Your holy angel to watch over my dear child and protect him/her from all harm and all danger, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Thuthukani Preschool accepts learners from 3 years old to Grade 1.

A maximum of 8 learners are accommodated per group with a teacher and an assistant in the preschool and a maximum of 5 learners with a teacher in the Foundation Phase.




I thoroughly enjoy the interaction with the parents and therapists involved in our school, and I really hope that the changes we are making in each life of these little children will be a memorable and positive one.



I needed to find out more about Special Needs children, as I have a son with Special Needs myself. I find Special Needs children very interesting and started to work at Thuthukani Preschool in January 2016.



I am a speech-Language Pathologist who holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Psychology and Political Science and a Bachelor of Science in Speech Language Pathology (UCT).




Joyce has been working at Thuthukani Preschool, as a Teacher assistant, since the day the doors were opened.



I am very passionate about my job and I am willing to learn more about Autism, especially what the causes are. I love working at Thuthukani Preschool, I work with such great people. I feel very blessed to have met these beautiful souls. May God bless them abundantly.



As I am a pastor my role is to participate in the interdisciplinary counselling team and to hold the chapel devotion on Fridays with children and teachers.




I visit Thuthukani once a week to see how the programme is going and assist the teachers with adjustments/needs that surface. I love working with the kids and am passionate to see them progress in their bodies.



I am a Narrative Therapist with 10 years in private practice. A significant portion of my work is dedicated to connecting with children and their families to help with difficulties at school, with behaviour and with adjusting to new and unfamiliar circumstances.




We are two women from Denmark, and in January 2016 we were volunteers in Thuthukani Preschool. Marie is a social assistant in a home for elderly people. Ninna is a medical secretary and works in an emergency room. We had planned to travel to South Africa for four weeks and wanted to do some volunteering in one of these weeks. Therefore, we google'd mission in South Africa and contacted a Danish church, who through a German sister church led us to Lene and the Thuthukani Preschool in Shelly Beach. In Thuthukani Preschool we had the joy of getting to know the wonderful kids, and we got the opportunity to participate in the different activities like painting, the circle, baking cupcakes, playing on the playground etc. We felt that we quickly became a part of the place and Lene was exceptional to involve us in the work, and soon saw our strengths and used them. We also felt an openness from the kids, and they let us be a part of their lives for one week. We are so blessed and grateful for the week in Thuthukani Preschool, and we cherish the work that Lene and the other workers are doing. They have a high level of professionalism, patience and commitment in the work.
We thank you all for a great week, and we hope to visit you again soon.
God bless! The best wishes from Marie and Ninna.


I'm 24 years old and I come from Germany. I‘m studying special education and English to become a teacher. During my university vacation in August and September 2015 I spent 3 weeks at Thuthukani Preschool as a volunteer. During this time I always experienced Thuthukani as a happy, small and sheltered place for kids with special needs, where they have a well-structured and stimulating environment in which they can develop in their own pace according to their abilities. The staff is of a loving and caring nature – always in direct contact with the children, their parents as well as other staff members like occupational therapists, speech therapists and psychologists.Generally, Thuthukani Preschool is a wonderful place for kids with special needs to become fit for life 🙂



I am 19 years old and I am from Germany. From October until December 2015 I worked in the Preschool as a volunteer and lived with the host family Schnackenbergs. It was a very good experience for me to work with the Special Needs children. Every day was a special day because the kids made it so special. It was always fun and I was especially happy if one child made progress. It was always nice to work with Lene and Joyce. Due to the fact that I had learned so much I decided to study German languages and Special Education and become a Preschool teacher for Special Needs children like Lene is. I’d love to come back one day to help in the preschool again!



My name is Linea. I am 26 years old and I finished my studies for education at the end of September 2016, in Lüneburg. My time at Thuthukani Preschol and with the family Schnackenberg, brings back happy feelings, memories and pictures. It was a good idea to take this time out between studying and starting to work. Thank you for everything!!! Every single one of you and every child 'changed' me in a special way!