The Breteau Foundation’s Digital Education Programme translates a global model to local contexts. Our country teams around the world, are able to tailor the programme’s delivery to ensure that it becomes bespoke for each and every school. In South Africa, Mona Ewees our Country Manager has been working with Heathfield Primary School to ensure that the programme works most effectively in their school context, particularly focussing on how best to differentiate learning for children across the school.
Heathfield Primary School is one of the Breteau Foundation’s flagship schools in South Africa, having joined the programme as one of our first schools in 2015 after being recommended as a deserving school with a strong leadership team and limited resources. The school received 45 Breteau education tablets in 2015, and a further 45 in 2016.
Heathfield Primary School is a clear example of how education programmes for schools must be tailored not just to country, or even region but right down to the school and individual classroom level to ensure that each individual child has the best learning experience possible. Mona has been working with the Senior Leadership and teaching staff of Heathfield to support in the optimum integration of education technology throughout the school for this end.
A particular focus for the school was how to best differentiate learning for students working at different academic levels through the use of the Digital Education Technology Kit. As with any school, within one grade class at Heathfield, teachers are targeting a range of academic levels and must differentiate learning to support all children to make progress. Prior to the introduction of the Breteau Foundation tablets, students at Heathfield Primary School were divided into ability groupings for maths based on a start of year assessment test, and reassessed by the professional judgement of their teachers. Although recommended by the education department in South Africa, as a method of inclusion, differentiation is not always evident in schools in the country and Heathfield’s focus on this area is important.