At UCS we take a holistic approach when it comes to our learners’ education, encouraging both personal and academic growth in all our children. While we place emphasis on academic excellence, we also recognise the importance of extra-curricular activities. Many of the children who enrol at UCS come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Their spiritual and social wellbeing is therefore of the utmost importance to us. Our programmes and facilities are geared to empower our learners and provide them with the all-round confidence to succeed.
MATHS & SCIENCE
With donor support, UCS opened a Maths and Science Centre in 2010 which boosts the interest and study of these critical subjects. We have also been selected as the Gauteng base for the highly successful Living Maths programme, which provides learners with an advanced foundation in mathematics as well as enrichment in science, free of charge. It uses games, mysteries, brain teasers and a host of fun activities plus workshops to stimulate and inspire the learners. The Living Maths Olympiad has become extremely popular. This innovative programme is open to all learners living in and around Yeoville and has had a significant impact on the community over the years. Find out more about the Living Maths programme here: www.livingmaths.com.
We are also privileged to have teachers on our staff who have set mathematics and science exam papers for the Gauteng Department of Education.
Our well-equipped computer lab is used daily for teaching computer literacy as well as providing the learners with access to online research and resources. We employ a qualified IT teacher to teach computer skills to the children at UCS.
Over and above the computer lab, every class room is decked out with an interactive whiteboard and all the teachers are equipped with laptops. This enables UCS to stay ahead of the most modern teaching methodologies. The learners are also motivated and excited by the engaging digital communication in the class rooms as the whiteboards offer access to online videos, websites, graphics and other resources which enhance their learning.
At UCS we recognise the importance of developing well-rounded children and giving our learners the opportunity to blossom into the great young citizens they are.
Our access to sports facilities is limited but we make up for it in other ways. Thanks to our relationship with Sacred Heart Convent in neighbouring Observatory, we are able to use their facilities for fun sports days.
We are also exceptionally fortunate in frequently being invited to participate in innovative initiatives. Examples of recent highlights are: UCS participated in the Dreamgirls pilot programme for empowering young females; learners were involved in a “Little Millionaire’s Club” workshop; UCS was one of the schools in South Africa invited to join in a Q&A session with the CEO of NASA; and we’ve even been able to experience firewalking!
We encourage poetry, story-telling, debates, motivational presentations, singing and dance, and our learners frequently perform or present their contributions at our school assemblies. The result is a lively and enthusiastic culture of participation.
FULL TIME SOCIAL WORKER
As part of our supportive and caring policies, we employ a full-time social worker to work with the learners. As many learners come from child-headed homes or troubled backgrounds we provide this service as an additional layer of support. Our social worker also facilitates our career guidance counselling and is available to the teachers if they require support.
EDUCATING EDUCATORS – INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME
Because we believe good teachers make all the difference to the development of our learners, we run our own internship programme for student teachers. Currently there are ten intern teachers participating in this programme, through which we are able to groom and develop our own teachers for UCS. We identify suitable candidates and invite them to join the programme, and in 2017 we hired our first two ex-learners, former UCS Matriculants, to intern with us.
Candidates are selected on the basis of economic need as well as their personality traits – they must be passionate, committed, proactive and positive by nature. The candidates are enrolled at UNISA to study for a diploma or degree in their spare time while they teach and job-shadow at the school. Our teachers mentor the interns, ensuring that they learn the caring and nurturing UCS culture.