A School for Life
The Preschool program is based on Montessori and Charlotte Mason principles while the primary school academic curriculum we have chosen is based on Charlotte Mason’s approach to education which emphasizes kindness, disciplined self-motivation, a love of learning, and a passion for nature. The subjects include , mathematics based on Singapore maths, social sciences (geography and history), science & biology, and English (including literature and poetry) and conversational Afrikaans, all based on what we term "living" books - the kind of books you love to pour over and read with enthusiasm - not musty old text books.
We also do Composer study, where we study famous composers and their music, picture study, where we study famous artists and their work and nature study here we paint and draw from living nature while we learn.
The High school is based on the same Charlotte Mason principles in primary school and a combination of the subjects in primary school and international online program, that allows each student to work at their own pace and receive individual attention while doing so. In the following subjects: Maths, Science (including Biology), English and Social Studies (including History and Geography)
The program we use encorages critical thing and not rote learning or parroting information. This skill of critical thinking is essential for success, whether in further tertiary education, business or life.
The Aim is to be ready to start studying for the internationally recognised General Education Diploma (or GED) from as early as 16 years of age, enabling the student to write their exams by 17 years.
The GED® program is the only higher secondary certificate available in over 85 countries and accepted by nearly all universities in the U.S. and many across the world.
75 years of trust and recognition
GED Testing Service is a joint venture between the American Council on Education and Pearson, a leading global education company. Over 20 million GED graduates around the world have gone on to attend university in the U.S. and other countries.
Why choose the GED?
Narration is the basic methodology of Charlotte Mason education. Narration is an active retelling of what the student has heard and learned. Such a retelling requires the use of the child’s whole mind as well as their memory, and demands careful attention to a single reading of the source, without review and repetitions. The Daniel Academy students do the scholar’s work of the first hand reading of primary sources of literary merit that present inspiring ideas in all subjects, not dry, pre-digested facts and texts. Their study also includes direct contact and observation of real objects from nature (plants, minerals, animals, the elements), and art, music, and other human discipline (maps, instruments, machines).
Charlotte Mason encourged children to spend at least 6 hours a day outdoors. The school activities and curricula will be proactive in encouraging this – weather permitting.
Unless otherwise specified, all students in primary and high school participate in the following disciplines every week:
Formal instruction in technique and various media is introduced throughout the grades, providing experience, observation, and study. This is included in Nature Study.
Readings are selected from the Bible that will inspire the students to develop Godly character as well as instructing in the knowledge of God and the knowledge of man.
Beginning in Grade four, students read about men and women in relationship with self and others in choosing the good and refusing the evil, as well as their contributions of service to society.
The students are acquainted with two classical composers and several of their works in every grade, cultivating taste and appreciation for classical music.
In the beginning years, students are solely acquainted with oral composition in the form of narration. Narration is continued daily throughout the grades as a method of assimilating information. Written composition is begun in Grade three with work in description, and continues throughout the grades, resulting in formal research projects.
Each week, students copy beautifully a well-written text, noting spelling, grammar, and punctuation from a classroom text or something studied. Later they are called upon to write a portion or the whole of what has been copied, as it is dictated to them.
The school aims to produce a play regularly involving all of the students.
Students are taught to read, communicate and enjoy the Afrikaans language.
Atlases are used throughout the days as a reference in areas of study, as geography is naturally integrated into the curriculum. Geography is taught formally from grade five.
In the early years, students are introduced to the rules and regulations of our language by way of formal instruction. In the later years, instruction is based on addressing errors in usage.
Students undertake handwork projects, such as stitchery, clay, jewelry making and woodworking, taught by the classroom teacher or an artisan of the community.
In the early years, students master manuscript writing and then are introduced to Cursive writing, working out and practicing form, size, and style.
An introduction to history begins in grades one and two. Beginning in grade four, the history of South Africa and the world is taught each year through to the GED exam.
We believe that physical fitness is an important part of life. Because education includes the relationship with ourselves, we encourage proper stewardship of our physical bodies. At The Daniel Academy we encourage physical activities that are beneficial from a social aspect such as tennis, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, volley ball, and netball/basketball, playing frisbee, various outdoor games and climbing trees and, as such, some of these are included in the school day. This is specifically to encourage children to love and enjoy physical activity so that when they leave school they remain physically active and are able to enjoy social sports. We encourage students who are passionate about a particular sport to join a local sports club, and have soccer, swimming, gymnastics, dance, water polo, cricket and other clubs in the vacinity. Any competitive sports that children wish to take part in can done after school in their own time and own cost.
A variety of living books of different genres are selected each year, some to correlate with history and science, and others are chosen because they have stood the test of time.
Beginning with arithmetic, students master the art of computation in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in the primary grades. The high school studies other branches consisting of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. Singapore maths is used in primary school and an on line maths program that prepares the student for the GED diploma is used.
Each student keeps a nature journal in which weekly entries are added to include drawings and descriptions. The students become acquainted with their natural surroundings, as well as two other classes of nature, such as birds, butterflies, herbs.
Phonics and Reading:
In grades one and two, students go through a formal program of sight and sound correspondence to develop skills in pronunciation and spelling. Phonics rules are introduced and learned for application, not drill. Beginning phonetic readers are used to reinforce these developing skills.
Students are made familiar with two artists a year and four to six of their significant works. They also experience the style and technique of the artist through reproducing one of their works.
Two poets and their works are introduced to the students each year. The students are given a volume of their works and memorize poems individually and corporately for personal enjoyment and formal recitation.
Teachers and students share in the delight of a book that is chosen for the sole reason that we would not want them to miss the opportunity of the joy of reading this book aloud.
This time is used to rehearse passages and verses from Scripture, poetry, or history that the students are responsible for keeping in their hearts and minds.
In grade three students are acquainted with animals and fossils through readings, drawings, and hands-on activities. Beginning in grade four through the middle grades, branches of physical, earth, and life sciences are taught each year. Through these varied branches, students are introduced to the principles of science, observation, and demonstration. In the upper grades, the sciences of biology, chemistry, physics, and human behaviour are studied in a more comprehensive manner.
Each grade will be taught to make healthy snacks and meals. The idea is to give children from a young age the confidence and skill to make healthy, delicious, natural meals and snacks. True self-confidence comes from completing tasks and becoming a contributing member of the family and community.
A laptop or a tablet will be used daily in high school and required from time to time for lifeskills from grade 3 or 4
Starting a business with no money and without borrowing
Children will be taught how the world financial system works and be able to explore alternate systems for funding and starting businesses from crowd funding to allowing natural organic growth, word of mouth and excellent service delivery.
The Business of food
Students will also design & set up and manage an organic food market or store and develop new food items to sell there. This will be done at the premises in Gordon’s Bay. All profits will go to the school funds and no fund raising will be required from parents i.e. no cake sales or raffles or any other form of fund raising will be required of parents. Students will manage this entirely. This is to help them understand economics and apply math to real life. Costing of producing and setting up the market or store will be incorporated.
Learning the basics about rythm and reading musical notes. No music ability required for Dummies and the tone deaf. Using music as a form of relaxation & stress release.
First Aid is essential for life in general and imperative training for life. We will look at natural products that can replace the more harmful ones used. The lessons will be age appropriate
Life lessons from foot up and bicycle trials:
Learning to balance your life on bicycles and motorbikes. Teaching basic road skills and balance, to prepare children for when they will have to drive a car or motorcycle.
Basics in Natural Health:
A foundation in natural health is needed as part of life skills. This program is based on current nutritional research by the industries top scientists and will be taught while preparing food.
How to write a book, from start to finish:
Students will choose their topic, which will be related to a natural lifestyle, be it fiction for children, food, health, gardening, sustainable living, beekeeping, music, business etc.
As a corporate fund raising project, the entire school will be involved in producing a recipe book, on a regular basis, which will be sold to raise funds for the school.
Environmental Sustainability Project:
Making a useful (in a home or restaurant) item from recycled materials like a wooden pallet.
These extra sustainable subjects, will be taught over the lifetime of school attendance and not necessarily each year. The curriculum and activities will be adapted and be relevant to each age and season.