Editor’s Note: Terry Webb’s first article “A Low Socio-economic School’s Drive for Excellence” appeared in September 2011 BrainGym® Global Observer which can be found at www.braingym./org/archives. The heading in the local newspaper read “Ceres Secondary Results still moving upward”.
Piloted in 2008, my project has progressed beyond the original vision. Ceres Secondary School has become the Number One Government School in the Ceres Valley of South Africa. Back in 2008, out of 147 students, eleven qualified for university entrance and two for diploma qualification. In 2012 the numbers have risen: 37 for university entrance and 27 for diploma qualification. Amazing! Grade twelve test results have risen fom 74.8% in 2008 to 79% in 2012. Progression has been slow but steady; projection for 2013 is 85%.
PACE and other techniques introduced in 2008 are still followed every morining; in addition I have introduced news concepts. Initially working solely with students in their final year, the program has now expanded to the final three years. This additional two years has made a huge impact on comprehension and learning abilities resulting in better senior qualifications. Approximately 35 to 45 identified students come to my huge working classroom for group sessions. During each two-week session I lead them through 18 different movements to accommodate academic problem areas. We explore some key reflexes as well as address communcation, memory, and thought processing. Three Dimension Repatterning is individually facilitated at the end of the two weeks. The results have been excellent.
Recently, the school asked that I form a drama and ballroom dancing group. The school cannot currently accommodate arts and cultural classes. However, I believe these extracurricular groups will strengthen academics, self-confidence, social and communication skills.
At the time of writing, Ceres School received the news that it was to receive R5, 000,000 ($600,000) to upgrade the school. Divine Intervention? I think the positive approach by the school towards academic improvement has contributed much towards this. The upgrades will provide sports facilties, upgraded consumer studies (cooking), and a new hall for the drama and dance activities – all of which will attract parent and public exposure for the school.
My five-year projection proved that integrating BrainGym® techniques into a secondary setting can be very beneficial for South African Schools! Can you imagine what the next three years will bring? Already, a new school has been added to my programme: Boy Muller Primary. They are following the same programme as Ceres Secondary; the headmaster and teachers are extremely passionate about the BrainGym® work.
There is still another episode to come!
Terry Webb is a Licensed BrainGym® Instructor Consultant working with disadvantaged schools in Ceres, South Africa. His work has been in progress since 2008. Terry has his own private practice.