A record number of parents attended the first Rose-Act Saturday School parents briefing session of 2017, held on February 11. The meeting, which saw over 170 parents arrive at the Alexandra campus of the Central Johannesburg College, was organised to orientate parents and guide them on how best to assist their children to maximise the learning opportunities offered by the Saturday School.
Rose-Act’s coordinator, Louise Cameron, was delighted with the turnout. “This is the highest number of parents we have had at such an event,” she said. “It’s a clear indication that the parents are keen to be involved in the education of their children.”
Rose-Act parents are required to sign an agreement covering the roles and responsibilities of both the school and the parents. “We cover things like school rules, attendance, punctuality and behaviour in this contract,” explained Louise.
Louise then moved on to Rays of Hope’s broad strategy of partnering with individuals and organisations in Alex, where the role of parents is crucial. “We only teach the children once a week during term time, so additional help and support the parents can give during the week is crucial,” said Louise.
A key area is formal homework assignments. Last year, Rose-Act introduced a system called RoseAct@Home, a homework system whereby each child received homework books for each of the core subjects of English and Mathematics. On Saturdays, the tutors give out homework assignments for the week and parents are required to play a role is making sure this is completed.
We have introduced a new compulsory class of Life Skills for the grade nines from 1 to 2pm each week. Here we will be looking at a wide range of issues related to the challenges faced by students in Alex. During this time, grades four to eight have a range of other options available, including spelling and general knowledge competitions, chess club and a new dancing club.”
There is more to Rose-Act than just Saturday classes. Holiday programmes are important as well. “We have two Holiday Clubs at Altrec, one each in the Easter and July holidays,” Louise told the parents. “We also plan to have fun outings to popular destinations such as Wild Waters. There is a fathers and boys day as well as a mothers and daughters day. Of course, the big event is the Annual Rose-Act Camp in September.”
The Rose-Act Camp is a highly sought after event. Not everyone can go because of capacity constraints and students accumulate points throughout the year in order to qualify. “Attendance at school, marks, extra-curricular activities, attending Holiday Clubs and a host of other things help our students to accumulate points. And if the parents make sure they do their best then that helps as well,” says Louise.
“Partnerships” is the watchword at Rays of Hope in 2017 and, judging by the enthusiasm shown by parents at this Rose-Act open day, their co-operation should go a long way to making this year a bumper one for their children.