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30 Jan 2015 00:00
Crawford's culture of self-discipline, encouragement, tolerance and respect ensures the successful development of each child
A school’s success cannot be measured solely by the number of distinctions it has achieved: it is measured on how well equipped its alumni are to achieve their dreams,
fulfil their potential as adults and
thus become successful and happy
This approach underpins one of
that every child is a masterpiece.
CrawfordSchools managing director Jaco Lotz says that the inclusive, independent schools cater for
pupils at varying levels of cognitive
ability, so attaining a “C” average at
matric level could be just as great
an achievement as 10 distinctions,
depending on the individual’s abilities and the challenges he or she has
Crawford matrics have, over the
years, maintained very high and
ever-increasing distinction aver-
ages. In 2014, 609 Crawford matrics wrote the National Senior
Certificate (NSC) exams, achieving a 96% bachelor’s degree pass
and 1933 distinctions.
Crawford College Sandton was
awarded the accolade of the Top
Independent School in the NSC by
the Gauteng department of education, followed by Crawford College
Lonehill and Crawford College
Pretoria. Crawford College La Lucia
was awarded the accolade of the
Top Independent School in the Pinetown district.
With at least 19 schools from pre-primary to college level under the
CrawfordSchools banner, the group
has been producing leaders in their
fields for over 21 years. “Our alumni
include scientists working for the
National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (Nasa) and all man-
ner of professionals, through to
actors, politicians and housewives,”
says Lotz. “Not everyone is suited to
being a doctor, lawyer or account-
ant. Our alumni have followed their
individual dreams, and their education has given them the confidence
to do so.”
Lotz believes excellence in education depends on a number of
factors, including a focus on developing the unique potential of each
individual, extending the pupil
beyond his or her comfort zone and
maintaining a sense of purpose.
This focus on personal development
should include both pupils and
teachers, he says.
Addressing unique abilities and
goals of each child and tailoring the
best programmes, support and educational delivery systems to help
each child achieve may sound like a
tall order, but it is the cornerstone
on which much of CrawfordSchools’
success is built.
Within a cohesive team comprising pupils, students, teachers and
the organisation as a whole, each
child is encouraged to identify and
work towards his or her own goals.
Progress is carefully tracked and
assessed, and consultation and
mentoring is ongoing. The group’s
culture of self-discipline, encouragement, tolerance and respect helps ensure the successful development of each child.
Crawford does not use the term “compulsory” and makes changes in educational delivery only if it is in the interests of the child. For example, the introduction of information
technology in the classroom is taking place in a gradual but progressive way. New technologies are continuously introduced as teachers
become comfortable to deliver the
same high standards of excellence
as before. Children who learn better
using paper and textbooks might do
so alongside classmates who learn
more effectively using tablets.
Within this tight-knit team, teachers are encouraged and supported
to become experts in their field, and
required to exchange ideas with
their peers across the group. Best
practice and innovation are therefore shared throughout Crawford
schools. Parents are continually
informed of developments at the
schools, backed by research on decisions made relating to their children’s education. This collaboration
and growth takes places within the
organisation’s strong value system.
Crawaford has pioneered a
number of unique approaches to
education in South Africa, and its
outcomes are testament of the effectiveness of its innovations. “Our
measure of success is that each child
is uniquely successful and happy,
and fits purposely into his or her
chosen place in society,” says Lotz.
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