In mid-2015, the Generation Schools name became known in the Sunningdale area as they announced the opening of their first campus ‘Generation Schools Sunningdale’ in January 2016. Generation Schools promised to be the innovator in education, paving the way for forward-thinking and worldly education. Since 2016, the campus has grown accommodating students from the age of 4 months to tertiary studies.
The school pairs the Montessori pedagogy in the early childhood developmental stages, builds upon this structure in the foundation phase and introduces the Cambridge curricular in the Middle School phase. Jevron Epstein, Generation Schools Founder explains, “After travelling to multiple countries and researching many educational models, I could see that there was no better model to follow than Montessori in the foundation years. The materials found in a Montessori classroom are one of a kind. These didactic materials, not only teach the children by ‘doing’ but many of the materials are self-correcting. Therefore, students know immediately if their work is correct or not. They no longer have to wait for a teacher to mark their work after a few days to know that they did not quite grasp a concept.” Jevron continues with his explanation of Cambridge “We needed to pair a strong curricular with the Montessori pedagogy. My research led me to Cambridge Assessment International Education. Although steeped in tradition, Cambridge is a forerunner in pushing the educational ‘norms’. Cambridge offers many exciting and forward-thinking subjects like Global Perspectives. This pathway also allows our students to study locally or internationally. We want our students to have every opportunity and dream that they would like to pursue readily available after exiting our doors.
Jevron sits on the Cambridge Advisory Board amongst a panel of fellow educational leaders from across the globe. These educationists have been tasked with implementing 21st-century change in education. Generation Schools has also presented a proof of concept to Cambridge to offer teacher training for fellow Cambridge schools across Africa. “The aim is to help assist our peers in upskilling themselves, and therefore upskilling our future global leaders. With the start of this project in Africa, the ultimate goal is to upskill teachers globally.”
What makes Generation Schools that much more enticing for prospective parents is the multiple exit pathways offered in their High School. “Once a student goes into our High School, they have a choice of completing their IGCSE, AS or A levels through Cambridge. Our students have yet another pathway, following the Sí Institute (Sí). Our Sí Institute offers school learners and professionals an opportunity to bridge the gap between education and profession. Students have the opportunity to design their own careers by leveraging their own talent and learning portfolios to create positive social and economic impact. The Sí programme is delivered using a blended approach of both online and on-campus learning. This route offers our students an international qualification at a younger age. By pairing this educational journey with internships, our students may leave our doors with a qualification and work experience.” Students are also able to combine the Cambridge pathway with Sí. “Many of our students have combined Cambridge and Sí. It is a privilege to see how our students believe in themselves and pursue their passions. We want them to pave their own educational pathway.”
With a high demand for this educational model, the school soon outgrew its current campus. In January 2020, they will be opening their High School campus. Moving into high school, Jevron firmly believes that the current form of secondary education is nearing extinction. “What is the purpose of a matriculation qualification? Is this qualification necessary to get you into university? Unlike many other educational service providers, we refuse to use synonyms to mask rote learning. Our secondary campus will not be called a school, we proudly welcome the Generation Sunningdale Institute.” This is not the only exciting news for the school group “In April 2020 will also open our first dedicated varsity. Both the High School and varsity campuses will be filled with new technologies, collaborative space and opportunity.” The varsity and its offerings will be launched separately this year. “The evolution of education is putting purpose before curriculum. Emotional literature including terms like innovation and 21st-century skills are marketing terms which highlight the tangible need to differentiate the current schooling system and the reality we live in.”
So what is next for Generation Schools Sunningdale? “The opportunities are endless. Our passion is to watch our students grow in knowledge and confidence, and our vision is to bridge the gap between education and profession. This is our aim, one brilliant student at a time.
Contact: 021 205 5922 firstname.lastname@example.org www.generationschools.co.za