PUPILS all over Mzansi are writing their end of year exams.
Except at Lusito School in Joburg. At Lusito no pupils write exams and the school follows its own curriculum.
The special school does not even have grades like other schools because they cater for pupils with cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, Down’s syndrome and more.
Principal Deolinda Molina said the school also does not have an age limit.
“We do not put younger pupils in different classes than the older ones.”
Molina said that the pupils function better like this because they won’t cope in a traditional school.
The purpose of Lusito is to provide its pupils with a good academic foundation, make sure they get regular exercise and eat healthily.
“We believe in lifting our pupils’ spirits, moving their bodies and stimulating their minds.”
Pupils benefit from a range of specialised activities such as speech therapy, physiotherapy, reflexology, hydrotherapy, pottery, baking and music.
“Many of these activities are aimed at exploring learning, physical activity and developing expressions to getting them to move their bodies and express themselves. It is especially important for pupils confined to wheelchairs to move and keep their muscles operating.”
She said diet is also critical.
“We also encourage parents to cut sugar out of their children’s diets but of course we cannot monitor this.
“We also give our pupils lots of time to eat because we don’t want to force them.
“Some pupils have dietary needs that we can’t supply.
“We also encourage the pupils to swim and have more play time at school.”
One of the latest projects at the school is the pupils’ vegetable garden where they grow food. Whatever is not used in the school’s kitchen is packaged and sold to parents or visitors.
Lusito’s curriculum incorporates perceptual and life orientation programmes, including listening, reading, mathematics, personal development, social skills, survival and safety skills, independent living skills, work and entrepreneurial skills and more.