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BCP Focus Schools: Salisbury House Update 1 (2024)

Salisbury House - A new focus school in Kenilworth

(A report by Aimee Chait, principal and lead mediator at Salisbury House)

Salisbury House is a private Primary School in Kenilworth, Cape Town. We started using the Basic Concepts Programme with our Grade 1 students and our Academic Support Class at the beginning of 2024. The Basic Concepts Programme is practised three times a week for forty-five minutes at a time. 

Mediating this programme has made a significant impact on the language usage of the students. The metacognitive focus of Basic Concepts has helped the students learn to externalise their thinking processes and use specific language, full sentences and vocabulary of a higher level.

In the three months we have been doing this programme, I have witnessed the students go from pointing to objects that they want, saying “pass me the thing”, to giving precise, accurate descriptions of what they want. They are able to identify, describe and draw shapes with a strategy and method, and they have started to take so much pride in their new skills.

The Basic Concepts Programme requires the students to think deeply and truly understand each concept in a full and detailed manner, rather than the empty rote learning that often takes place in school curriculums. The programme has allowed my students to explore and become more aware of their classroom, home and broader environment. They have started noticing the significance of different shapes and colours in the environment, as well as learning the skills of comparing and contrasting sizes, using the correct language.

I have seen how the concepts they have learnt in the Basic Concepts Programme have transferred to their entire learning environment, and they often bring up the topics we have studied throughout the school day and week.

I look forward to continuing with the Basic Concepts Programme in the second term of the year, where we will start with the concept of Position.