Vista Nova Secondary School


Vista Nova School caters for learners with cerebral palsy, physical disabilities and other barriers to learning. These disabilities mean that the learners are not able to attend a mainstream school. Vista Nova’s learners come from all socio-economic groups and from all over the Cape Peninsula area. The classes are small and very often one or more adults (e.g. teaching assistant) are present in the classroom.

One teacher from Vista Nova, Hanneke de Wet said she wanted to take part. Later, Hanneke’s colleague, Glen said he wanted to take part as well.

What’s happened so far

We visited Vista Nova on 20th November 2014. Hanneke took us to her classroom where we set up to do a revision workshop with some of her learners. Ingrid led the workshop and Marie and Hanneke were present until 1:45 pm.

Marie and Hanneke then discussed her involvement in the project.

Hanneke told us that she was beginning an honours course in 2015 and would have classes every evening so a) she would not be able to come to cluster meetings and b) she wanted to be flexible in terms of her commitment to FaSMEd.

Marie suggested that Hanneke and Glen should begin by teaching an “ordinary” lesson. This would help us understand more about the school, the needs of the learners and the context in which the toolkit will be used.

We visited the school on 26th February to observe two ordinary lessons. Hanneke taught a lesson on patterns in numbers to her class of 11 Grade 9 learners. Glen’s lesson to 15 Grade 11 learners was on volume and capacity. We produced reports on both lessons and shared them with the teachers.

First research lesson

We asked Hanneke and Glen what they would be teaching when the research lesson took place. Hanneke said she was working on congruent and similar triangles and we suggested a MAP lesson in which learners are asked to classify triangles into three categories according to their descriptions as unique, more than one or not possible to constuct. She taught this lesson on 23rd April.

Glen’s class had been working on algebra and we suggested the MAP lesson in which learners match equations with descriptions. He taught this lesson on 23rd April.

Second research lesson

Hanneke and Glen told us they would be doing measurement with their classes and would like a lesson on this topic. We found a Mathematics Assessment Project lesson on measure and made some small modifications then took it to school to show them. They both said they would like to teach it and we prepared it. Hanneke taught it on 23rd July and Glen taught it over two days, 23rd and 24th July.

Finishing off

We asked Hanneke and Glen if they would like us to prepare a video montage for the learners and to come to school to show it to them. They said they would and we prepared this and went in to show it to on 5th November. We also gave each of the learners a pack of NikNaks.