The Valley Road Campus
From stables to school
The 10 000 sqm of pristine natural environment along the banks of the Hout Bay river, provides for a rich learning canvas for subjects like Biology, Environmental Management and Science. Students will apply their subjects experientially in these surrounds by analysing soil, weather and aspects of the Hout Bay river. Outdoor classrooms fashioned out of natural rocks and indigenous wood have been designed to facilitate this learning.
The entire area has been landscaped with indigenous plants and the grounds are imbued with the captivating aromas of almond, lemon and fig trees.
The new Academy is in fact a retrofitted horse stable designed in a U-shape with a communal space in the centre. The high ceilings allowing plenty of natural light and wide wooden stable doors are all aesthetics designed to maximise student well-being and adhere to eco-friendly principles.
Three of the classrooms are multi-use and comprise of a learning area, a kitchenette and snacking area in a self-study zone and a quiet study area on a mezzanine level.
Other classrooms are designed as smaller studios used for tutorials for up to 5 students. These tutorials are filmed, live streamed and feature a chat stream for questions from distance learners. These learners dial up from all over the Western Cape with new sign-ups originating from Botswana and Zimbabwe. They are generally home schoolers and use these tutorials to understand difficult concepts and prepare for exams. The tutorials are recorded and posted online onto COLLS.
The Academy also plans to have a mobile kitchen that uses fresh produce from their organic vegetable garden. Grade 10 business studies students are currently doing a project to design the business model. An opportunity will then be offered to an independent contractor to provide school lunches.