What Makes Us Different

There’s nothing typical about our school. When you take a child out of a terrible learning environment and suddenly give her a great education, the effect is astounding. Our kids are truly happy and they love and appreciate school. They are absorbing new knowledge like sponges, and having a lot of fun.  A mind truly is a terrible thing to waste, and it’s a joy and a privilege to watch kids born into great disadvantage, start getting what they deserve.

Our solution to the education crisis in Tanzania, is to offer a different way of teaching and learning. We use the Tanzanian curriculum but supplement it with curriculums from around the globe. We use the best of Tanzanian and international teaching strategies and provide students with a safe and nurturing learning environment.

“The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept, everything they are offered.” ~ Jean Piaget

Read below to learn about our approach to school and learning at STA.

 

Teaching each student at their point of need

We recognise that each student has unique strengths and needs. We use a range of on going testing throughout the year to assess each learner's ability level. Our teachers use this knowledge to plan lessons and units which meet the needs of each student in the class. We measure individual progress throughout the year and give parents a clear idea of how their child is progressing. We have high expectations for all students, and encourage each student to achieve his or her best.

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Small Class Sizes

In order to provide students with the individual attention that they need we have a policy of no more than 25 students per class. Small class sizes allow the teachers to get to know each student and tailor their teaching approach to the students' strengths and needs.

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Nutrition

Many of our students have little or no breakfast before coming to school each day. A hungry child finds it difficult to concentrate in class and has little energy for sport and playtime. Therefore, all students at STA receive morning porridge and a nutritious lunch. We encourage healthy eating and teach the students to make healthy life choices when it comes to eating and exercise. We try to eat what we grow in our school garden whenever possible.

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A Safe Learning Environment

When asked what they like about STA, one of the first things a student says is “I no longer get hit at school". In fact, their first few months here, many children are still a bit timid with the fear of being hit. STA teachers do not hit or harm the students in any way. Our teachers and staff use positive reinforcement and encourage students to take ownership of their own behaviour while still making sure the school rules are clear and fair for all students.

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An English Medium School

In Tanzania all government primary schools are taught in Swahili. English is a course and English teachers range from fluent to quite unskilled. If a child passes into high school and is lucky enough to have someone to pay, she must then adapt to an all English curriculum in which few swim, and most sink. In a system that was almost designed for failure, our students now have an enormous edge. Our students learn English from their first day of primary school and will be prepared for high school.

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Books and Resources

Many Tanzanian schools ar under-resourced and the students suffer as a result. At STA we provide students with a range of resources to support student learning. STA students are able access a wide range of books which helps foster a love and passion for reading. Learning resources provide students with important opportunities to practise a new skill, explore a new idea and solve problems.

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Creativity and Critical Thinking

From the first day of school STA students are encouraged to think critically, engage analytically and express themselves creatively in order to become lifelong learners not dependant on textbooks and teachers. Students learn that they do not have to accept someone elses opinions and can think for themselves using a range of tools and strategies. Our students are active learners supported by our curriculum and teaching staff.

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Transport

Many students in Tanzania walk long distances on busy and dangerous roads just to get to school. STA students who require it are provided with transport to and from school in our school van. This means all students get to school on time and get home safely.

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Family Contributions

At STA, we strive to minimize the ideal of free hand outs; thus, the families of all full and partially sponsored students are  asked to provide service or trade monthly to the school in order to foster responsibilty for their child's education and to involve them in the day to day life of the school. Our parents are valued members of the school community and they contribute in many different ways from gardening,to coaching soccer or helping out in the school kitchen.

 

Professional Development for Teachers

At STA we provide our teachers with many opportunities to continue learning and developing their skills and teaching strategies. We have a range of materials and resources available to teacher to help them plan quality lessons. We meet regularly with teachers to ensure they are receiving the support they need, and would not get at other schools in Tanzania. Typically, Tanzanian teachers are poorly paid, not supported and many do not show up to work regularly for a number of reasons.

 

 

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