ACUDEO College Education Philosophy
ACUDEO College originated in 2013, motivated by the successful implementation of two graduate academy programmes by the then Barnstone Corporate Services, the availability of land zoned for education institutions in newly developed towns and suburbs and a funding relationship with SEIIFSA (Schools and Education Investment Impact Fund of South Africa). Since then five campuses have been constructed from scratch and the brand is now represented in Tshwane (three campuses), Soweto and Benoni.
Our Purpose is defined as: Based on a Christian foundation, to inspire and equip young people to embrace the future with confidence. This purpose statement contains a number of key elements – being Christian; to inspire; to equip young people and to embrace the future with confidence.
Our schools were founded and remain founded in Christian principles. By far the majority of our parents have bought into this and have chosen the school for this reason. The Christian character of a school is evident in various practices e.g. the reading of Scripture, prayer and meditation and the celebration of Christian remembrance days or holidays, amongst others. Christian values also play a dominant role in how the school goes about promoting interaction between learners, parents, educators and other stakeholders. Values that originate from the Christian faith e.g. non-discrimination, forgiveness, tolerance, humility, care for the needy and a clear distinction between what is wrong and right, shall also surface constantly in the daily programme of the school. Our Christian foundation however does not imply any form of discrimination against learners of other faith orientations but does require full participation in the programme of the school, which contains elements of Christian faith practice.
It means that we wish to employ and develop educators and staff that would serve as good role models to the learners they take care of, in respect of a number of different areas. These include to live a value-driven life, to be creative and innovative, to be resilient and determined, to be warm-hearted and engaging and to exploit any opportunity for growth and learning. The implications of this is that we take extreme care in the appointment of staff to our schools, in order to ensure that they command the attributes that will allow them to become the inspirational role models we wish to offer.
It entails our commitment to provide not only the academic knowledge prescribed by the curriculum we follow, but supplement that with extensive skills development in our learners. This equipping takes the shape of exposure to programmes and opportunities that will allow them to master skills that set them up for earlier exploitation of business and career opportunities than what would otherwise have been the case. We call that an enterprising orientation. It implies that we will constantly source, evaluate and develop opportunities within the school programme to supplement skills development. It furthermore means that we will weave skills development into our entire academic programme as well e.g. promoting entrepreneurial thinking through mathematics, sciences, design, languages and life orientation.
We specifically refer to young people as this is the orientation in which we would wish to engage all our learners. The focus of these engagements is future orientated and aims to prepare them for dealing with a fast changing future. We recognise that children should be allowed to be just that and will not push them beyond what their specific developmental age tasks require or allow. But we do want to orientate our educators to deal with those under their care and guidance as young people who command respect and who deserve all opportunities to grow and develop themselves – in knowledge, skills and attributes. In short we are driven by the opportunity education presents to empower young people for life.
Embrace the Future
To embrace something means to accept something willingly or enthusiastically and it is this type of attitude and conduct we would see as a consequence of us living our purpose as a group of schools. It is unlikely that someone would portray this willingness and enthusiasm if they also carry a high degree of anxiety as to what may be coming. For many their schooling years are the last so-called “protective years” that they can depend on. After school one is literally thrust into life with all its opportunities but also an equal dose of challenges. By having been prepared and equipped with knowledge, skills and attributes to approach the future with more excitement than anxiety, the learner will in all likelihood expedite their value and contribution to society at large.