Learning Support


The goal of Edgemead Primary’s School Based Support Team is to implement the DBE’s SIAS Policy by screening, identifying, assessing and supporting learners with specific learning, emotional, social and/or behavioural difficulties and to advise teachers and parents of necessary recommendations, or further professional support.  

Whilst teachers often observe atypical behaviour or possible learning difficulties, they are not permitted to directly refer parents to outside professional help. This includes referrals to occupational therapists, speech therapists, paediatricians, or psychologists, unless it is a follow up of previous recommendations in a professional report. Teachers should only report observations to parents. All referrals to outside professionals must go through the School Based Support Team first.  

The School Based Support Team comprises of the following members:  

  • Mrs Lauren Bouwer: Learning Support Departmental Head (acting) and Learning Support Specialist   
  • Mrs Rose von Fintel: SBST Coordinator and Learning Support Teacher 
  • Mrs Ingrid Rautenbach: Head of Foundation Phase  
  • Mr James Mundey: Head of Intermediate Senior Phase  
  • Mrs Doma Gerber: Assessment Accommodation Coordinator and Learning Support Therapist  
  • Mrs Tutu Siganda: Social Worker / School Counsellor  
  • Grade Head and Class Teacher  

SBST referral procedure:  

  • Vulnerability/difficulty identified via screening, previous reports or Learner Profile.  
  • The teacher discusses this with the grade’s learning support teacher/specialist or school social worker as well as with the Grade Head.   
  • The vulnerability is discussed with the parents/caregivers.  
  • A Green Consent Form is discussed with and signed by parents/caregivers.   
  • The teacher and Grade Head complete the SBST White Form and submit it to the SBST Coordinator, along with the Green Consent Form.   
  • The SBST meeting date is communicated to teacher.   
  • The SBST meeting takes place where the learner’s strengths, vulnerabilities and previous interventions are discussed, and recommendations/referrals are made to the teacher and parents in writing.   

All enquires in this regard must be submitted to Mrs von Fintel rvonfintel@edgemeadprimary.co.za 


  1. Mrs Lauren Bouwer (Acting LS Departmental Head, LS Coordinator, Gr 2 Learning Support Therapist and Assessments). 
  1. Mrs Doma Gerber (Assessment Accommodations Coordinator,Gr 1&3 Learning Support Specialist and Assessments) 
  1. Mrs Lauren O’Connell (Behaviour specialist, Rainbow Programme Coordinator and Gr 1 Learning Support Teacher) 
  1. Mrs Theresa Jacobs (Gr 2 Learning Support Teacher)  
  1. Mrs Stacy Stanbridge (Gr 3 Learning Support Teacher) 
  1. Mrs Rose von Fintel (SBST Coordinator and Gr 4, 6 and 7 Learning Support Teacher) 
  1. Mrs Lesley Latsky (Gr 5 Learning Support Teacher) 
  1. Mrs Tutu Siganda (Social Worker/Counsellor)  
  1. Mr David Matthews (School Counsellor) 


A PS Assessment aims to screen and assess a learner’s visual processing, auditory processing, spatial orientation, language skills, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, concentration, reading level, comprehension level, spelling level and mathematical level. The following standardized assessments are used: TVPS (Visual Processing), PAT (Phonological Awareness), Pendulum (Auditory Processing), Bender (VMI), WRAT (academics) along with other WCED scholastic assessments.   

PS Assessments are conducted by EPS’s Learning Support Specialists:  

Mrs Lauren Bouwer: BA (Psych.), PGCE (Foundation Phase) and ACE (Learning Difficulties).  

Mrs Doma Gerber: B. Ed Foundation Phase, B. Ed Honours (Inclusive Education) and M. Ed (Mathematics Education)  

Assessments take place in the morning, during school hours. This is a service that EPS offers at no extra charge to parents.  

After the assessment, a meeting will be set up where the assessment and report are explained to the class teacher and parents. Parents will be given a written report detailing all the findings and recommendations.  

It is the parents’ responsibility to follow up on the recommendations and administer whichever home programmes are given.  

All enquires in this regard must be submitted to 
Mrs Bouwer lbouwer@edgemeadprimary.co.za 
Mrs Gerber dgerber@edgemeadprimary.co.za  


Learning Support may be offered to Grade 1 – 7 EPS learners who find an aspect of their academic work challenging. This may be done in class, or small groups of learners may be withdrawn, depending on the need of the learner.   

Each Learning Support Therapist and Teacher is involved in their grade’s planning and assessment processes and is up to date with the concepts the learners are covering in class. 


In extreme cases, where a Specific Learning Disorder (formally known as Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, Dysgraphia, Aphasia, Central Auditory Processing Disorder etc) has been formally diagnosed by an Educational Psychologist, the SBST Coordinator can apply to the WCED for assessment accommodations.  

Accommodations include additional time, spelling exemption, handwriting, adaptation of questions, amanuensis, braille, computer, Dictaphone, enlarged print, oral examination, reader, planning aid, tape aid and video.  

All applications to the Metro North Education Department (MNED) need to be accompanied by a recent psychometric assessment by an educational psychologist. The Department of Education makes the final decision as to whether accommodations have been approved or not. The school cannot make any changes to assessments or exam conditions until we have received confirmation from the MNED. All enquires in this regard must be submitted to Mrs Gerber dgerber@edgemeadprimary.co.za  


The aim of the Edgemead Primary School’s Social Work Service is to provide children and their families with specialized life-skills and emotional, social and counselling support.  

Social Worker Responsibilities  

a) Provides a comprehensive school social work services to parents, learners and school teaching staff, addressing barriers that limit a learner from receiving full benefit from their educational experience.  

b) Responds to referrals from the school administration, parents, teachers, the remedial team and others by providing direct services and by assisting families in accessing appropriate community resources.  

REFERRAL PROCESS (“3 Before Me Rule”)  

Step 1: The class teacher identifies the presenting issue or problem which affects the learner’s learning progress i.e. emotional, social and or behavioural constraints.  

Step 2: The class teacher then notifies the parent of the situation. Then both the class teacher and parent(s) or guardian, attend to the issue.  

Step 3: If unsuccessful in resolving the matter both the parent together with the child’s class teacher consults with the grade’s HOD (Head of Department). The trio intervenes, if unsuccessful, then the matter is referred to the social worker.  

Step 4: The social worker will, upon receipt of the referral form and or through SBST, conduct parent interviews to acquire socio-developmental information as needed for special education referrals.  

Step 5: The social worker drafts and implements plans for dealing with the presenting issue.  

Most common presenting issues are depression, family hardships, including divorce, separation, bullying and homelessness. The social worker further establishes prevention programmes and crisis intervention plans to help effected learners.  


  1. All abuse cases 
  1. Cases of allegations of abuse and corporal punishment against staff members that need to be referred to Employee Relations – Head Office 
  1. Absenteeism/school phobia  
  1. Behaviour problems  
  1. Bully behaviour  
  1. Drugs  
  1. Emotional problems  
  1. Financial problems  
  1. Family violence  
  1. HIV/AIDS  
  1. Health – including STIs and STDs, sight, hearing or oral problems and medication that needs to be administered at school  
  1. Teen pregnancy  
  1. Trauma  
  1. Suicide  
  1. Self-mutilation – cutting  
  1. Sexuality  
  1. Assist where possible with social grant applications and reports 

All enquires in this regard must be submitted to 
Mrs Siganda nsiganda@edgemeadprimary.co.za  


Academic intervention is offered to certain learners (Gr 1 – 7) based on their formal assessment results. Learners will be identified by their class teachers and parents will be notified in writing as to whether their child will be included in the academic intervention group after school hours.   

Academic intervention takes a didactic approach where concepts, which may not have been understood in class, are consolidated, and revised after school hours. This is a service offered by the teachers and LST at no charge to parents. 


The Rainbow Support Programme is available to learners who have been referred by the SBST. Learners who need extra literacy support, including phonics, reading, writing, letter sound and visual recognition, are identified by their class teachers and referred to the SBST. Consent to attend is obtained from the parents and a motivation is forwarded to the Rainbow Room coordinator. The learners who attend, each have their own trained tutor volunteer and work on a one-on-one or small group basis once a week. The coordinator is employed by the school and is a full-time staff member. This programme takes place during school time at no extra charge to the parents. 

All enquiries in this regard must be submitted to 
Mrs O ‘Connell loconnell@edgemeadprimary.co.za 


Readers are Leaders is a computer-based software reading programme that all learners use regularly during their school computer lessons. This programme addresses the skills required to read fluently as well as developing the basic reading skills necessary for all academic subjects, namely: speed reading through eye exercises, comprehension, concentration, and memory development.  

Learners who have been identified by their teachers as needing support in the form of literacy (English and/or Afrikaans), are invited to attend an extra half hour session, either on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday 2:30 – 3pm.  

All enquires in this regard must be submitted to 
Mrs McGee tmcgee@edgemeadprimary.co.za  


Occupational Therapy is one of the most holistic of the allied medical therapies. The mental, perceptual, physical and emotional aspects of the learner are considered during treatment.  

The nature of Occupational Therapy is the treatment of a learner utilizing an individualized programme specifically focussed on the learner’s delays. It is, therefore, essential to assess each learner individually prior to treatment. 

Assessment: The assessment includes an evaluation of your child’s sensory-motor and visual perceptual development that has a direct influence on academic achievement. The initial assessment takes 2 -3 hours to administer, depending on the child’s work speed. 

Treatment: Once therapy has started, sessions are normally once weekly. Homework is given on a weekly basis to complement therapy and assist progress. In treatment, a Sensory Integration (SI) therapist uses her knowledge of Neurology (Brain and nervous system), Kinesiology (Human Movement), Developmental stages, Medical Pathology and modern research to determine which children would benefit from SI Therapy. This includes children with learning problems resulting from certain neurological factors. 

Therapist’s Profile: Nadia completed her B. Occupational Therapy degree at the University of the Free State. She has a special interest in Sensory Integration therapy (SI) and is a SI Qualified Therapist.  She has been working in Private Practice since 1997. Her work experience also includes 4 years in a Remedial School environment. She joined Edgemead in January 2008. In addition to SI therapy, she makes use of neuro-developmental and brain gym techniques as well as visual perceptual stimulation in therapy. 

When to refer:  

Signs indicating possible problems:  

  1. Muscle Function (Child cannot maintain posture at desk, endurance is poor, restlessness, unable to sit still.)  
  1. Poor Balance  
  1. Poor Crossing of the midline (Moves page from side to side, poor left-right discrimination, cross dominance, alternates hands while writing)  
  1. Poor Gross motor coordination (Clumsiness, unable or hesitant to perform climbing tasks, poor ball skills, inability to perform skipping rope activities) 
  1. Poor Motor Planning (Difficulty performing new tasks, slow working speed, behaviour appears to be disorganized, timing and sequencing of movements poor)  
  1. Fine motor difficulties (Difficulty handling scissors, difficulty with shoelaces and buttons, poor colouring in work, poor pencil grip, untidy handwriting)  
  1. Visual Perception difficulties (Poor body concept, difficulty copying name, poor sense of direction, struggles with perceptual tasks e.g. puzzles constructions, handwriting difficulties e.g. poor spacing, letter formations and reversals, inaccurate copying from board  
  1. Tactile processing problems (Overreacts to painful stimuli, avoids manipulation activities and messy play, aggressive behaviour and fighting, avoids certain food clothes textures, appears irritable and fidgets frequently, poor co-operation in group activities) 
  1. Concentration difficulties 

All enquires in this regard must be submitted to 
Mrs van Rooijen nadiavr8@gmail.com  


Speech-Language therapists assess and treat speech, language and communication difficulties in individuals of all ages.  

iCommunicate: Kim Marsh Speech Therapists is the speech therapy practice that is based at Edgemead Primary School. The practice also provides hearing screening upon special request.  


The first step to starting your child’s treatment programme will involve a comprehensive assessment. This includes an assessment session of approximately one hour, discussion of a future therapy plan and a full, written assessment report.  


Therapy sessions will then be planned according to the child’s needs and requirements. The therapy sessions are generally thirty minutes long and these sessions occur once a week at the school. Homework is given each week to aid in your child’s progress.  

When to refer:  

If a child is presenting with difficulties with the following skills:  

  1. Receptive language: The understanding of language  
  1. Expressive language: The use of language  
  1. Articulation: Difficulties saying specific sounds (e.g. saying ‘wed’ instead of ‘red’)  
  1. Auditory perceptual skills: It is the child’s ability to recognize and interpret what he/she is hearing. Listening skills are vital in the acquisition and development of literacy (reading and writing)  
  1. Literacy: Reading and spelling skills  
  1. Stuttering  

All enquiries in this regard must be submitted to Kim Marsh 




  • NH Optometrist (Ani Brown or Amy Daly) 0763814631  
  • Spectacle Warehouse Willowbridge 0219145315  
  • Warren Wagner 0219190056   
  • Neovision Waterfront (Werner Nefdt) 0218242259 woodstock@neovision.co.za  
  • VDM Optometrists Kenridge 0219141521 kenridge@vdmoptom.co.za  

Educational Psychologists  

Counselling Psychologists / Counsellors  

Social Skills Groups  

  • Connect Kids – Meg Heyns 0728619145 or Chantel Retter 0795284528  
  • Kids Who Can offer a 3-part workshop designed to equip children with tools and techniques to manage friendships, communicate effectively and feel good about themselves and others. Kids Who Can, 084 245 0966, admin@kidswhocancommunity.co.za