Jennifer Southgate BA, HED, Certified HANDLE® Practitioner
and Preschool Principal
Jennifer is the only certified HANDLE® Practitioner in South Africa who has completed the advanced training and is affiliated with The HANDLE Institute, USA. (www.handle.org)
She is also a qualified teacher.
With over 16 years in education, Jennifer is dedicated to assisting children with learning and behaviour challenges. Her multifaceted experience covers therapy, training and teaching, and early child development:
- Over a decade of experience in individualised evaluation and tailored therapeutic plans for children and young adults, with delivery both nationally and internationally.
- Over 65 workshops, training and teaching events, together with numerous community information lectures, delivered nationally and internationally, including on behalf of the South African Departments of Basic Education and Higher Education and Training, and with HPCSA (Health Professions Council of South Africa) and SACE (South African Council of Educators) accreditation awarded to select courses.
- Founded the Mindstretch Preschool
in Cape Town in 2014.
- Previously founded Johannesburg-based Funda Fun, an extramural movement-based playgroup designed to stimulate learning through fun, interactive activities targeting gross and fine motor skills.
Mindstretch Preschool provides a nurturing, therapeutic and educational environment for children with mild to moderate learning challenges, with special provision made for those on the autism spectrum.
We individualise our tuition programme to the needs of each child, with regular progress monitoring and reporting.
Mindstretch offers three classes: Kindergarten, Grade RR Intermediate, and Grade R Remedial & Enhancement.
Progress and inclusion is the goal!
What you can expect:
- Facilitated learning with reference to the National Curriculum: our objective is to equip learners for 'inclusive education'.
- Highly qualified teachers with special needs training: minimum NQF level 6 required for teaching Grade RR and Grade R; minimum NQF level 4 required for Kindergarten.
- All educators are HANDLE® (Holistic Approach to Neuro-Development and Learning Efficiency) trained.
- A low pupil-to-teacher ratio: Kindergarten and Grade RR classes have a maximum 4-to-1 ratio; our senior Grade R class has a maximum 5-to-1 ratio. Every class has a teacher and teacher’s aide always in attendance.
- HANDLE therapy for minimum 30 minutes daily, facilitating the development of neurological pathways that promote learning. Other learning approaches such as Brain Gym® are applied.
- Daily interactive tablet learning with skill-level appropriate tasks. Every Mindstretch scholar has access to a tablet.
- Sensory integration activities allowing for 'messy play', gardening, and related activities.
- Gross motor activities promoted via climbing, trampoline work, ball skills, balance activities and more. Fine motor skills are similarly developed, with activities tailored to a child’s ability.
- Social skill development, with lessons in turn taking, reciprocal play and expressing emotions appropriately, among other considerations.
- Speech therapy by experienced Speak2Me therapists on an extramural basis, as provided on Mindstretch premises. Speech facilitation is integrated into the child’s school day, as needed.
- Swimming instruction available on an extramural basis.
- Aftercare programme includes supervised activities, storytelling and playtime.
- Health snacks provided, with Aquazania and Brita filtered water always available.