Health, well-being and support

Emotional and spiritual care

At Kingswood, we take the health and well-being of our pupils incredibly seriously. We strive to ensure that all the pupils in our care are happy, healthy, cared for and respected. Kingswood pupils are supported by a community of caring professionals and are encouraged to develop a close working relationship with their teachers, mentors, prefects and tutors.

The Pastoral Care team, led by the college Reverend, Tim Marshall, includes the expertise of a psychologist and the nursing staff of the Sanitorium, all of whom play an integral part in caring for the spiritual, social, emotional, physical, cultural and academic growth and well-being of all the pupils at the school.

At Kingswood College, we believe that a critical component of our pupils’ success lies in the joint effort of a multidisciplinary team, which typically includes the class teacher, and where applicable a remedial therapist, an occupational therapist, speech-and-language therapist and/or psychotherapist. Using a holistic approach, the focus is kept on the well-being and educational/developmental needs of the individual pupil, whose information is treated confidentially.

The Kingswood Learning Support and Development team consists of both contracted and private practitioners (who function independently of the school), all of whom have rooms on campus to best assist our pupils.

Currently included services are:

Individual Counselling (Psychotherapy): Senior Pupils

Educational Psychology: Senior Pupils

Remedial: Junior Pupils

Grade 9 High-Level Psychometric Testing

Available at an additional cost (professionals all have rooms on campus):

Educational Assessments/Evaluations

Psychometric Testing

Speech and Language Therapy

Occupational Therapy

In recognition of the important role talking therapies play in our pupils’ well-being, Kingswood’s Educational psychologist, Mrs Teresa Yell, is available to all pupils from Grades 8 to 12 for individual counselling. Mrs Yell is equipped to help pupils who may be struggling emotionally, socially or academically, by developing strategies for dealing with stress and the challenges of adolescence.

In addition to psychotherapy, she also serves as a comprehensive resource for identifying learning difficulties and determining school readiness in children through educational assessments. Learning difficulties such as ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, autism, auditory processing, and perceptual concerns, can be identified through these assessments and relevant recommendations indicated. Educational assessments are done across all age groups, and while not included in school fees, they are conducted on campus.

Grade 9 Subject choice assessments:

As part of the process of choosing subjects for Grade 9, all Grade 8 pupils undergo high-level psychometric testing in order to help both pupils and parents to make more informed and accurate subject choice decisions for Grade 9 and onwards. More in-depth psychometric testing as well as private sessions with parents are available on request at an extra fee.

Referral of a child for an assessment is via a teacher and/or the parent.

Remedial support at Kingswood College is offered by Remedial Support Specialist, Ghida Bernard. As early intervention is key, this service focuses mainly on providing support to the primary school pupils (grades 1 -7). Remedial classes help pupils to develop and improve both their literacy and numerical competencies, but also to support individual learning styles and profiles. Not only for children that need to develop core academic skills, remedial lessons also help those pupils who are functioning above average and need extension.

Referral sources include for example class teachers, parents, occupational- and speech therapists as well as the educational psychologist. An Occupational Therapist by trade, pupils and parents can also take advantage of Ghida’s private practise on certain afternoons during the week, if they wish to take things further.

Ghida Bernard, Occupational Therapist

BOT (Bachelors in Occupational Therapy, University of Stellenbosch), MScOT (Masters In Occupational Therapy, University of the Witwatersrand)

Valerie Olivier is the Speech and Language Therapist at Kingswood, and also works as a private practitioner within the school system. As a Speech and Language Therapist with a degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology and a post-graduate Diploma in Remedial Education, Valerie is qualified to provide intervention for difficulties in the four primary components of communication, i.e. listening, speaking, reading and writing. Included in the scope of these parameters, are disorders of vocabulary, sentence construction, understanding of language, auditory processing, pronunciation and fluency.

Referral of a child for an assessment is via a teacher and/or the parent.

Valerie Olivier is the Speech and Language Therapist

B.A. (Sp. & H Th.)(Wits)

Diploma in Remedial Education (Cum Laude) (R.A.U.)

A.T.C.L.  Speech & Drama (Trinity College of Music)

Speech & Language Therapist

Gene Pancoust is an occupational therapist with more than 20 years’ experience in private practice. Having specialised in sensory processing, this forms an integral part of her therapy, and children enjoy using different suspended activities as part of their therapy.

“For children and youth in schools, occupational therapy works to ensure that a student can participate in the full breadth of school activities—from paying attention in class; concentrating on the task at hand; holding a pencil, musical instrument, or book in the easiest way; or just behaving appropriately in class.” source

Primary areas that are worked on include visual perception, fine and gross motor control, and sensory processing.  All ages can attend therapy, but the sooner problems are identified and worked on, the greater the outcome.  As a result, most of the children seen in the practice come from the pre-primary and junior primary.  

Referral to occupational therapy is via a doctor, therapist, teacher or the parent. Some medical aids do pay towards occupational therapy, but the cover is usually limited.

Gene Pancoust

BSc(Occupational Therapy) UCT, Sensory Integration (SAISI)