Learner Support Centre (Star Centre)
Since 2007, The STAR Centre team has been given emotional, social and academic support to children of the DSK during their school careers.
The appointments made with learners take place mainly during lesson times in the rooms specifically designed for this purpose.
When a teacher or parent identifies a possible need for support (reading/spelling/speech problems, low muscle tone, behaviour etc), the class teacher will be contacted who in turn liaises with the STAR Centre. The STAR Centre team will work with the child and/or makes a recommendation for an assessment to be done.
Head of Star Centre and School Counsellor Grade 7-12
Marinke Soeters is originally from the Netherlands, where she completed her B.A degree (Pedagogiek) as well as an honours degree in communication skills.
Special focus is placed on child development, behaviour management, pathology and social work.
Ms Soeters works with the learners on:
- Social, emotional and behavioural problems
- Coping strategies for stressful situations, conflict resolution skills and cultural awareness
- Study skills and planning strategies
School Counsellor Grade 1-6
Jamie Brassell is an educational therapist and counsellor, offering counselling at DSK from grades 1 – 6. She holds a teacher’s degree, as well as an honours degree in Educational Psychology and is currently doing her Masters degree in Educational Psychology part time through Stellenbosch University. She also runs a private counselling and learning therapy practice in Blouberg.
Days available at DSK: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
Special Needs Teacher Primary School and Inclusion
Hendrik Wiese studied special needs education in Hannover, Warsaw and Leipzig. His main focus was “learning difficulties” and “physical handicaps” as well as physical education as an additional subject.
His areas of responsibility are diagnostics, facilitation and inclusion of learners in grade 1-4 with partial inefficiencies as well as special needs. This is done in close co-operation with the class teacher of the learner as well as in line with the curriculum.
Hendrik is also responsible for the interaction with German and English Kindergardens in the area and conducts annual school readiness tests.
Learning Therapist Grade 5 and 6
Heidi Ortmann continues to teach German as a Foreign Language in grades 5 and 6. After having completed courses offered by the “National Institute for Learning Development”, she works in the STAR Centre as educational therapist with learners in grades 5 and 6. The aim of this intervention is to enable students to be competent and confident life-long learners.
In addition, Ms Ortmann is responsible for students with accommodations who qualify to write class tests under quiet conditions and without time pressure.
Learning Therapist Primary school
Mrs Claudia Stadler is a qualified educational therapist. Educational therapy is based on a multi-sensory and multi-disciplinary approach. This focuses not only on visual and auditive perpetual issues or difficulties with reading and writing. The therapy much rather looks at breaking down a mental learning blockage or improving/finding of new learning techniques. Learners are seen holistically with all their individual talents. They will be re-integrated into the school curriculum based on their strengths. This way their self-esteem is boosted, mental blocks are broken down and a new motivation to learn is established.
The STAR CENTRE works closely together with a counselling psychologist and a speech therapist. They use the STAR Centre facilities, but work on a private basis. All therapists are at least German and English speaking.
The educational psychologist Dr. Ingrid Ahlert supports the DSK STAR Centre in a counseling capacity. She is also available to the school community as an independent psychologist in private practice with the emphasis on school and social aspects. Dr. Ahlert implements psychological diagnosis processes, in order to identify learning problems or difficulties, e.g. for neurological reason, relationship or communication problems and concentration deficiencies and facilitates the necessary therapeutic measures. In the case of more complex individual cases Dr. Ahlert offers psychotherapy for the treatment of learning or social problems and emotional or behaviour disorders. She also conducts education and career counseling before starting school or when changing schools. She counsels teachers and parents.
Speech and Language Therapy
Mrs Christina van der Riet offers speech and language therapy once a week on the premises of the German International School.
Mrs van der Riet also offers a yearly hearing test for the primary school children, which will be announced to the parents in time before the test.
Mrs van der Riet is from the 2nd term at the DSK on Tuesdays