Left to right: Heidi Ortmann, Jamie Brassell, Marinke Soeters, Katrin Petterson, Claudia Stadler

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.


Marinke Soeters
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
  • IEB/KMK special accommodation applications

Ms Soeters can be contacted by email: marinkesoeters@dsk.co.za  or telephonically in the STAR Centre: 021 480 3836/ 061 100 3830

Jamie Brassell
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.

Days available at DSK: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday

Ms Brassell can be contacted by email: jamiebrassell@dsk.co.za  or telephonically on 021 480 3853/084 906 5696

Heidi Ortmann
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.

Ms Ortmann can be contacted by email: heidiortmann@dsk.co.za  or telephonically in the STAR Centre: 021 480 3836

Claudia Stadler
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.

Mr Stadler can be contacted by email on claudiastadler@dsk.co.za or telephonically in the STAR Centre on 021 480 3836.

Katrin Pettersson
Special Needs Teacher Primary School

Katrin Pettersson studied special needs education in Hamburg/Germany with an emphasis on „language“ and “learning”. For many years, she worked at a logopedic speech school where she was responsible for enrolment diagnostics and speech training for multilingual children. Recently, Mrs Pettersson was involved in the inclusion at a primary school in central Hamburg. In her capacity, she supported children with learning, behavioural and speech difficulties.

Mrs Pettersson’s fields of expertise are diagnostics, facilitation and inclusion of learners with partial learning deficiencies and special needs in the Grades 1-4. She works with the learners in close cooperation with the class teacher and according to the curriculum.

In addition to this, she is responsible for the cooperation with the German and English kindergartens and she conducts annual school readiness assessments.

You can reach Mrs Pettersson by email on katrinpettersson@dsk.co.za or phone her in the STAR Centre on 021 480 3836.

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.

Counselling Psychologist 
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.

Dr. Ahlert is at the DSK on Thursdays and Fridays.
Email: ahlert@gmx.net
Cell: 083 227 0730

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

Email: christinavdr@mweb.co.za
Cell: 082 820 5908
Download more infomation here:
Special Needs Support Process at the DSK

Speech and Language Therapy at the Tygerberg Satellite Campus

Mrs Jo-Anne Rousseau is a private Speech Therapist focusing on articulation, language and literacy skills. She visits the DSK campus in Tygerberg on a weekly basis. Mrs Jo-Anne Rousseau offers individual and group sessions where she assists learners in becoming more confident in their communication and literacy skills.
Cell: 081 327 3537