Left to right: Katrin Petterson, Sharon Pienaar, Jamie Brassell,  Heidi Ortmann, 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.


Jamie Brassell
School Counsellor Grade 1 – 6

Jamie Brassell is an educational therapist and counsellor, offering to counsel 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 
Tel: 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 an 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 you can call 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 you can call the STAR Centre: 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 call the STAR Centre: 021 480 3836.

Sharon Pienaar
Middle & High School: counsellor 
I am a registered counsellor and learning support teacher with experience in educational, health and NPO settings. 
I am passionate about mental health and education, with specific emphasis on counselling adolescents. I believe that mental health support and care is vital for learners to flourish in every aspect of their life.
I will try my utmost to support the learners who walk through my doors. 
I am excited to be part of the DSK and look forward to the journey.

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 counselling 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 a 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 counselling 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 DSKl.

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 available on Tuesdays at the DSK.

Email: christinavdr@mweb.co.za
Cell: 082 820 5908
Download more information 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