It lifts school principal Grantham Jansen’s heart to see youngsters running down the school passage to the computer lab when it’s time for their Reading Eggs class. Established in 2012, The Click Foundation runs this online phonetics-based English literacy programme at Vlottenburg Primary School near Stellenbosch.
Mr Jansen enthuses about the positive impact the programme has on his pupils, who start the programme at the end of Grade R to promote their English reading, writing and speaking skills. The youngsters pick up computer literacy immediately: ‘These Grade Rs may come from rural, disadvantaged backgrounds but they know what to do!’ he laughs. ‘They find the English so exciting. It’s very encouraging: you see them with their headphones on, and when they get something right on the computer, their faces light up.’
The discipline learnt in the computer room, with its strict code of conduct overseen by two facilitators, is an equally valuable part of the children’s education. ‘Reading Eggs is one of the best support materials a school can have. It’s a beautiful thing as it’s gentle on the child. I get excited when I see kids having fun and learning at the same time,’ he says. Parents love it too as it means their children are keen to go to school.
Alichia Meyer, a Grade 2 pupil whose English is flourishing, says, ‘What I like to do on Reading Eggs is when I must catch the letters to move to the next level. I like building on the walls with words like “the” and building another word. My English is much better. I can read, write and speak it very well!’