GEORGE BUSINESS NEWS - Two years of waiting for the i's to be dotted and the t's to be crossed - and now Samantha du Plessis is the proud principal and owner of the Outeniqua Academy in Heather Park. The pre-school opened a month ago and had an open day on Saturday 4 May.
Samantha says she has in the past always been asked to open schools for other people, but now she can proudly say she owns a pre-school herself. "We are only taking in 40 kids. I want to keep it small, with ten in a class. This gives us better opportunities to go on outings."
The school makes use of the Reggio Emilia approach, an Italian educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. The programme is based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration.
They offer a really fun menu for the kids, including flapjacks with honey and omelettes, and on Fridays the children explore cooking by taking part in making their own lunch, such as pizzas and wraps. "We provide a service to parents with kids, who have siblings. We pick them up from school and a teacher makes sure their homework is done," says Samantha.
She shares her time between the school and her business, The Art Café, in town. "I am lucky to combine my two passions, which are working with children and art," she says. Samantha looks forward to her school being part of the community and believes that we can all play a role in bettering the suburbs we live in by giving back.
Now Samantha can be hands-on with the school as well as her business, but opening this school her way is a dream come true.
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