Life Skills

We teach all of our Life Skills lessons from a Biblical World View and our hope is that Gateway Pupils will own their faith when they leave the school.

Life Skills

Skills we need in everyday life that are not taught in the class or on the sports field.

There are many reasons why I believe Life-Skills is becoming a very important subject in our schools, but here are the three main ones.

  1. Reduced level of basic life skills as children enter school.
  2. The global village whereby we are connected to international trends instantly.
  3. The rise of social media and new technology that our students are more adept at than we are but lack the moral awareness which they need to navigate these dangerous waters.

There is a lack of ability to respond to instructions and a lack of respect for authority. Whether this is due to ECD centres or parenting we can’t be sure, but there is definitely a decrease in the skills base we were used to. The more sedentary life style and gadget play rather than outdoor play is in the mix there somewhere. Perhaps a contributing factor is the increase in absent parents, either physically due to the economic environment or emotionally due to the high tech life – style we live, where gadgets have replaced a lot of the interaction.

As a department at Gateway, we used to offer life-skills from grade 3 through 7, but more recently this has been extended to include grade 2s and now from the second term we include our grade 1s.

Grade 1 & 2 Life Skills:

Life Skills should be taught as early as possible because emotional Intelligence is so VERY important and can be taught to our littlies!!

Since introducing Life Skills to Grade 1 and 2 in 2015 we have seen that the “proof is in the pudding”  J These are lessons for life!!!

  • They tend to only have the vocabulary of happy/sad so we need to increase their vocabulary of emotions and how to identify and express these emotions appropriately. It also builds empathy in them and helps with friendships
  • Listening and communicating skills – I feel…..when….. NOT You make me angry etc
  • They need to be taught how to be kind and to think of others before themselves etc - a culture of kindness helps reduce bullying incidences.
  • They need to know the different types of bullying – verbal, physical, emotional, leaving children out etc and the necessary coping skills including being an “upstander”
  • Problem solving/Conflict resolution and when you need an adult to intervene
  • Difference between reporting and tattling. THINK chart so helpful
    • T - Is it True?
    • H - Is it Helpful?
    • I - Is is Inspiring?
    • N - Is is Necessary?
    • K - Is it Kind?
  • Discernment and self-control especially with media. Making choices and knowing that choices have consequences.
  • Body safety – you can say NO to "tricky" people.

Feed-back from parents and fellow teachers has been very positive.

  • They didn’t realise young children could be taught these skills.
  • Children more able to express their feelings verbally and this increases their confidence
  • Problem solving very helpful that they can sort out their minor conflicts without involving adults ( a couple of families have said they use the problem solving chart as a family too, between spouses etc)
  • Reduction of tattling especially at school (tale telling is a teachers nightmare!!)
  • Some teachers didn’t realise that isolation is a type of bullying

Higher up the school Life Skills lessons address similar issues but in greater depth and with a view to preparing them to cope with the pressures that exist in High School.

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all you might.

Ecclesiastes 9:10

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