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About

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Just imagine an consistently equal and integrated South Africa; it’s not pipe dream but a future reality, which we believe begins with a socio-economically diverse group of children, parent-carers and teachers choosing to co-learn how to live together in a quality, diverse and affordable micro society, that starts with a school…

Starting with 3-year olds, we are in the process of establishing a ‘game-changing’ school where children from a whole range of cultural, racial and socio-economic backgrounds gather together to fulfil their whole potential.

Quality ∵ Diversity ∵ Accessible

With a child-centred inquiry-based approach – which encourages children to apply the ‘foundation literacies’ of language, numeracy, IT, science, finance, and cultural / civic awareness to everyday tasks – the intercultural nature of our school means its even more conducive to developing ‘competencies’ like critical thinking / problem solving, creativity, communication and collaboration, alongside the ‘character qualities’ of curiosity, initiative, persistence / grit, adaptability, leadership and cultural / social awareness.  In its ‘New Vision for Education’ the World Economic Forum (2017) highlights these 21st-Century skills as the building blocks of a democratic society.


To ensure quality education is accessible to children from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, our school fees are calculated on a sliding scale, according to each family’s household income.

Firm Foundations

In 2018, our co-founders, Phil and Rachel Bowyer, returned from a fact-finding tour of child-centred inquiry-based education in Italy, the US, UK, Israel, New Zealand and Australia, ready to contextualize what they learnt from what the world has to offer to South Africa’s education system. 

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About our co-founders:

Rachel and Phil Bowyer have been involved in inter-cultural community work, education and leadership development for over 20 years.

For the last 11 years, they have focused on addressing inequality and segregation in South Africa, establishing from scratch a network that would consist of 100s of business, church, education and non-profit leaders, gathered from within 100km of Durban, KwaZulu Natal.

The Power of Partnership

As a school, leadership and staff team, we are committed to the inspiration of a unified, dynamically social, and relational God. A Godhead whose divine nature receives, values, honours, collaborates, and makes room for the other, whilst revealing and giving self (McLaren, 2012:130).  To be made in this image – individually and as a school body – means following God’s example as an ‘agent of change’: provoking, agitating, innovating, re-imagining, and co-constructing new possibilities that bring justice and peace to society’s structures (Bosch 1991:179; Tennent 2010:479).

We are looking to form partnerships with businesses, charities, churches and / or individuals who are willing to add their expertise, finances and practical support to positively transform South Africa for all, for good.


Core Values

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Quality Education.

We have a high definition of quality which utilizes a child-centred inquiry-based approach to learning where children are free to express themselves through the use of languages, science, technology and mathematics, in response to complex challenges, within a changing environment which values curiosity, initiative, persistence / grit, adaptability and leadership.

The World Economic Forum, 2015. A New Vision for Education.

We are committed to being a school where the unique capabilities, creativity, curiosity and intelligence of each child are recognized, celebrated and encouraged, as children actively participate in their education. With the freedom to voice, listen, shape, reshape, form and reform their questions, theories, and activities, children see the possibilities of co-creating futures.

(Rinaldi C., 2001, A journey into the rights of children. p. 82, and Cagliari P., 2012. One city, many children: Reggio Emilia, a history of the present, p. 195).

Diverse Education.

We believe that diversity within the classroom is central to a school’s ability to facilitate quality education. Diverse experiences, skills and viewpoints – where they are free to be expressed and explored – stimulate the level of complex thinking and problem-solving that is required to foster progress in an innovation-driven society; a rapidly evolving world where the facts and future are uncertain or unclear (WEF 2018).

We are committed to being a school that is intentionally inter-cultural. Through the mutual exchange of norms and ideas we see deeper levels of knowledge, respect, and understanding of all cultures developing.  In celebrating and making room for diversity, everyone learns from one another, because no one is left unchanged (The Spring Institute, 2016).

Where is the future? Where does the “new” reside? We will find the future in places where new forms of human coexistence, participation, and co-participation are tried out….It is necessary for us to learn this unity in diversity, and this diversity in unity’

Rinaldi C., 2001. Making Learning Visible: children as individuals and groups. p. 45.

Affordable Education.

From it’s position among the top ten most diverse countries in the world, at the tip of the most diverse continent in the world, South Africa has the opportunity to offer one of the best education systems in the world.  

To ensure that quality education is accessible to a diversely socio-economic group of families, the payment of fees at our school are innovation-driven, in that they are income-based. By calculating school fees on a sliding scale, we are able to increase diversity and the access to quality education, by nurturing the Foundational literacies, Competencies and Character qualities that every child requires to thrive as lifelong learners in the 21st-Century.




Let us make a start together

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We cScreenshot 2018-11-12 11.20.23urrently have: 58% of what we believe we need to begin

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Feasibility Study

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We asked 100 parents…

  • what they consider of key importance when making a decision on schooling
  • if they would be willing to pay school fees based on their household income1

Key considerations in choosing a school:

Below, in order of priority, are the main factors that parents indicated are of up-most importance when choosing a school.

  • Excellent teaching
  • Strong leadership
  • Cognitive development
  • Social and emotional development
  • Multi-cultural and racially integrated
  • Visual, auditory and kinaesthetic teaching
  • Strong links between the school and the home

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85Willingness to pay school fees based on household income:

  • Eighty-five percent (85%) of parents said that they would be prepared to pay school fees as a percentage / in relation to their household income

Some helpful comments made by parents in relation to income-linked fees included:

“Money should not be a determining factor to access good education.”

“Children should not be deprived of a good quality education for monetary reasons.”

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“I think school fees should be paid according to household income so that whether rich or poor all children get the best education.”

“I would only be willing if it meant that under privileged kids got a chance at a better education, it would also mean my kids interact more with kids from different social economic backgrounds which is great.”

“Most parents want the best all round education for their children and would sacrifice what they have to so their children get the best education and opportunities. Unfortunately many children who are gifted fall through the cracks of mediocre education and never fulfil their full potential.”

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screenshot-2016-10-19-16-15-05Feasibility Study Demographics

62% of people surveyed classified themselves as ‘White’
24% of people surveyed classified themselves as ‘Black African’
6% of people surveyed classified themselves as ‘Indian’
6% of people surveyed classified themselves as ‘Coloured’
2% of people surveyed classified themselves as ‘Other’

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Conclusion

Our research (2016) demonstrates that parents are willing to consider paying school fees in relation to their income, thus creating a racially and economically integrated school, as long as, the school also provides the highest quality teaching and learning opportunities, where children can fulfil their God-given potential.

 

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Registered fundraising initiatives

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An A-Z of fundraising

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As you begin to explore potential ideas and plan your fundraising initiative(s) it is always helpful to start by taking time to consider what you’re aiming to achieve, when, where, why, with whom and how.

A is for Aims

As one of Game Changers’ 360 fundraising individuals and / or groups it goes without saying that your primary aim is to raise funds towards your target of £1,000 and our target of £360,000.  That said, perhaps you’d like to create something lasting in your church, community, office or local school, see this an opportunity to bring people together for something meaningful, or it’s just a once off event?

The Game Changers Fundraising Ideas Pack, available as download, or to view online, categorises 50 ideas into i) acts of service – where people, members of the general public and / or the wider community benefit, ii) buying and / or selling initiatives, iii) home based initiatives, i.e. fundraising opportunities that takes place within the comfort of one’s own home, iv) general events, and finally v) sponsored events.  Some ideas will naturally fall into multiple categories.

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B is for Budgeting

As you plan, make sure you have a clear budget in mind – or better still written down or saved to your computer – one which includes what you will have to spend and how much revenue you expect to be generated from things like entry fees, donations and / or sponsorship.  Remember to build in a contingency for those unpredicted expenses!  If you do have to cut back on spending in order to save and raise more money it will be important to refer back and to try and stay true to your original aims.

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C is for Communication

If you want people to attend, buy tickets or even help out, they’ll obviously need to know exactly what will be happening, when, where and why.  Whether you’re planning an initiative with colleagues, family, friends, school, or for the community, you’ll know the best way to get your message out there, but things to consider might include Facebook groups and twitter, local newspapers and radio, shop windows, church notices, staff noticeboard, school bulletins and / or assemblies.  If you’re expecting an upfront commitment from people, whether that’s financial or just some assurance that they’ll be there, think about how you’re going to facilitate that – do people need to buy tickets or just sign up?

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D is for Donations

You may be surprised to hear that it is a good idea to avoid charging an attendance fee, for one thing it may impact the kind of licence required to host your initiative (see point L for information on licences and permission).

Soul Action would prefer you to ask for voluntary donations to capitalise on Gift Aid tax relief (see our page of Donations for more details).  Please ask sensitively and without coercion, and try not to avoid rattling tins or collection buckets – these may require a collecting licence.

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E is for our calendar of Events

This offers a selection of almost 60 events, celebrations, commemorations and occasions which we think could provide opportunities to highlight and raise funds for the school.  As you read through them, you’ll no doubt be aware of or familiar with some of the highlights we’ve picked out, although you may not have thought of them as potential fundraising opportunities before.  Depending on your interests, relationships, resources and location, etc. we expect that you will be aware of others, opportunities which you should feel free to use as you reach your target of £1,000.

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F is for our Fundraising Ideas Pack

The Game Changers Fundraising Ideas Pack is available to download and / or to view online.

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G is for Giftaid

Gift Aid can be claimed whenever a donor attending one of your fundraising initiatives is a UK taxpayer; provided you take the time to capture their personal details on the specially designed printable forms we have provided, which are available as separate downloads, or as part of our Fundraising Ideas Pack.  Your donor(s) will need sign to say they agree to our friends at Assemblies of God Incorporated treating as Gift Aid all qualifying gifts of money they’ve made.

 

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H is for Hygiene

If you’re considering serving or selling food at any of your fundraising initiatives be aware that any food supplied, sold or provided outside of the family / domestic setting is currently subject to EU food law and must be safe to eat, regardless of whether the operation supplying or selling the food is doing so to make a profit.  Food must not be ‘injurious to health’ or ‘unfit for human consumption’. For advice on providing food in a village hall or other community setting for volunteers and charity groups, visit www.food.gov.uk


 

I is for Insurance

If you and / or the organisation you represent already have existing household or other insurances it is worth double checking the policy before you plan your initiative to see what is and is not covered, or whether you require any extra insurance.  If you are in any doubts about what insurance you might need, seek advice from the Association of British Insurers or charity brokers like  Unity Insurance Services who will be able to offer you advice on Public Liability Cover to protect you and / or your organisation against claims for any injury to the public or damage to other people’s property.

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J is for Just Giving (tbc)

We are exploring the possibility of registering with Just Giving, the world’s leading online fundraising platform.

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K is the prefix of ‘kilo’ from the Greek word khilioi, meaning thousands!

By agreeing to be one of the 360 individuals and / or groups committing to raise least £1k towards the Game Changers total fundraising target of £360k you understand how vital your contribution is.  Although you may be convinced of this already, it is important that you communicate the reason behind your fundraising to potential donors with clarity in as many creative ways as possible so that they might begin to comprehend the impact of what may seem to them a small contribution to the cause.  For Christian audiences, why not make use of the Game Changers film.  As you communicate the vision and values behind the school, you might find some people are so inspired that they simply want to donate £1,000 – we’ve already had this happen – or an individual may wish to host their own initiative and raise £1,000 – we’re already had this happen too!   Please encourage them to visit www.gamechangers.school for more information.

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L is for Licences

To use certain public locations, you may require go-ahead from relevant authorities, for example, under the Licensing Act 2003 some events require a licence or a Temporary Event Notice (TEN), which can be obtained from your local authority.  Permission must be obtained well in advance, and a copy of that permission must then be sent by you or the organiser to the local police as soon as possible.

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M is for Music

If you plan to have live or recorded audio visuals, even in the background, you may need a licence.  Contact PPL UK or PRS for Music for a license to play live or recorded music at public events.  If your event is private, the performer or venue has the relevant licences, or you only use specially recorded copyright-free music, you may not need licences.  If you’re concerned about whether or not you need licences, the easiest thing to do is not to use any audio visuals unless your initiative depends on it.

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N is for Notify

Please notify the Game Changers team with regards to any fundraising initiatives that you are planning beforehand – so we can keep track of what is going on and encourage others – and do keep us updated afterwards as to how your fundraising initiative went.  Please Pledge and / or Register your fundraising initiative(s) at the Pledge and Event Registration.

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O is for keeping things Official

As well as pledging and officially registering your initiative(s) online, official sponsorship forms are also available, either as separate downloads, or as part of our Fundraising Ideas Pack.  For donations to qualify for GiftAid tax relief feel free to print multiply copies; it is very important to use these official forms and to encourage donors to take the time to sign and complete them properly.

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P is for Public Safety

Although public safety rests with you as organiser, the owners of the land where you host your event, and the local authority – if the event takes place on a public road – you do have a responsibility to notify the ambulance service, fire, police or safety advisory group(s), and to incorporate any recommendations made by these services.  Although the police have no, or at least limited, authority to approve or ban an event, or even regulate things such as traffic, they will intervene if they feel there is an imminent or likely threat to life.  Throughout the event either yourself as event organiser, or your deputy, should be contactable and available to liaise with the police and / or safety advisory groups.

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Q is for Quality

Although the main aim is try and raise as much funds as possible, we wouldn’t want you to do so at the expense of quality, one of our values is after all excellence (see Vision and Values).  Please don’t feel that you have to cut corners or skimp, especially if it means the possibility of endangering the public’s safety or damaging property in any way (see Safety and Risk Assessments).

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R is for Risk Assessments

As you focus on fun-draising during your planning it may be difficult to imagine a worst case scenario, like someone getting hurt or something getting damaged.  Whilst it is impossible to plan for every eventuality, a good risk assessment beforehand will help to identify potential hazards, who might be harmed and how, evaluate risks and decide on preventative precautions.  Some of the more obvious risks to consider include alcohol availability, bouncy castles, children running about, fireworks, large crowds, sports or other physical activities, or safety hazards at the venue (including outdoor events).

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S is for Small beginnings

With all this talk of Licences, Public Safety and Risk Assessments you may be wondering if the simple fundraising idea you had in mind measures up or will make any significant dent in the £1,000 we’ve asked you to raise, let alone the £360,000 we believe we need to raise.  Well, the beauty of having a whole year to fundraise is that you can choose to make your initiative(s) as large or small and frequent as you like, from a big one off concert to a weekly coffee morning or book club.  You can also team up with other fundraisers in your community, church and / or local schools to raise the £1,000 together.

There is no limit to the number of initiatives you do or with whom you work to reach your target.

Just as Zerubbabel, the leader tasked with rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem c.520 BC must have thought his task was insurmountable and / or overwhelming, take heart from God’s encouragement through His prophet Zechariah that, “It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit” (Zech 4:6).

The apparent size of this task, and overcoming any difficulties ahead of you along the way, do not depend on your ingenuity, skill or strength, but on God – if you allow the Spirit to flow through you.

As you prepare for your first fundraising initiative, or whenever you and / or others think you’re not making the progress you imagined you would, God says: “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin” (Zech 4:10, NIV).  The temple was completed in c.516 BC.

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T is for Teamwork

Rather than collaborate with a number of individuals to reach a target of £1,000 by Christmas 2017, you may feel that the size of your fundraising initiative(s) requires a team of people to pull if off.  The makeup of this team will most likely be determined by the scale of the initiative & the skill set it requires.

If you find your team is growing to the extent that you feel like you are spending more time managing people at the expense of organising the actual initiative(s), it is probably worth considering breaking down into smaller sub teams with sub team leaders who reports back to you (as the overall project manager).  It will be important to be clear about roles, responsibilities, who reports to who, and what decisions people can or can’t make.  The key thing from a Game Changers point of view is that you make the most of what might turn out to be a whole year working together by having as much fun as possible, whilst as the same time raising awareness and funds for what is a great and worthy cause.

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U is for regular Updates

By registering your pledge, along with each of the fundraising initiatives that you’re planning to do thereafter, you and your fundraising team – if you have one – will benefit from receiving regular encouraging and informative updates from the Game Changers team.

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V is for Vision and Values

Be sure to make the most of your fundraising opportunities by continually returning to, reflecting on, and communicating the Game Changers vision for a new approach to schooling in South Africa.  Familiarize yourself with our dream for education, the stark contrasts within the current education system, our feasibility study with local parents, and our vision and values.

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15, NIV).

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W is for Spirit filled Wisdom

Always remember to always pray for wisdom, imagination and discernment as you plan, prepare and host your fundraising initiative(s).  Prioritise time with God by yourself and whenever you gather your team.

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X is for Xmas or Christmas

If Christmas is coming it means the year is almost over and your fundraising year is coming to a close.  One last push over this period could enough to see you over the line or surpass your target for 2017

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Y is for You

On behalf of South Africa’s children, the Game Changers team wishes to thank YOU for a great year.

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Z is for Zero

If you’ve followed the advice above, there is nothing more to do apart from see the funds flow in.


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