Living Social Justice

A blog about responding to poverty and injustice, everyday and in all sorts of ways

Archive for the tag “Saturday School”

So what happened at Winter School?

During the first week of the school holidays, a team of 21 volunteers ran Winter School for 47 Grade 6 and 7 learners at Litha Primary School in Gugulethu. The volunteers helped teach maths and English, facilitate groups, prepare snacks and lunches, build team spirit – and had a lot of fun in the process! Here’s what one of the volunteers, Jacqui Mackenzie, had to say:


The classroom was transformed for the week with bright posters

On the morning we arrived at Litha, the designated classroom was transformed by the volunteers from a dull room with dusty desks and chairs, stacked away for the holidays, into a vibrant, colorful teaching environment with posters and bunting to celebrate the Winter School theme: “South Africa: A rainbow nation”.


Fritha teaching a group of students

Being a part of Winter School has really increased my passion for life like nothing else has. I loved that we could help the kids to learn by just being an example to them. It was also amazing to see what a difference it made by just listening to them and helping them one-on-one. I felt I really had the opportunity to impact individual children’s lives as the groups were small enough.

Some of the volunteers

Some of the  amazing volunteers

In breaks and during the outing, the volunteers shared promising stories about the students – and many laughs!

Outing Day to the ice-rink!

Outing Day to the ice-skating rink!

On Tuesday afternoon, after the ice-skating outing, a teacher from Litha highlighted that through Winter School we were actually protecting the children from what goes on in the community during the school holidays, where poverty, a lack of adult supervision and few productive activities can lead to destructive behaviour.

Jacqui leads the girls in a ballet class

Jacqui leads the girls in a ballet class

During a listening comprehension, we used a story about an eagle chick who grows up with chickens – and so starts acting like them! – to teach the children that they should never believe horrible things that are spoken about them and that they should never label anyone as anything less than what they are – a person who is made in the image of God.

One of the students hard at work during a maths game

One of the students hard at work during a maths game

I remember a friend  of mine once saying, “Don’t miss out on the blessing that comes from blessing others!” This was certainly true of Winter School – I have never felt richer or more blessed than after spending the week with this class of students. Thank you so much for providing the opportunity for us as Christ-followers to serve others.

– Jacqui Mackenzie is a third year Physiotherapy student Stellenbosch University. She serves at Ignite (the kids ministry for Grades 5-7) on Sunday mornings and is a member of the Common Ground Church Bosch PM congregation.


Help impact education at Litha Primary School by joining the Saturday School team, which meets with this group of learners during term time. Saturday School runs from 9-11am on Saturday mornings, and volunteers get involved on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Email us to find out more!

Intense concentration needed during one of the lessons :)

Intense concentration needed during one of the lessons 🙂

A Thank You Note from a Saturday School Student

Every Saturday, a group of volunteers goes to Litha Primary in Gugulethu to help teach maths to grade 6 and 7 students. Here’s what one of these students had to say… 🙂

What are you grateful for this year?

Volunteer Q&A – Saturday School

Full name: Tom Modinger

Congregation: Common Ground Rondebosch AM

Occupation: Finance Manager

How long have you been a volunteer at Saturday School? Two months

When do you go and for how long? Every Saturday from 08:30 to 11:00

Can you explain what you do while you’re there? Help teach Maths for Grade 6 + 7 (Standard 4 + 5 for the older folk)

Can you tell us a bit about Litha Primary and why Saturday School is so necessary? The school has very limited resources but the kids are very enthusiastic and it is a pleasure teaching them.

What are some of the challenges you face in doing this kind of volunteering? Not all the kids are on the same educational level and it is difficult to keep the whole class, up to 40 kids, attention all the time.

What do you appreciate the most about volunteering at Saturday School? Trying to make a difference to someone’s future and seeing the kids enthusiasm to learn.

Every week, we’re going to be posting one volunteer’s experience on our blog. We’d love to hear about your stories or maybe you have questions for Tom – post them in the comments section below!

If you’re keen to find out more about Saturday School, email

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