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John Wesley School: Striving for Excellence 

John Wesley School is a Christian independent primary school that has served the Pinetown and greater Highway area in KwaZulu-Natal with distinction since opening its doors in 1977. 

Offering English medium instruction in a co-educational environment, John Wesley School produces young men and women with the knowledge, character and integrity necessary to become outstanding citizens and boldly face up to the numerous challenges with which they will be confronted in modern society.

The school has a strong team supported by the Board of Governors, parents and staff who all share a commitment to the children and their wellbeing.

We encourage parents to share responsibility for their children’s education, and we look forward to a happy partnership with you and your family. 


 

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Your Donations Make A Difference In A Child's Life

Donating to our school Bursary Fund will help create new and rewarding educational experiences for our learners.  

The emotional impact of COVID-19 on our children

The emotional impact of COVID-19 on our children

According to the lyrics of a popular Bob Dylan song, “the times, they are a-changing”. None of us could have imagined just how dramatically “the times” were about to change when schools closed for the holidays at the end of the first term, earlier this year. The global COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown have impacted us financially, socially and emotionally as well as our children’s education, and we have had to adapt rapidly to a “new normal”, with physical distancing, wearing of masks, etc.

John Wesley School has been fortunate to reopen to the majority of learners, which I believe is essential in ensuring the optimal social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of children. This has not come without its challenges, nor without stress or anxiety for parents who, understandably, are concerned for the safety and well-being of their children. This may indirectly contribute to anxiety in children as they “pick up” on parents’ conversations, news coverage, etc., thus impacting their learning.


How does anxiety present in children?


Children, especially those who are younger, may experience difficulty in recognising their emotions and expressing them in words, and thus are unlikely to say they are feeling anxious. Children suffering from anxiety will, however, often complain of having physical symptoms, such as a headache, tummy ache, body aches or sore throat and may also exhibit signs of nausea, vomiting, sweating, diarrhoea, shaking, or even difficulty in breathing.

Some of these symptoms are also common to COVID-19. The difference, however, is that these symptoms usually dissipate once the source of the perceived anxiety is removed, e.g. the child stays at home instead of going to school. Often, however, these symptoms return the next morning before school, and in that there is no physical basis for them, i.e. they tend to be “psychosomatic” in nature. In addition, they are often accompanied by difficulty falling or staying asleep (contributing to exhaustion), emotional outbursts or tantrums for no apparent reason, negative thoughts, and poor concentration (lack of focus).


How can parents reduce anxiety in children?


Follow predictable routines: Anxiety thrives on uncertainty whereas predictable routine and structure will provide children with an increased sense of security during times of uncertainty. Sending your child to school regularly should form part of this routine, unless you are advised not to, and will reinforce this, and provide some sense of a return to normalcy. Moreover, strive to be consistent in your actions.


Focus on controllable tasks: Anxiety thrives in situations over which one has no control, e.g., what is shown on TV whereas we can control what our children watch on TV. As parents, we may feel anxious when our children attend school without us being present to personally protect them, but we can teach them how to be safe, and be assured that their teachers are as committed to their well-being as we are.


Encourage a positive mindset: Anxiety flourishes on negative thoughts and the “worst-case scenario” whereas adopting a positive mindset allows one to challenge these thoughts in a rational way based on facts. Encourage your child to focus on the present moment (“You’re safe right now!”) and consider the best outcome. Reassure your child that you do not know when this will end, but that it won’t last forever.


Keep in contact with others: Anxiety flourishes when one “withdraws”, or isolates oneself from others whereas contact with family, friends, teacher and classmates provides a supportive “social network” for children to talk about their feelings. Although lockdown places severe restrictions on social contact, we can encourage our children to use Zoom or WhatsApp to chat to others, and schedule family meetings.


Limit social media and TV exposure: Anxiety thrives on disseminating bad news and misinformation while excessive “screen time” (watching TV, playing video games, etc.) is associated with a greater risk of anxiety and depression in children. We should, therefore, take active steps to limit children’s “screen time” by setting restrictions and providing media-free times or locations, family social contact excluded.


Adopt and follow a healthy lifestyle: Anxiety flourishes amongst individuals who are physically tired, not eating properly, or physically inactive whereas getting enough sleep/rest, following a balanced diet, getting sufficient exercise, and taking time to relax help combat anxiety in children (and adults!). Spend more time as a family going for walks, playing outdoor sports together and promoting a healthy lifestyle.


Finally, in these times of uncertainty, let us all take cognisance of an encouraging quote from Socrates: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

Disclaimer: David Weekes is an Educational Psychologist. Advice given in this article is not intended to diagnose any medical condition nor suggest that parents should not seek appropriate medical advice and consult their general practitioner or medical doctor should their child present with any COVID-19 symptoms.

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Testimonials

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John Wesley is the best..I thank God i chose to send my baby girl to John Wesley she turned to be an independent young ...
Bantu Gugushe Grade Parent
Excelled in
Bantu Gugushe - Parent
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John Wesley is the best school ever, and it taught me a lot - especially to be independent. I really don't know how to ...
Pretty Soni Grade Past Pupil
Excelled in
Pretty Soni - Past Pupil
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I work at JWS and can proudly testify that it is a school of integrity - I can proudly recommend it to any parent who ...
Lilan Corden-Lloyd Grade Staff member
Excelled in
Lilan Corden-Lloyd - Staff member
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I have utmost respect for this school and I strongly believe that our country needs the school of such caliber.
Allen Wandah Grade Parent
Excelled in
Allen Wandah - Parent
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Get involved in our 100 000 fundraising initiative

Obtaining funding for building projects is daunting, so we have launched our 100 000 Campaign in the hope that we can convince 100 businesses or individuals to come alongside us to build the two classrooms we will need by the end of 2018. 

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CONTACT US

Address:
30 Bamboo Lane (off St.John’s Ave), Pinetown

Post:
P.O. Box 2407, Pinetown 3600

Call : 031 701 5603 | 072 952 2537

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John Wesley School

John Wesley School is proudly South African, applies Christian values, is independent, well managed, employs expert, dedicated personnel and is comparable with the best schools. For excellence in all things educational, it is the natural choice for discerning parents.

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