24 Nov

We chat with Bradley Cooper, headmaster of Waterfall Preparatory School, about the joys and challenges of creating the Upper Highway’s newest school.

Waterfall Preparatory School welcomed its first Grade 1 to 3 pupils in January this year and will open its new Intermediate Phase, from Grades 4 to 7, in January 2018. This completes the journey from pre-primary to matric, with Waterfall Pre-Primary and Waterfall College, under the Waterfall Schools umbrella.

“I believe that education is at a watershed moment,” Mr Cooper says. “There is a lot of noise about needing to ‘do things differently’ and the immediate assumption is often that the introduction of technology alone is sufficient to bring about change. We have the chance to investigate all the choices, structures and systems, and make informed decisions about what children really need to impact their love for learning.

“I am particularly excited about establishing systems that sculpt a unique piece of art in our children, rather than mould, essentially, identical products.”

Having studied a Bachelor of Primary Education at the University of Witwatersrand, Bradley began his teaching career at The Ridge School in Johannesburg in 1992, where he was the HOD of Sport and a member of EXCO. He then moved to Highbury Preparatory School in 1999, where he led a team of 25 academic staff members at the senior primary (Grade 4 to 7). He has more recently served as HOD at Embury College.

Advisory Head of Waterfall Preparatory, Sharron Lane, speaks highly of Mr Cooper: “Brad is a man of integrity whose passion for education and family values breathes new life into those who are privileged to work with and learn from him.”

“Being around passionate educators who dream big and work really hard to create fun and exciting learning experiences is inspiring and uplifting – along with the sound of happy, laughing children,” Mr Cooper continues.

“In years to come, I would hope that our students can look back with fondness and reflect on a period in their development with memories of wonderful teachers, special bonds of friendship and a place that stimulated them to explore and discover their own strengths and interests, a place that helped them become well-adjusted adults, secure in their identity, who are constructive and positive contributors to the society around them.”

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