Our Teaching Philosophy

At Gateway Primary School we have developed teaching philosophies for each subject based on Biblical wisdom.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth: In teaching Science, we want children to have a clear understanding that the world was created by God, that they were created in God’s image. They are not a product of evolution.

Hebrews 11:3 By faith, we hope to help pupils appreciate the world God created and desire to become good stewards of it. As they get to know more about God, they should also get to know more about the world He created. They should see God as the one who gives answers. Pupils should be excited about learning science because it would be a journey of scientific investigation and new discoveries. However, all learning will be based on Bible truths. Appreciation of biblical principles and values acquired will be emphasized.

The Collins English Dictionary defines mathematics as ‘the study of numbers, quantity, sample and space and their interrelationships.’ When we look into the Bible, we see that God demonstrated expertise in dealing with what mathematics is all about in His word. The Book of Numbers is full of numbers and God mentions them in many other places throughout the Bible. The number line we teach in our lessons is infinite, showing us one of the characteristics of God, i.e. Himself-the Eternal God,--- He is from everlasting to everlasting.

In mathematics, order and pattern are important if one does not follow the correct sequence pattern or order they will not get the correct answer. For example, you may need to follow a pattern or sequence e.g. 23 43 63 - 103 123. God is a God of order. He created the world in an orderly manner. For instance, He did not start by creating man but created land, the trees, animals etc. for man to use, before man came on earth. Feeding 5000 people, Jesus asked the people to sit down first before feeding them. Leftovers were gathered and put into baskets, leaving the place clean and orderly. The sun comes out at a certain time and is allowed to be hot to a certain degree. As the earth moves round the sun, it maintains a certain God-measured distance. We need to make use of God’s gifts of order and pattern to help us understand and cope with our daily lives well.

In Mathematics, a correct answer is a correct answer wherever you are, be it in Zimbabwe or Australia. This teaches us about the God of absolute truth. Titus 1:2 “God who cannot not lie promised...” (NKJV). God’s word is true wherever you go.

God is not a man that He should lie. What God says is truth. However, in Mathematics we teach that your answer is either right or wrong. You might have correct steps towards getting the correct answer but if your final answer is not correct, the answer is marked wrong. You might be given part marks for the correct parts but your errors can be found.

Teaching mathematics is like building a house, we build from one stage to the next, one layer of bricks at a time. The first concept has to be thoroughly understood before teaching the next concept that builds onto that one. Grasping concepts requires practice. i.e. to keep on practicing until the skill is learnt or concept is grasped. Practice makes perfect.

  • A variety of hands – on activities should prepared and carried out to help pupils develop concepts .e.g. Use of different mathematical tools e.g. Interactive, projectors, counters, mathematical sets and shapes.
  • A variety of Instructional, strategies should be used to cater for pupils different learning styles e.g. Group
  • Different types of Assessments should take place during different times of instruction and practice evaluating how the children are thinking and what theyare able to do.
  • Because pupils need to understand how to work out story sums (problems) it is important that they learn English language acquisition strategies properly. “Clue” words to help them understand story sums will be taught e.g. Meanings of the common words used such as product, share, sum of etc.

God loves us and is kind to us, therefore, love should be a characteristic of God’s people and ministry is an expression of that love.

God is interested in individuals, both spiritually mature and weak. He has made each one of us uniquely. We are each to live in a way which respects God and values others as His image bearers. We should treat others the way we would like them to treat us. God expects us to be a blessing to all people. Loyalty to God will result in others misunderstanding us and sin will affect all relationships.

Life skills enable us to deal with whatever situation or problem which may arise, whether this is in our families, with our peers, at school, in the community; in the past, present or future.

  •  Life Skills teach us how to express our God given emotion
  • Life skills remind us that God has a plan and a purpose for each of us and He can use any situation to bring good for those who love Him
  • Life skills help us to develop healthy coping strategies and appropriate behaviour.
  • Through life skills, we learn social skills to help us to love our neighbours and live in peace as far as possible.
  • In Life Skills we teach that God’s Word is authoritative. All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, so that we may be complete and equipped for every good work, (2 Timothy At my first defence, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them 3:16- 17).
  • Through Life Skills, children learn that God’s Word gives us guidance in every area of life and shows us how we should live.
  • Life skills help us to realise we can pour out our hearts to God through prayer and gain encouragement through reading His Word.

People need to have a good work ethic in relation to filling the land. It is necessary to know the value of working with one’s own hands.

Genesis 2:15, “Then the Lord God placed the man in the garden of Eden to cultivate it and to guard it.” The Lord expect us to be hard workers.

(2 Thess 3:6-12) Pupils learn about the dangers of laziness and goodness of hard work and being productive. They are taught to work hard. They learn the principle of sowing and reaping. There is no reaping without sowing. Learning to grow crops and vegetables for themselves teaches them to be self-sufficient in the future. They learn to grow their own food, and as well as enough to feed others – to always have something to give.

(English Language, Comprehension, Reading, Creative Writing (Composition), Poetry and Drama)

Our God is a communicating God. He has used language in

  • Words – the Spoken Word in creation and
  • The written Word – the Bible

We use language when praying to God - communicating with God. Language is also used in relationship building. We teach language to help every student to read, write and speak correctly and confidently. They can then be able to communicate well with God and man.

Comprehension of material read will be emphasised.(Listening is an art, therefore listening skills will be taught especially in the Infant Department). We also teach the correct use of language, i.e. using language to build and not to destroy. Students should understand that all aspects of language should be used to glorify God. E.g. spelling and grammar etc. Language is used in all interactions, creative expression and for accommodating diversity among students. Speaking the same language breaks barriers. Ultimately, language helps both the student and the teacher in all areas of life.

Some fun language activities are held during the year to encourage pupils to read Grade threes books. Some of the activities such as ‘Book week’ for Grades3. Grade 4-7 pupils have a Language Day where they spend the whole morning doing a variety of fun language activities. We benchmark our story writing against other schools by participating in the National Allied Arts Literary Festival prose and poetry competition for Grades 2 to 7. We also take part in the ‘Cover to Cover’ story writing competition which is conducted by The Daily News, one of the popular national newspapers.

At Gateway Primary we strive to educate our pupils to use information, communication and technology responsibly to glorify God and impact the world. We are doing this by integrating real world life skills into our teaching by using Proverbs 1:1-8 as our guideline.

Teaching, instructing with the guidance of the Holy Spirit to provide understanding, discernment teaching the right use of technology instead of using it to harm the world and how to turn that around to Glorify God.

In conjunction with the Resource Centre we educate children how to identify truth in the world’s resources. Selecting resources that are promoting the Christian World View foundations during lessons and research lesson time. Knowing the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge

We believe that music is a God-given gift. It is a universal language that allows people to connect with each other. Music is taught in order generate in children an appreciation of music, for them to develop musical literacy that will enable them to perform and create music. The lessons are intended to impart practical music skills through an understanding of the basic elements of music such as harmony, rhythm, melody, pitch, tempo, etc.

Through music education the teacher hopes to inculcate a love of music that will carry on for the rest of pupils’ lives. Some can develop to become professional musicians as adults.

Music can be an outlet for self-expression, a way of expressing various emotions. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche went so far as to say, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” Though music can also be used to convey sadness, it is mostly used for joyous and happy occasions. Through music we can praise God using a variety of instruments (Psalm 150:6)

Pupils need to learn the importance of using their gifts and talents for the glory of God. Music played a great part in the economy of God’s people in the Bible. As early as Genesis 4:21, we read about Adah, who was the father of all who play the harp and flute. The Bible provides us with many examples where music was used in worship of God for victories over enemies. After crossing the Red Sea, Moses burst into song - Exod. 15:2 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Miriam took a tambourine and led the women in song. King David is described as “the sweet Psalmist of Israel” (2 Sam 23:1) for the many psalms that he penned. He was an expert harpist. In a number of his psalms he encourages creativity by exhorting the reader to “sing a new song unto the Lord”. Following David’s victory over Goliath, the women sang a song in praise of his exploits. David had 4000 temple musicians. His son Solomon wrote 1005 songs!

In the New Testament, Jesus and Disciples sang a hymn after the Last supper (Matthew 26:30). And in Acts 16, Paul and Silas sang hymns at night and the other prisoners heard them. Suddenly, an earthquake followed as God moved into their situations to break their chains! In Colossians 3 Paul encourages believers to use psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to encourage each other.

Music classes can also be considered a healthy break from academics in a school day In summary, the purpose of teaching music at Gateway Primary School:

  • to worship our God through the medium of music and song
  • to help children remember scriptures through learning the songs that quote them
  • to enjoy music in all it is shapes and forms
  • to learn about different cultures
  • to learn about different genres of music
  • to participate in music by using their own bodies and musical instruments
  • to be creative with their movements and voices
  • to grow their vocal ability
  • to learn basic music theory (written)
  • to encourage the learning of musical instruments which aids in brain development and ability to learn in other subjects
  • to warn children of the secular music industry and encourage them to seek Christian music within their preferred genres
  • to appreciate movement to music
  • to be able to recognise various musical instruments by sight and sound
  • to understand colour & dynamics within music
  • to recognise and create their own music rhythm patterns
  • to make their own basic musical instruments
  • to understand how music has grown and developed through the ages to the present day.

In teaching social studies, pupils learn about how people lived in the past in different nations. As they study the lives of these people they get to understand that we do not live in a perfect world, but a sinful one. God is a God of law and order (Romans 13: 1-7). Pupils need to learn about conflict resolution because we live with other people and we are in a sinful World . God has blessed us with many resources, and we need to look after them well collectively. (1 Corinthians 3: 5-17).

Every person was created in God’s image so they are valuable no matter what country or culture they come from— we need to learn about them, understand & accept them as they are. As Christians, it is necessary to develop cross culture skills in order to reach all cultural groups. God is sovereign and is in control of all creation.

The Remedial Department believes that every child has the potential to bring something unique and special to the world and are entitled to the support necessary to maximise their potential. Thus the Remedial Department’s philosophy is to provide a life changing experience of children in the least restrictive environment. We also believe in Special children as capable individuals gifted differently by God to make the world a better place.

It is a command from God that we assist pupils in discovering who they are in the kingdom of God because they are fearfully and wonderfully made. “Psalm 139 v 14” Therefore we offer an inclusive environment where people learn to respect, accept, embrace differences and show kindness.

God has blessed us with the capacity to learn other languages. In Harare province, English is the main medium of instruction, followed by Shona - for those who live in the Matabeleland area, it is Ndebele. Shona is one of the major official languages in Zimbabwe. It is the medium of communication for local people living in our region, therefore there is therfore a need to teach it in schools.

Teaching Shona enables pupils to communicate meaningfully to Shona speaking visitors to the school. It also enables them to effectively communicate with the less privileged in rural areas when they go on outreach trips.

Language unites. Failure to understand or speak a language immediately puts a barrier between people. Understanding a people’s language helps one appreciate their culture more. Therefore, teaching shona helps pupils to communicate effectively with each other, as well as making it possible for students to appreciate the Shona culture and embrace diversity. In addition, learning Shona fosters a sense of identity in Shona pupils who belong to the Gateway School community. Pupils are able to communicate with their peers when they go on out reach programmes in the rural areas. They can share the gospel better when they are able to speak the language of the people they are ministering to. They also understand better the teachings and what the Shona speaking pupils and teachers will be saying to them. Generally they are accepted in that community in a more welcoming manner or they accept other people for better.

Shona is one the examinable subjects at Grade 7 level. As a Christian school, our desire is to do our best in every aspect of school life, and this includes excelling in Shona. (Ecclesiastes 9:10 ‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all you might.’)

God is the creator of the universe. (Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.) He is also the giver of artistic abilities and creativity When we express ourselves through arts we are simply apply what God as our father did long ago. Arts enable to tell our story. We therefore show appreciation of God’s creation through art. We are creative like the God who made us in his image.

Pupils need to learn that their bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We need to look after ourselves, so that we may have healthy bodies and healthy minds. (1Corinthians 6:19)Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

Physical Education (P.E) teaches self-discipline as those who succeed are self-disciplined people. When teaching P.E, emphasis should be on the development of Godly attitudes and living Godly lives than just achievement. Obeying the rules of the game is expected of those who desire to succeed. In addition, listening to the coach’s instruction and obeying them is essential.