Parent & Student
Table of Contents
Introduction & General
Welcome to Peak Academy
We are very excited to have you join our Peak family. We hope that your experience at Peak will be an extra-ordinary one because you have just joined a group of very unique people. We think outside the box and we do things a bit differently, but we promise you will learn a lot and make good friends!
This is the exciting beginning of a new journey and we want you to feel at home. Therefore, the main purpose of this handbook is to communicate all the information about Peak that will help you to understand how things work and what can be expected. YES! We know it’s A CHUNK of reading and some of it can get quite serious, but please take the time to read through it.
It is often like a marriage; we want to make sure that once the “honeymoon” is over that everyone understands what is expected of them. It often happens that when students have settled in they start to challenge the rules of an establishment. Please understand the rules won’t disappear for an individual. It is very important that you understand what exactly you are subscribing to in this document. If there is anything unclear or you need to know more detail, please feel welcome to come speak to anyone of us that looks official. We are all human beings and we want to help.
Let's do this together!
At Peak Academy the learning does not only centre around Academic skills, we are big on “Social emotional learning” - a buzz word which has gained popularity in education of late. Technically it really means Life skills. What is unique to Peak is our intimate learning environment with structures in place that intentionally allow for opportunities to learn life skills vital for survival in today’s world.
The aim of the game is to take ownership of your studies and take charge of your life and your growth. Sometimes these life skills are only learnt through experience which means that similarly to a mother bird throwing her chicks out the nest in order for them to spread their wings and fly, we will intentionally push you out of your comfort zone in order to help you grow and learn. But you are not alone! Our team of teachers will go above and beyond to teach, reach, support and guide you along the process or just be a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen when necessary.
This can be a rather daunting experience but this why we want to foster a good relationship between all of us. Together there is stability, support and accountability. TOGETHER WE CAN embrace the challenges, develop creative solutions and grow. Thank you for choosing Peak as your partner on this journey. We promise to always do our best for you and hope you will choose to do your best for us too, so let’s work together.
Peak Academy is a multi-campus school situated in the CBD of Fish Hoek. Each of the campuses have a unique purpose and is located in walking distance from each other. See the map below.
Opening and closing times
The School will be open from 7:30am ( both campuses) and will close at 16:00pm Monday to Friday.
Students are required to be at school by 08:15am to report to the check in classes every morning.
Students are permitted to leave from14:00pm (Junior Campus) 14:30pm (Senior Campus) onwards as long as they have no lessons scheduled in the afternoon.
Students working on their AS LEVEL subjects are encouraged to stay and work later as many more study hours are required per subject at this level.
Peak Group (PTY) LTD reserves all right of admission into any of it's campus premises.
Students have the privilege of wi-fi every day at the senior campus. This is not a must or a right and can be removed at the discretion of the Campus Head. No games, social media or non educational video content is permitted. The requirement for using the wi-fi is that all devices must be labelled with the student’s name in full.
The WI-FI password can be requested from the administrator at the office. The wi-fi usage is monitored and managed for every device. If there is evidence of abuse and excess usage, the device in question will be blocked from the network. The code of conduct regarding the internet usage is documented later in this handbook.
The Peak number is 021 782 0659. The Academy admin office is open during the semester from 8:00am till 16:00pm daily. The Academy is closed during school holidays, weekends and public holidays.
Please like our facebook and Instagram pages and others to keep up to date with what is happening in the life of Peak.
It is important for parents to note that we are teaching our students to be responsible and to take ownership of their studies. Our administrators will not answer emails from parents where a student has not followed the correct channels of communication. Only once a student has fulfilled this requirement and is still without a satisfactory answer will the administrator accept an email from a parent. Please encourage your child to exercise the skill of asking questions and trying to problem solve. This will become a vital tool in the big working world one day. Please use: email@example.com and the Administrator will direct the mail to the relevant person. If you would like to enquire about external exams, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
ekadence – Learner Management System
This is a cloud based system which collates data regarding lesson attendance, performance in chapter tests and any other information applicable to a student on a weekly basis. It is available to parents at any time via the parent or student portal. All Parents and Students will be added to our learner management system. The admin staff will email login details and an initial password. All communication and academic information will be done on this platform. On this platform you will be able to communicate directly with teachers should you have any questions. Our teachers will not answer emails from parents where a student has not followed the correct channels of communication.
ASSESSMENTS, EXAMINATIONS & REPORTS
Internal Peak Assessments are examinations written in June and November of every year.
Reports are issued twice a year at the end of the semester, at the end of semester 1 (June) and again at the end of the 2nd semester which is at the end of the year (December). All other results can be seen on the Learner Management system throughout the year.
An invoice and a statement will be sent to the payee every month. All tuition enquiries can be directed to our financial manager - Michelle Yates. She can be contacted during office hours - Michelle@peakacademy.co.za
Please note : That you have signed an agreement with a prescribed notice period of 3 months, it is policy of the school to uphold this in the agreement. Please make sure you familiarize yourself with the code of conduct relating to this.
Drop offs & Pick ups
We value our immediate community and would like to keep a relationship with our neighbours. Please follow the diagram when dropping off or picking up your child from school. Please do not block any private driveways or stop in the middle of the road to drop off or pick up your child.
Peak Triangle Relationship Model
Introducing our Peak Triangle Relationship Model
an interesting fact regarding the triangle is that it is considered to be the strongest form of all the shapes. It is the form used in many building structures because of its stability and strength. At Peak we speak about our “Triangle Relationship Model”. We believe that through our collective commitment to each other in this triune relationship it will result in the building of a strong and stable foundation which will support optimal learning and growth. The diagram below illustrates the basic key responsibilities and commitment between the 3 parties involved in this relationship: the Student, the Parent and the Academy (Teacher)
School Reporting Structure
You will find in every organisation a channel of reporting to or in which complaints or queries need to follow. We have created a diagram to easily navigate and to get answers. We are teaching students in this process about responsibility and ownership of their learning. We want students to be empowered to ask questions and to find solutions themselves. It is expected that a student must first find out any questions they may have from their "check-in" teacher. If the query needs to be escalated it will go to the administrator and then to the campus head. If your child has not had any success in getting answers then you can send an email or phone the school. Please understand that if you email or phone without these steps being followed your email will go unanswered. (remember why we are doing this, not to frustrate parents, but to rather keep students engaged and being responsible for their own learning process.
Peak Academy is approved by Cambridge to offer its world-leading Cambridge programme.
The Cambridge programme for students aged 11 to 19 is made up of three stages - Cambridge Lower Secondary, Cambridge Upper Secondary and Cambridge Advanced – giving students a clear path for educational success. Each stage combines a world-class curriculum, high-quality support for teachers and integrated assessment.
Cambridge Upper Secondary leads to Cambridge IGCSE, the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16 year olds. Cambridge Advanced prepares students for university and higher education, and leads to Cambridge International AS & A Level qualifications.
Every year, nearly a million students from 10 000 schools in 160 countries prepare for their future with Cambridge programmes and qualifications. Success with Cambridge often gives students admission to the world’s best universities – in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Germany and beyond.
Christine Özden, Chief Executive of Cambridge, said: “We are delighted to announce that Peak Academy has joined our global community of Cambridge schools and we look forward to a long and productive relationship with them.”
External Examinations (Cambridge Examinations)
These are the official international examinations registered written by students when they complete subjects on the IGCSE, AS or A level. The results are collated towards a matric qualification depending on the route a student has chosen. Each subject is written and registered for separately.
1. Cambridge exam series are held twice a year, in May/June and again Oct/Nov. (Except for certain subjects, candidates can only write in the May / June session or in the October/November session).
2. The registration for an exam opens approximately 6 months prior to the exam session. Therefore, it is important for students to have finished the majority of a syllabus and ideally have 2 months of revision.
3. Candidates will only be endorsed by their subject teacher to write their exam if the following applies:
a) Candidate is achieving and maintaining an average of at least 60%,
b) Has a mature and committed attitude and a good work ethic,
c) Has an 80% attendance at school
4.To register for an exam click on the link or scan the QR code and fill in the online registration form. If you need help just ask the exam co-ordinator to assist you. email@example.com .
It is sometimes best to show an illustration of the academic timeline that a student will go through in each of the levels.
Over the years we have learned that it is not always easy for parents or students to grasp this process the first time round. This is why every 6 months (semester) we sit with students to refer back to the goals that were set in the beginning of each of these levels. The goal setting form can be found on the LMS or your child can show you from their records.
Code of Conduct
At Peak Academy, we endeavour to prepare students for real life. We are also undertaking to teach and help prepare students to gather information and gain academic knowledge so that they have the opportunity to successfully write and pass their final Examinations. Our intent, therefore, is to uphold a Code of Conduct that supports optimal learning within the environment and within relationships of staff and fellow students. Our intent is to create and foster attitudes of honesty, integrity and respect.
The table below basically illustrates the different steps of disciplinary action including the follow on from an Intervention process. An offence can escalate up through the levels and can lead to a termination of contract with Peak. We will endeavour to do our best to help rectify problems, but as per our triangle relationship, it will take the choice and the commitment of all three parties to each other for a successful outcome.
Strike System in Study Room
The Strike system has been created specifically to be used in the study rooms. It is the most frustrating thing for students who want to get on with work to be disturbed by fellow students who do not have the same intentions. Therefore we have created a strike system that will allow students and teachers to deal with this before any disciplinary process begins. The Study Room must be a place of studying and doing work that has been scheduled. It is not a playground or chatting zone. We ask all our students to respect this and help keep these spaces as quiet as possible.
What is an intervention? Firstly, an intervention IS NOT DISCIPLINARY ACTION. An intervention is where a group of teachers will meet together with a student to discuss an issue.
What is the objective of an intervention? To listen and together strategize an integral plan to assist the student where they need help.
When is an intervention called? An intervention is called when it is noticed that something needs attention with regards to two main areas: Academic Issues or behavioural issues. It can range from something minor to something major.
Are parents involved? Parents are informed but are not requested or expected to be at an intervention. It is an opportunity for the student to engage and take ownership of their challenges unless the Campus Head feels that it is important for parents to attend.
What if it doesn’t work? There is a process of evaluation. Following an evaluation of no success, parents are then called and invited to join for a more serious conversation which could hinge on starting the disciplinary steps depending on the issue.
OUR OBJECTIVE at Peak Academy is ALWAYS to assist and try remediate a situation or issue. Parents and students are encouraged to please connect and communicate with Peak earlier rather than later in order to prevent an issue escalating out of proportion.
Please see the process indicated below. To find a list of issues that would be considered for an Intervention please see further down in this chapter.
* two weeks behind the schedule.
** Escalating from the Strike system
*** Suspension will be issued depending on an investigation or the student is considered a threat to the school.
Please note that suspensions are not considered as a punishment and will never be an outcome of a disciplinary hearing.
School Attendance is required from Monday to Friday during the academic hours as mentioned above. It is very important to attend lessons as this is the opportunity for discussion about concepts and to receive input from teachers. Teachers will also direct work and set tests so that they can monitor the progress of the student in the subject. If students do not attend lessons they miss out and fall behind with their own study plan.
Parents must make all personal appointments after the academic day, including but not limited to doctor's appointments, therapy sessions, dental appointments and alike. Students are not permitted to leave school early as this becomes a major disruption. If it is unavoidable, parents must report to the office to sign their child out of the school for the day. No student may just leave the premises without permission. Please make sure that this arrangement is done before the start of the day, and an email is sent to the office before 7:30am. If a student for whatever reason is planning an extended period of absence from school an extended leave of absence form must be completed well in advance of leaving. This is to help create a plan so that a student does not fall behind in their work. Click on the icon for the form.
As a matter of respect, we expect our students to be punctual for school and lessons and not to disrupt a lesson by arriving late. If a student is running late and has not communicated that they will be late with valid reasons it is better to stay at home. You might need the time to organise yourself in such a way that you are better prepared.
Communication is a key element for establishing a good relationship with Peak Academy. We want to teach students the art of communication, as this goes a long way in preparing our students for life after Peak Academy. The ways that we communicate include PEAK Talks - which is compulsory for all students (including graduating students), eKadence, emails and respectful in-person communication. There will sometimes be situations that are out of your control and if you speak to the right people the problem can be solved there and then. When a student starts to withdraw or stops communicating, these are the first warning signs that are noticed.
We encourage students to have an opinion for students to articulate a point of view, however this must be done respectfully. We have to learn the art of respecting other peoples opinions and points of view. We also encourage students to always check for the appropriate time in which bring up a discussion. For example if a Teacher has potentially not handled a situation correctly in your opinion, it is better to find a time where the teacher is not teaching and you can talk one on one. Anyone can argue for the sake of arguing, but doing it right makes a world of a difference.
Keeping the environment neat and tidy
Students will be divided into teams and allocated days in which they will be responsible for cleaning the classroom and common areas. This is a non negotiable. This is to teach students respect not only for others, but also for the environment in which they learn. In turn this teaches us all stewardship. Students are expected to clean up after themselves and not leave food, dirty dishes, litter, books, bags, belongings and clothes laying around the School.
The School must be kept looking neat and tidy at all times.
Please note that the school does not take responsibility for student’s belongings laying around.
Lockers & Pigeon Holes
Senior Students are allocated a locker each and Mid Years Students will be allocated Pigeon holes. It is expected that they keep their books and belongings in the locker / Pigeon Hole and only take out what is needed at that time. At the end of the day desks need to be left clear. These lockers / pigeon holes remain the property of Peak Academy and can be searched randomly at the discretion of Peak Academy Management. Students need to supply his/her own personal lock for the locker. At the end of each semester all locks need to be removed and all belongings are required to be taken home until the new semester starts. Any locks still on the lockers by the end of the semester will be removed. This is to ensure that there is no food or other substances that can turn into an environmental hazard. Students are not permitted to stick stickers on the lockers or to deface the lockers or pigeon holes.
Students should not throw down or leave their litter lying around the premises. There are adequate bins provided in every area. Littering has a negative impact on the environment and will not be tolerated.
Cheating & Plagiarism
Cheating in a test or an assessment will not be tolerated. If caught, the test or assessment will be taken away and the marks obtained will be disqualified . The student only cheats him or herself and defeats the purpose, which is to learn. Cheating wastes a Teacher’s time and effort and it wastes parent’s hard earned money. Plagiarism is viewed in a very serious light. This is the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own. All work that is found to not be their own will be disqualified.
Part of our focus for optimal success is to build strong relationships and Integrity. Relationships are built on trust. Deception does not build trust, instead it breaks down relationships. It is difficult to rebuild a relationship broken by deception. We expect trustworthiness from our students and teachers.
Mid Years Students are required to wear our "Variform". This is a basic Peak Golf Shirt that may be accompanied by chino's, jeans or shorts. (You get to have some choice).
There is no uniform for the senior students. We acknowledge the need for self-expression; however, students should dress appropriately and respectably in comfortable casual clothes. You need to ask yourself - would you wear a bikini to your graduation? There is a time and place for all kinds of dressing up or dressing down.
There should be no see through items and no underwear showing. It is also unacceptable to wear clothes that only do half the job. This includes low cut shirts / tops and shorts that are too short.
Students arriving in unacceptable clothing will be asked to change.
Hair should not be covering the eyes and must be kept clean.
Bad language is not appreciated and is regarded as disrespectful. Students should refrain from using it. We understand that this type of language is used freely in some homes, however as we are setting an example to each other we ask that we keep it to school language whilst at school.
Study Room (Senior Campus)
The Study Rooms are meant to be treated similarly to a library. There is no talking allowed and must remain quiet at all times. Students must not distract others in these rooms and should respect their fellow students who are working. Should any student be found not adhering to this rule, the strike system explained above will be followed. This is only fair on all students.
Cell phones and electronic devices
Students may have their cell phones with them, however it is to be used for academic purposes only during study and class time. There should be no playing games, texting, WhatsApp or watching movies or videos unrelated to work. Students who are found to be breaking this rule will have the phone confiscated and will get it back at 14:00. Students will have to sign the appropriate warning. During a lesson a student should not be wearing their earphones. This is considered rude and disrespectful to the teacher and completely inappropriate. It is not an action supportive of optimal learning.
Disruption of lessons will not be tolerated. It is disrespectful to the Teacher and the other students who are there to gain academic input. The student will be asked to leave the lesson and will be marked as absent. The student will also be issued with the appropriate warning. This will negatively affect their performance records and they will be flagged for not supporting the Peak focus of optimal learning. This includes repeatedly asking to go to the toilet during a lesson. There is sufficient time before and after class to go to the toilet.
Bathrooms have been allocated for males and females at all of our campuses Under no circumstance may a student of the opposite sex use a bathroom that is not allocated to them.
Bathrooms are to be used appropriately and not for secret meetings in the toilet stalls. This will be regarded as highly suspect behaviour. This behaviour demonstrates secrecy and deception and has a negative impact on the Academy’s overall ethos. Please refrain from congregating in the bathrooms.
It is an illegal offence to smoke (and all similar acts) in the bathrooms.
Smoking (cigarettes , e-cigarettes and any other similar products)
Smoking on the premises is STRICTLY prohibited. Smokers may not smoke within 200m of the building and may not loiter on the pavement. Smokers will not be allowed to leave the premises during school hours to smoke. Smoking is a parental issue and the school will not police this. Please note that smoking is illegal for students under the age of 18.
Smoking in the bathrooms is an illegal offence. All items of this nature that is confiscated will not be handed back to the student.
Leaving the premises
Students are not permitted to leave the premises this includes during break times. Students who need to leave the premises must get permission from the office to do so. Should a student need to leave earlier for unavoidable circumstances, must be signed out by a parent or guardian at the admin office.
We have made every effort to keep our staff and students safe on all of our premises. At the Senior campus there is a biometric system where students are granted access via finger print. This also doubles up as the attendance register for the day. Students may not allow any person into the building without escorting them to the office. Students are also required to make sure that doors are shut properly when leaving the premises.
At the Junior Campus the front gate will be opened from 07:30 am until 08:15am, Any person wanting to gain access into the campus must make use of the intercom system.
Friends of students from outside the school may not be on the premises without permission from the office. This will be granted on grounds that communication by the visiting person's parent has been established with the office. Once a student has entered the school in the morning students may not leave again.
Students with vehicles and motorbikes
It is always good to see our senior students gaining a little bit of freedom (responsibility) when they come to school in their own transport whether it be a motorbike or a car. Students are not permitted to transport fellow students without the express written consent of parents. Students are required to obey the rules of the road - this includes in the parking area. Please note that Peak Academy will not be held liable for any loss or damage of vehicles or motorbikes in the parking area.
Moving between campuses
Students must follow the diagram below when moving between campuses.
Walking through Peak Café
Peak Café is situated on the Main road side of the senior campus. This is open to our students and to the general public. Students may not use the café entrance to gain access to the academy or exit through the café. We ask that if students do not make use of the Café that they refrain from using this as a thoroughfare. Students are not permitted in the Café during the academic hours of the day.
Wi-Fi and Whatsapp
Senior students can connect to “the Peak” Wi-fi internet using their own technology, but will agree to acceptable usage terms as follows:
1) Students understand that access to the wi-fi is to enable learning and will only use their connection for this purpose.
2) Access is a privilege and not a right. Misuse is likely to lead to the loss of the privilege.
3) Students will not use the wi-fi to connect to inappropriate websites.
4) Students will not use the wi-fi and/or Whatsapp groups to produce, view or transmit material of an offensive, obscene or illegal nature.
5) Students will not use the wi-fi and/ or Whatsapp groups and / or social media platforms to bully, harass, insult or attack others.
6) Students will not violate copyright laws.
7) Students must make use of eKadence to communicate with teachers and admin staff. Whatsapp is not an official communication channel and therefore Teachers are not required to respond via whatsapp.
As common decency students are expected to respect the staff and their fellow students at Peak Academy. This also applies to all staff that respect must be shown to students. When visitors arrive at school it is expected that students are respectful and greet our guests. Disrespectful and abusive behaviour will not be tolerated and will be dealt with severely.
Bullying & Intimidation
We understand that everyone is different and that we are all uniquely created. Peak Academy under no circumstance accepts that one person is permitted to use their strength or power to frighten or hurt people. It is not tolerated.
Aid & Abetting
This simply means that if a student is found to have supported a fellow student in an offence without being the direct instigator or if a student has decided to keep quiet about an offence that another student has committed then that student will be charged with aiding and abetting. Remember we want to behave with integrity and so often standing up for what is right is the best route to take.
All of us are ambassadors for our School. Staff and Students are required to keep the name of Peak Academy in good standing within our community. Students may not bring the name of Peak Academy into disrepute. This includes conducting yourself in a manner that does not match our code of conduct or our value system. Please note that this extends to your conduct in your personal time as well as your social media platforms. This might sound intrusive, however we are building a good character in you. Future employers will seek out people with good relationship skills, display high levels of integrity and have the stewardship to value what opportunities that are given to them.
Illegal drug use will not be tolerated. Besides the fact that illegal drug use is a criminal offence within the South African Law, drug use directly opposes the focus of optimal learning as it has a negative effect on the brain and body, rendering it unable to function to full potential. Please read the Peak Academy drug policy and understand the disciplinary action that Peak Academy will undertake should there be a problem. It is also important to note that distributing drugs holds a far greater consequence and The School has an obligation to contact the Police to investigate the matter. By signing this document you the parent are agreeing that The school may conduct a drug test or search of personal belongings. It is out of courtesy that the School will phone before it is conducted. Peak Academy is a drug free establishment. Both parents and students are asked to go through this policy thoroughly. On signing this document and the tuition agreement it is understood that all parties understand clearly the process and the consequences that will follow. Please Note that parents will be liable for the cost of the prescribed notice period if a student is found to guilty of this offence.
No Alcohol may be brought to school. This includes all “non-alcoholic” beverages. Students are also not permitted to entre the premises being under the influence of alcohol.
Vandalism and violent or harmful behaviour
Students are expected to conduct themselves in a calm, mature manner. Peak Academy endeavours to provide a safe environment for students and staff. Breaking of furniture, equipment or any part of the premises will not be tolerated. Should a student accidentally break an item it is the responsibility of the student to report it immediately to the office. Where it is found to be deliberate the student will be responsible for the cost of the item.
In the event of violent or harmful behaviour the student will be made to leave immediately and disciplinary action will follow, this does not exclude any criminal charges that may be laid against the relevant person/s.
Possession or Distribution of pornographic Material
If a student is found to be distributing pornographic material (this includes by means of social media and or any messaging services) it is the responsibility of the Campus head to report the matter to the South African Police services(SAPS). There is no other alternative route of discipline that the school may take.
If a person is caught stealing the Police will be called immediately and a criminal charge will be laid. Alleged theft is also regarded in a very serious light. Disciplinary action will be taken which will lead to an immediate suspension pending an investigation. If you need anything rather ask!
No weapon of whatever nature may be brought onto the premises of Peak Academy. If for whatever reason it is necessary to have some sort of weapon with you it needs to be handed in to the office immediately for safe keeping until the end of the day. Weapons include pocket knives.
Any Student for any reason that obtains a criminal record will by default have brought the name of The School into disrepute and a disciplinary hearing will be conducted.
Peak Academy prides itself on a unique environment of learning. This means that we encourage our students to keep up to date with the schedule of work that is given to them. We love to see students who are engaged in class, manage their time wisely and are committed to their academic work. The red flags are raised when we see students unengaged and start to find excuses for work not being done. This does not mean that students are expected to always achieve highly in tests and assessments, this simply means that you are giving it your best!
Tests & Assessments
Tests and assessments are created for a purpose. We understand that sometimes it is a hurdle that is never pleasant, but it is really designed to help you - the student to understand where you can improve. Missing Tests and or assessments does not help at all. If you have double tests on one day or there are other issues it is the responsibility of the student to communicate with the relevant people to help solve the problem. Missed tests and assessments will result in a NIL grade and if a student has not communicated the test or assessment will not be allowed to be rescheduled.