Royal Schools Sky City, a private school that’s close enough for Sky City learners to walk to, completes the picture of an integrated housing development that puts world-class education and comfortable living front and centre
Access to education facilities dictates where many young families put down roots. However, high property costs and expensive transport can place good schools out of reach for many. For Sky City, an integrated housing development south of Alberton, schooling is a priority. Cosmopolitan Projects, the developers of Sky City, partnered with Royal Schools which has a good track record of offering quality affordable and independent education since 1994 and operates 13 schools on five campuses with 5,760 learners.
Since its inception, Royal Schools has enabled quality private education, always mindful of guaranteeing access and affordability. This track record has afforded the organisation a prominent role in South Africa’s private education industry as one of the three largest school groups based on learner numbers.
WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE
“Our vision is to be the school of choice in the communities that we serve,” says Dr Bennie Fourie, CEO, Royal Schools. “We used to walk to school when we were younger, and now Sky City’s learners have the opportunity to walk to school as we once did.” Royal Schools Sky City offers Grade RRR to Grade 12, with a maximum of 30 learners per primary school classroom and 35 learners per secondary school classroom.
It boasts 63 classrooms with projectors and CCTV, a computer centre, two science laboratories, a school hall and sports field. In addition, it has 24-hour security, electric fencing and access control. Extramural activities include athletics, netball and rugby, as well as robotics, choir and eisteddfods.
“Another beautiful thing about our school is that we cover cradle to college. This means that learners can attend from preschool all the way through until they’re ready for college or university,” says Fourie. “As a parent, you can literally drop your children here from preschool to secondary school and you know you’ll find them here, safely looked after during the afternoons.”
Royal School Sky City opened in 2018 with 650 learners and it currently has 1,128 learners with a total capacity for 1,600 learners. “The school has its first Grade 12 group this year and with Royal Schools consistently maintaining a matric pass rate of between 98% and 100%, we look forward to seeing what this first Grade 12 group will accomplish!” says Alda Erasmus, head of communications, Cosmopolitan Projects.
QUALITY AFFORDABLE EDUCATION AT ROYAL SCHOOLS SKY CITY
Key to the success of Royal Schools is making quality education affordable and accessible. The school fees are lower than what parents would pay for at many public schools in South Africa and less than 20% of what they would be charged at an ‘exclusive’ private school. School fees for 2021 are R25,080 per year for all grades (or R2,090 per month over 12 months) and R25,000 per year for Grade 12 learners (or R2,500 per month over 10 months). The fee for preprimary includes two meals per day and structured aftercare facilities until 18:00 on weekdays.
“Among the reasons why I love staying in Sky City is the convenience of having my son attend Royal Schools Sky City,” says Kgomotso Morubane, parent of a Grade 2 learner. “Besides the school offering great education and extramural activities for their students, I was able to cut costs as it is reasonably priced and affordable. I’ve also managed to reduce transportation costs as he can now walk to school. He’s enjoying the fact that his friends living near his house are also his school friends and they do homework and projects together. I’m proud that my son attends the school and what makes me very happy is that he also loves the school!”
EDUCATION FOR ALL
For parents with children not yet at a school-going age, there are many privately operated day-care centres throughout Sky City, and the new church’s preschool will be completed in September with its first intake in January 2022. “One of their first initiatives will be to present early childhood development and entrepreneurship courses in the evenings and on weekends to the residents of Sky City,” says Erasmus.
Home-schooling and studying needs are also covered, with fibre internet connectivity available at very affordable prices to all the houses and apartments within Sky City. There are also free Wi-Fi hotspots throughout Sky City, including spots in Sky City Mall and in the public recreation areas where residents get free internet access. Cosmopolitan Projects partnered with Ianet to install the fibre network and Surf4Life to provide uncapped, unshaped and unthrottled internet access (where other ISP services are either capped, shaped or throttled). In addition, the service is provided on a pay-as-you-go basis with no contracts, and this enables the residents of Sky City to easily work and learn from home. This is essential these days and mostly unheard of in this segment of the housing market.
“Sky City is very much a model for South African residential developments catering to the hard-working, lower to middle income earning majority of South Africa. It offers services and amenities that would otherwise only be accessible to high income earning individuals,” says Erasmus. “Sky City shows it is possible to give average South Africans a dignified, comfortable lifestyle with quality housing, good childcare and educational facilities, internet connectivity, shops and recreational facilities, all at a price that they can afford.”
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