The Silver Linings Curriculum

For the teaching of maths and reading, Silver Linings use an American education programme designed for children with learning difficulties called DISTAR (an acronym for “Direct Instruction System for Teaching Arithmetic and Reading”). Each pupil’s level in the programme is ascertained according to their instructional needs and not by age. The programme is taught individually by a DISTAR-trained teacher and rate of progress and level of work are driven by the needs of the child. Apart from DISTAR arithmetic and reading, pupils also learn DISTAR spelling, thinking skills, language and expressive writing on a weekly basis.

For pupils who are able to work independently and have attained a certain level with DISTAR, the ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) curriculum is used. This allows pupils to work at their own pace towards an internationally recognized certificate and can be continued with from anywhere in the world. The ACE curriculum has 5 core subjects: Word Building, English, Maths, Social Studies and Science.

Different methods and mediums (smart boards, tablets, tactile learning resources and creative work activities) are used to enhance the learning of the concepts presented in the core curriculum. Depending on the pupil’s preferred learning style these different methods are delivered to meet the specific learning needs.

Senior School Students In Class Silver Linings

Individual Education Program (IEP)

Silver Linings Primary School Student and Teacher

At the beginning of each term, every child receives an IEP which is formulated from their previous reports and assessments. Here the teacher, assistants and parents identify the pupil’s strength and weakness and identify a series of goals to be achieved over the following 6 months. Their workstation tasks are then set according to these goals to develop the weaker areas and build confidence in areas where the pupil is more able.  The success of each pupil is therefore ensured because of the attainable, individual, collaborative and specific nature of the goals set.

IEP sets goals in a holistic manner and so includes mathematics, reading, life skills, social skills and also motor skills. Behavioural goals also form part of the IEP as they underpin lifelong learning.  As an example: if a pupil cannot tie their shoelaces, this will be a part of their IEP and they will practise this skill in their workstation. These practical tasks are included in the academic schedule as Silver Linings aims to make special needs children able and capable to deal with day to day life with little assistance and supervision by the time they leave the school.


After School Program

Our most recent addition to the Silver Linings educational offering is our After School Program. This has been set-up to cater for children who are on the waiting list for Silver Linings school and offers lessons designed around an IEP for the child (including one on one tuition with a teacher) until a place becomes available in the morning. We have found this programme to be a great success as it familiarizes the child with the school and learning system, gives them time to settle into the new environment and makes the transition into morning school much easier.

Pupis Painting Class Silver Linings Special Needs School Zimbabwe