Beyond the Classroom Quarterly Newsletter

QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2024! We’re excited to kick off the year by recapping the highlights of the first quarter and sharing our latest updates with you. The Learning Trust has had an incredible start to the year, from hosting a successful Amplify After School Symposium to launching our position paper on the Social Employment Fund (SEF) and its impact on leveraging public employment programmes. Read on to learn more about our recent activities!

Lessons from our work

Amplify Afterschool Symposium

In January 2024, The Learning Trust brought together over 180 after-school practitioners and leaders at the Amplify After School Symposium. This event was a dynamic platform for ASPs to share knowledge, expand networks, and innovate. Through engaging workshops and masterclasses, attendees explored various strategies pertinent to the after-school sector, including scaling, innovative practices, and intervention models.

Wayde Groep, our Symposium Programme Director and passionate after-school advocate, highlighted the Symposium’s vital role in amplifying the sector’s essential work. He emphasised how after-school programmes play a pivotal role in nurturing every child’s potential, enabling them to dream, explore, and pursue their passions.We’ve captured all the key moments and insights from the Symposium on our website, where you can learn how we are Amplifying After School. Additionally, check out our highlights video and insights from our after-school partners on our YouTube channel.

SEF Round up and new publication alert!

Our SEF team has been actively engaging with our implementing partners nationwide by hosting provincial working sessions in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and Gauteng. These sessions focussed on aligning work programmes, strengthening the MEL process, Kwantu training for site administrators and timekeepers, and provided an opportunity for partners to network and share lessons. Partners left feeling inspired, motivated, and well-informed. Thank you to all our implementing partners who were in attendance.

Recent Publications

We’ve recently published a position paper demonstrating the role of TLT in supporting ASPs to access public employment programmes to enable them to scale and strengthen their work

The report highlights significant advancements in three key areas:  

  • Learning Outcomes: ASPs have expanded their reach, scaled proven models, and enhanced programme quality, improving participant learning outcomes. 
  • Employment Outcomes: Young people have gained valuable work experience, developed essential skills, bolstered their confidence, and accessed further opportunities for personal and professional growth. 
  • Civil Society: CBOs have strengthened their human resource capacities, improved administrative processes, strengthened monitoring and evaluation and attracted additional funding to sustain their impactful work. 

Read the full report here. 

Management Accelerator Updates

Last year, The Learning Trust proudly introduced the Management Accelerator Programme (MAP), a year long immersive learning journey designed for passionate after-school managers. As we reflect on the past months, it’s been a period of success, connection, and growth for our participants. 

Nwabisa Ndongeni, one of our accelerators said, “I wanted to express my sincere appreciation for the informative HR training session Judith Mtsewu delivered to our team. She emphasised the transformative impact of understanding the organisation, enabling transparency, and promoting a harmonious work environment.” 

In line with our programme’s overarching goals, the mentorship component aims to facilitate connected and confident managers who can advocate for positive changes within their organisations. Nasiphi Mashicolo shared her experiences, highlighting the insightful sessions and support from her mentor, Claire Tobin, in tackling workplace challenges and implementing learnings. 

As we plan another in-person immersion with our participants, we’re thrilled to engage further and grow the after-school sector together. 

News from the field

Progress on Zazi Izandi Pilot Programme

TLT partnered with the DG Murray Trust to pilot Zazi iZandi (ZiZ), a Grade R and 1 phonics programme, in 20 schools in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo. Developed by the Binding Constraints Lab, this project is geared towards boosting early-grade phonemic awareness. The pilot was implemented by passionate youth employed through the SEF and seconded to Masinyusane and Funda Wande. Its aim was to test the effectiveness of training Teaching Assistants (TAs) to enhance letter sound knowledge. Assessments by IkapaData and an external evaluation by Prof Brahm Fleisch revealed significant impacts, as detailed in the recently published advisory note. We’re thrilled by the pilot results and eager to expand this intervention in 2024 and beyond!

Grantee Learning Circle in the Western Cape

Our first Grantee Learning Circle took place in the Western Cape led by our Programme Officer, Malibongwe Nkunkuma. This interactive session explored organisational plans for the year and facilitated cross-organisational learning opportunities. 

“It was wonderful to reconnect with everyone since the Symposium,” shared Malibongwe. This Learning Circle marks the start of ongoing quarterly engagements to foster stronger ties and partnerships focused on Communities of Practice (CoPs) and other professional development initiatives implemented by TLT. 

After School Highlights

Upcoming Events

Look out for invitations to our upcoming events, including practitioner masterclasses in May and grantee learning circles scheduled for April and May 2024. Additionally, keep an eye out for the Gauteng Community of Practice happening later this month. 

We’ll share more details once they’re confirmed.

TLT Updates

In the last quarter, we’ve welcomed new members to our growing team: 

Meet Nkanyezi Mashianoke, our new communications intern, who joined the TLT family in January. Nkanyezi supports TLT’s communications and advocacy efforts, including crafting engaging social media content and other key communications activities. She brings a wealth of skills to our team with a National Diploma in Language Practice and Media Studies and a certificate in Social Media Marketing. 

Welcome Nomfundo Xangu, our Gauteng Programme Officer. She holds a BComm degree in financial management and is currently pursuing an Honours Degree in accounting sciences. Nomfundo brings over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector. Beyond her financial acumen, Nomfundo is also a talented classical clarinet player, blending her passion for music with her commitment to empowering young people.

The Learning Trust Team

#AfterSchoolWorks #ReadyToAmplify