Friday, September 6, 2013

We have moved!

The new lounge area
The Knowledge Workshop is now based in Observatory!

After 6 years in Rosebank, The Knowledge Workshop has spread its wings and relocated to a fantastic, newly renovated space in the heart of Observatory (aka. Obz, to the locals). Known to many for its cosmopolitan and eclectic mix of locals, foreign travellers, nightlife and eateries, Observatory has something to keep even the most restless souls occupied.

One of the new classrooms

 The new building is a landmark of sorts and has its own tales of infamy from over the years. Originally, as The Helderberg Tavern, the building was attacked by militant activists during the apartheid era. They firebombed the building, failing to recognise that the tavern was a drinking hole for local students, some of whom were involved with the anti-apartheid struggle. 

The balcony

Furthermore, Observatory, Salt River and Woodstock were, at the time, among some of the areas less-affected by the Group Areas Act. This culturally-mixed feel persists today. In more recent times, the building hosted a Night Club which was also victim of a fire. For about a year, between 2012 and 2013, the building was empty while being fully restored to its former glory – this time with added fire precautions!

The Knowledge Cafe

The Knowledge Workshop occupies the upper floor, accessed by a door on Station Road (look for our logo above a large wooden door). The owners (and their insurers) have done a fabulous job with the restoration. The interior boasts high ceilings and large sash windows that fill the space with light. The Oregon pine wooden floors have been replaced– this time with fire-proofing beneath(!) and Marian has been exercising her green fingers and started recreating the feel of the old school yard on our sheltered balcony, by introducing a variety of local flora.
EFL students in ... foil hats!
More hats of foil!

Additionally, next door to the school, we also have a flat for use by visiting students. The accommodation is fully furnished, equipped to a good standard, and serviced. There is free wi-fi, lounge with DStv, a dining room/study area, kitchen, bathroom and a laundry area. Visiting students, signing up for courses with TKW will be able to take advantage of this convenient and cost-effective accommodation.

Our new contact details are now as follows:
Phone: 021 448 5090
Address: 86 Station Road (First Floor), Corner of Station and Lower Main Roads, Observatory, Cape Town. 7925.

…So, remember to look us up next time you’re in Obz. J

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

To Boldy the Cape Town Science Centre!

The Cape Town Science Centre

Exciting times were had again here at TKW with synapses firing on all fronts. Teachers and students welcomed new arrival, Nina Deggeller, from Switzerland, to our wintry shores with a trip to the all-new Cape Town Science Centre in Observatory. (Incidentally, the eclectic and bustling suburb of Observatory will soon become the new home of TKW…so watch this space for news of our re-launch).

Previously located in Canal walk, where it had a successful run for 10 years, the Science Centre is now centrally located on Main Road, Observatory and close to all forms of public transport. And so, on the mini-bus from Rosebank to Observatory our excited science enthusiasts went. What some may find interesting is that the building which now houses the Science Centre is a heritage building designed by avant-garde architect Max Polincansky, who contributed much to Modernist architecture in our city in the 1930s and 1940s. With some of the original design elements still perfectly intact,  the Cape Town Science Centre promises to stimulate the senses on more than just a scientific level.

Paupette on 'Mindball'
Our group visited the centre with high expectations and left completely impressed and inspired. A vibrant, brightly coloured corridor which opened onto an expansive room filled with all sorts of interactive and sometimes mind-boggling exhibitions drew our group right in. There was something for everyone – a beautifully detailed train set, complete with little people; a giant chess set; a Lego room filled with Lego structures built by previous visitors; a life-size replica of Africa’s first astronaut, Mark Shuttleworth’s Soyuz space capsule, which surprisingly fits 3; an aerotrim machine which, if you did not already know, is a gyroscope large enough to hold a human; and Mindball, a game of mind over matter, where nothing but brain waves are used to move a ball across a table. Amazing, right? Well, our group certainly thought so. A few hours were needed to fully experience everything the Science Centre had to offer, though everyone unanimously agreed that it is well worth a second visit!
Patrick on 'Mindball'

Star Trek, a Sci-fi series first popularised in the 1960s made famous the following words: To boldy go where no man has gone before... For the 'Trekkies' out there, these words resonate with notions of exploration, and discovery. So, visit the Science Centre and it  may well get you all fired up and ready to explore your own uncharted territories!

Visit our Facebook page for a full selection of photos and don’t forget to ‘like’ us. You can also find us on You Tube or visit our website for all the latest TKW news, courses and special offers.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

That’s how we Bowl!

They say bowling is a sport for people who have talent to spare, so when Friday Fun Day once again rolled around, we decided to foster a little healthy competitive spirit between our gifted pre-intermediate and upper-intermediate students.   The challenge: two games of ten-pin bowling to find out what they’re made of.
The Bowlers
The day started with an instructional video and a quick vocabulary lesson before being whisked off to the bowling alley via a speedy train ride to Let’s Go Bowling in Claremont. Once our two team names were decided it was game on.

The Cassava’s comprised Paupette Sterling, Erick Bondo and teacher, Jesse Jooste, joined by former upper-intermediate student, Prince Kamb. Playing for The Bowlers were aspiring TEFL teacher, Jamie-Lee James, Patrick Rozay (a.k.a. Patcho) and head teacher, Jacques Engelbrecht.  
After slipping into our nifty, new pairs of studded bowling socks (yes, they've done away with the smelly bowling shoes!) both teams were amped to leave no pin standing.

Morale was high and after the first round, even the gutter-ball gurus amongst us were in fine form having knocked over at least a few pins to add to the tally. 
The Cassavas

Patcho scored two strikes for his team, putting his team in the lead early in the game, while novice-bowler, Prince, did his team proud by bowling a total of five fantastic strikes! By the end of the second round, it was neck-and-neck, but it was none other than Jamie-Lee who saved the day for The Bowlers by bowling two strikes in a row! The Bowlers finished with a final score of 456 points to the Cassava’s 422, proving that it’s not about how you bowl…but how you roll!

Visit our Facebook page for a full selection of videos and photos and don’t forget to like us. Also, follow us on You Tube or visit our website for all the latest TKW news.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Culture Day at The Knowledge Workshop

“Rain, Rain, go away come again another day...” 
Kimchi, explained

But the rain did not go away, nor did the cold for most of last week. And so, as the Cape of Storms once again lived up to its infamous epithet, TKW was cooking up a storm of a different kind…

South Korean and Arabic traditional dress
We were in for a jam-packed week at TKW – a new group of fresh faced TEFL trainees were in attendance, ready to sink their teeth into the real meat of EFL teaching, and with chilly conditions forecast for the whole week, food and culture was decided upon as a theme to see us through to Friday, just to spice things up. (By the way, as you read this, see how many food idioms you can spot).

The South Korean corner

The trainees and students were put through their (idiomatic) paces, and before long Culture Day was upon us. Food being the order of the day, students and teachers went the whole hog and brought everything from soup to nuts to the banquet table. Melt in your mouth treats from Congo (DRC), France, South Korea, Greece, South Africa and Great Britain were enjoyed by all, proving once again that variety is indeed the spice of life!

France, represented by a scrumptious cheesecake

In a nutshell, we learned, we laughed, we ate. And in the words of Marcus Tullius Cicero, “Cultivation to the mind is as necessary as food to the body.” Some food for thought, I think.

Tucking in
We wish our latest TEFL graduates the best of luck as they set off on their teaching adventures to far-flung places. May they have many fulfilling teaching moments, so they can bring home the bacon J

Visit our Facebook page for a full selection of Culture Day photos and don’t forget to like us. You can also follow us on Twitter or visit our website for the latest TKW news, courses and special offers. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

March to the Penguins

A day trip to Boulders to meet the penguins
TKW's theme last week immersed the students into Cape Town’s bio-diverse marine world, and after an extraordinary trip to the Two Oceans Aquarium and a gripping cinematic voyage to Tajii, Japan, in the award-winning documentary, The Cove, there really was only one way to end off the week - a journey to the wintry waters of False Bay. 

Our assignment - to experience one of Cape Town’s most iconic natural wonders, the African penguin, in its natural habitat at Boulders Beach.  

So myself, senior teacher, Jacques Engelbrecht, and Congolese superstars, Patrick Okoye Ndongo (aka Patcho) and Paupette Sterlling, boarded a train to Simon's Town and after an unexpected transfer from Fish Hoek in a cramped local mini-bus taxi, we landed safely and excitedly waddled our way down to the beach. 

A nesting penguin guards her young 
We were greeted by several curious dassies, while student-turned-penguin-expert for the day, Paupette, shared a few fascinating facts about these famous Capetonians, who were out in full force nesting on the dunes.  

Lots of ocean-inspired fun and learning was had by all and the outing was a huge success. 

You can visit and like our Facebook page for a full selection of photos and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter or visit our website for all the latest TKW news. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

TKW outing to Simon's Town Naval Base and Museum

Friday Fun Day Participants
Last Friday was indeed 'Friday Fun Day' again at The Knowledge Workshop, with a class outing to the Naval Base and Museum in Simon's Town. The excitement was tangible as students and teachers gathered at TKW before heading off to the train station to catch the 9:25 that would take them all along the coast into Simon's Town. Admittedly, I was a little jealous that I would not be going along as I have always wanted to experience the cramped confines of a true naval submarine, claustrophobia and all! This, I guess is what the excitement was really about.

The group comprised of our upper-intermediates, two of our resident teachers and a TEFL trainee-come-tour-guide who led part of the day's activities with an informative talk on SA Naval History and the Naval Harbour at Simon's Town, the only remaining full Naval Base in the SA Navy. See here for more information.

The outing was a huge success - informative, exciting and fun! So much fun, in fact, that they're all going back for round two!Perhaps you might catch sight of our adventure-seekers at the Naval Festival happening this weekend. It's going to be packed, so get there early!

Visit our Facebook page for a full selection of pictures, and don't forget to "Like" us! :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

TEFL / TESOL Jobs and Opportunites

We have a new page here on our blog aimed at providing leads for qualified English teachers who are looking for work internationally. Check out the "TEFL / TESOL Jobs and Opportunities"  tab above, to view our current list of recommended recruiters and schools. 

The list is by no means exhaustive and we will be adding to it and updating it on a regular basis, with the eventual hope that it will become a great resource for English teachers who are looking for work overseas. If you have suggestions for reliable recruiters or good teaching opportunities out there, please send them through to us for inclusion.

School outing  - Taiwan (photo courtesy of Steven Clegg)

To find out more about becoming a TEFL/TESOL qualified teacher, visit this page for a summary of the courses we offer, or request a call back through the enquiry form on the website.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

2013 Update

Well, having had a ridiculously busy year during 2012 (where we failed to keep the blog updated!), we have resolved to make 2013 The Year of the Blog at The Knowledge Workshop, so here goes...

The year has started well with the new term seeing English language students join us from far and wide. We are also just coming to the end of our first TEFL/TESOL teacher training course for the year. The trainees are now engaged with their practical training, where they attend The Knowledge Workshop every day and work in the classroom observing and assisting our teachers, before getting the chance to lead classes of their own. The classes that the trainee teachers provide are an important part of teacher training but they are also a real bonus to our English language students as these extra classes are free(!) to our registered students. We also offer these classes at a special subsidised rate to anyone wanting to try out TKW for a couple of weeks.

While all that is going on, we're making preparations to launch our new computer literacy course. This new course is aimed at equipping even the most devoted technophobe with the skills to operate a computer. The course has been developed exclusively by The Knowledge Workshop and aims to equip anyone with the insight needed to use and manage a computer effectively. We have a hunch that this course might be popular with the older generation, but people from all backgrounds and ages are welcome. If you are interested or want to refer someone, please send us a message through the website or give us a call: 021 687 9225