By completely re-imagining standards, environments and approaches to learning, Streetlight Schools is creating globally competitive schools in some of the most underserved communities in South Africa at a scalable cost. With our innovations in Academic Approach, Facility and Professional Development we are demonstrating that it is possible to change established truths in South African education.


By replacing the classic role of instruction for teachers with a student-centred and differentiated approach, we place student mastery and enjoyment at the heart of all learning. Learning is viewed as social, dynamic, and internally-driven: a radical shift from conventional classroom instruction.

The core pillars of our academic approach include rigorous implementation of key methodologies:

  • Theory and application: The concepts, knowledge and basic skills we teach are put into practice and applied to real world and everyday life exercises so that our students experience the relevance of what they are learning.
  • Inquiry and creation: We provide our learners deeply immersive, practical experiences that are grounded in real world investigations. This allows them to explore concepts, connect themes, act intuitively and express themselves creatively.
  • Student-driven learning: By having students guide us on what they want to learn about, we create a culture of learning that comes from within and builds problem-solving and self-reflective skills.
  • Differentiated learning and teaching: All instruction is tailored to accommodate the level which suits the particular learning stage of each child.
  • Holistic student approach: We see each child as a psychological, physical and intellectual whole—not divorced from context—and treat their education as supporting and engaging with all these facets.


We are highly inspired by best practices from around the world when it comes to academic standards and methodology, including: the New Zealand state curriculum for their wise approach on academic breadth and depth; the US for the Common Core and their rigorous connection between academic benchmarks and teaching resources; Italy for the Reggio Emilia Approach and their sensitive and unquestioning view of a child’s abilities and creativity; and Finland for their modern practice of treating both students and teachers with integrity and accountability.