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High School Alternative for Autistic Students

“We are not a special needs school.
BUT, we are set up in a way that particularly suits our
autistic students."

The Growth & Grit Educentre is a learning centre for autistic students in the Helderberg area.  We cater to high school students wanting to achieve a Matric Certificate with/without university exemption.  Autistic students often struggle to organise and manage themselves and their learning within mainstream classrooms, due to the size, amount of movement and overwhelming social situations, despite their strong academic ability.  We offer an alternative way to learn, as we believe that autistic teens should be able to flourish and achieve, just like their neurotypical peers. 

Calm and Structured

At Growth & Grit, we have set up the class environment to be ideal for autistic teens, enabling them to thrive and achieve their academic goals.  The environment is calm, open and organised, with individual work desks.  Groups are small to ensure a high adult-to-student ratio.

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Variety of subject choices and individualised plans


Students work to their strengths and at their own pace to achieve their academic goals.  Teachers are always at hand to support students when needed. The UK curriculum, along with our systems, resources and individualised plans, provide students with a flexible approach to achieving their Matric Certificate.

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Students are encouraged to do their work in a way that suits them best, whether that’s wearing headphones, sitting on an exercise ball, using an iPad or completing work on the couch.  Our focus is on covering the content and preparing our students for their exams, rather than working in a prescribed way.

Comfortable with Break-out Spaces

The school environment is comfortable and includes spaces where students can be on their own, when they want to be. Work desks are personalised to suit the students and their interests. Our two Schnauzers add to the homey feeling and bring a calming influence.

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Meet Neels and Eloise


The centre is run by Neels and Eloise Grobbelaar, a husband and wife team. We are qualified teachers (both in SA and the UK), each with 20 years of teaching behind us. We recently returned from the UK after teaching and supporting autistic teens in the Bristol area for 18 years. During this time we received extensive training in various autism approaches, along with Post Graduate Certificates in Autism, which we obtained from Birmingham University. We are confident in using the UK syllabus and supported many teens to achieve academically. We are however most proud of how our students gained confidence in their own abilities. The mental health of our students is very important to us.

We love showing visitors around! If you have any questions or would like to come and see our centre in person, just let us know!

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