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Toolkit Case Study: E=mc², South Africa

Our partners are building a sustainable future with the HEI Schools Teacher Toolkit. Read how a new kindergarten in South Africa is using our program to build a new curriculum.

south africa e=mc2 school

General Overview

  • School name: E=mc²

  • Location: Port Elizabeth, South Africa

  • Open date: July 2021

  • Joined the Toolkit: October 2020

  • Number of ECE teachers: 2 (with more on the way!)

Meet the HEI Schools Partner

Christina and Werner

Co-founders of E=mc²

What we like about the HEI Schools philosophy is that it draws inspiration from a range of different educational methodologies and incorporates the elements that have been proved by research.


Challenges faced

  • Wanted to change the landscape of early education in South Africa by providing high-quality education based on research 
  • Created a new school's space designs based on the principle of biophilia - the innate human instinct to connect with nature - and needed a curriculum
  • Sought a solution that took a child-centered approach and would ensure standardization within their school



After designing the space for a brand-new school, Christina and Werner began looking for a progressive curriculum that aligned with their approach. HEI Schools stood out due to its connection to the University of Helsinki. They then hired Ms. Nici Daly, an experienced educator, teacher trainer and principal, to lead the school’s teachers and manage implementation of the program.

Even with decades of experience in play-based pedagogy, Nici finds the Toolkit materials fresh, original and organized. She too believes that the digital curriculum will standardize her school’s program and save her teachers’ time in planning. In addition, she and another teacher have enrolled in the HEI Schools Teacher Certificate, an online training program that aligns with the Toolkit: “I have found the Teacher's Certificate to have excellent information and the flow in which the modules are set out ties in well with information on the HEI Schools Toolkit.”



The Toolkit is research-based and offers high-quality materials


Sustainability and building children's relationship with nature is central


Activity plans and training materials will ensure standardization


Change is at the heart of this endeavor, and the HEI Schools Toolkit is a critical part of the venture. As Werner and Christina put it, “To ensure a better future for South Africa, we need to start with our most precious asset - our future generation. We are simply trying to take the best of what is available to children today and give them the opportunity to become the change.” 

Download the full PDF here