Our Staff


Eloise Smith

Eloise is a Foundation Stage Teacher with a Further Diploma in Special Needs.  She also studied Psychology through UNISA for 3 years after work experience as special needs teacher for 8 years in the UK.  Here she mostly worked with children with severe learning disabilities (Autism, Down’s Syndrome, etc).  When she had her own children, she started child minding for 3 years before returning to South Africa to open Pokkelmander.

Eloise is currently busy with her training in DIR Floortime and uses these principles in her daily work and also teaches the special class in the mornings.  Other training include Einsteinhands signing, First Aid, Positive Handling, Signalong (Makaton), several Autism workshops and Play therapy.

With 20 years of experience tutoring literacy and numeracy, she also does tutoring in the afternoons, help children with homework and teaches right brain study skills.

Gail Adams

Gail worked at a school offering inclusive education for 13 years.  Here she worked with various age groups ranging from the 2 year olds to the Grade R’s.  Throughout her career, she was given the opportunity to study and attend various courses and workshops regarding children with special needs. It was always her passion to work with children and after her son was born with Down’s Syndrome, she felt the need to equip herself with knowledge that would be beneficial to him and other children.

She worked at Peter Pan Down’s Syndrome Centre for 13 years, before moving on to Pokkelmander Learning Centre in 2015.

Her journey working with children who has special needs has been one filled with learning and rewards, and a part of her life she would never want to change or forget. All the children she has worked with on this journey, taught her something valuable.

According to Gail, there are many things that we as adults can learn from children.

Workshops and courses she has done, include DIR Floortime, Einsteinhands signing, First Aid and Autism Cares (AWC).  She also did various workshops on intellectual disability, epilepsy and challenging behavior as well as HIV and Aids in the workplace and Ancillary Health Care.

Gail completed her NQF levels 4 and 5 and Assessor course ETDP Seta and is registered with the South African Council of Educators.

Other experience Gail has, includes volunteer management, fundraising and school admin.

Monique Steenkamp

Monique firmly decided that she wanted to pursue a career in education from a very early age. She graduated from the North West University with a Bachelor of Education in 2014 and an Honours degree in Education Management from the University of Stellenbosch in 2016.

She worked with learners in the Intermediate phase in Bangkok as well as in Cape Town for three years, where she taught all curricular subjects.

Pokkelmander enables her to live out her love and commitment for learners with special needs.

Carmen Honiball

Carmen is a Kinderkineticist who aims to promote and optimize the neuromotor development of children 0-12 years through physical activity. She does evaluations (Quick Neurological Screening Test – 3R) and draws up remedial programmes based on the evaluation, using perceptual movement development and also offers swimming lessons.