To the pre-schooler, life is a whimsical adventure full of gooey play dough, colourful drawings, stories, songs, and play. Informal learning goes hand in hand with play as each activity holds intrigue and a new lesson. Our teachers monitor each child’s interests as a launching point for new learning and guide them from self-directed play to more focused, formal activities, paving the way for the transition to primary school. Along the way your child’s social world will expand as they learn to share, take turns, compromise, and cooperate within a group. You’ll see them develop into independent, confident, social beings, fond of other children’s company and eager to express their ideas and feelings.
This daily activity allows the class to meet as a whole. Designed to promote cooperation within a group situation and to build confidence, language and listening skills. We discuss weather and news, show and tell, and prepare the children for various activities available to them that day. Morning ring also includes a discussion of the weekly theme. The weekly theme is designed to expand the child’s general knowledge and to teach him more about the world and their environment through:
- Social Studies (the study of humans and their relationship to the environment),
- Environmental Science, and
- Science Discovery.
The children are exposed to three languages (English, Afrikaans & Xhosa) and this is taught through stories, song, dance, dramatization, puppet shows, and play activities. We also teach letter sounds as opposed to the alphabet. For this, we make use of the Jolly Phonics program. It is a comprehensive program based on the proven, fun, and muti-sensory synthetic method that gets children reading and writing from an early age. Jolly Phonics also offered an App for parents to use at home.
Every day there are various creative art activities from which your child may choose (this involves decision making, planning, organizing, perseverance, task completion and following instructions). You will soon see a difference in your child’s ability to draw, colour in and paint as his powers of observation, knowledge of colour and shape and his fine motor coordination improve. He’ll learn to hold and use scisso rs correctly when cutting and pasting, which helps to develop hand-eye coordination and dexterity. Crafts are also introduced e.g. sewing, weaving, claywork, etc. Moulding playdough, plasticine and clay will not only help develop your child’s fine motor skills but also provide scope for imagination and creativity as he experiments with shape, length, size, weight and texture. Above all, being creative will allow your child to experience a sense of achievement as he produces his own masterpiece.
This is another favourite activity, which allows children to explore the properties of solids and liquids and to experiment with maths concepts such as size, shape, measuring, volume and quantity. They are learning to follow instructions and this activity is excellent for developing the fine muscles of the hands and fingers. Naturally the children feel great pride in having baked something themselves and their creations are eaten with gusto.
Music and Movement
This usually involves singing songs, action rhymes, movement to music, dramatization of stories and the playing of musical instruments. Music concepts are also taught at this time. Alternatively, developmental games, which develop the larger muscles and improve coordination and balance, are taught using bean bags, balls, hoops, ropes, climbing and balancing apparatus.
Free Play (indoors or outdoors)
We have a wide range of outdoor equipment, areas, and space for the children to explore. Children spend a lot of time on the outdoor equipment where they develop coordination, muscular strength, balance, agility, and control as they run, jump, climb and swing. Most importantly, however, your children are making friends and learning valuable social skills. Children expand their imaginations in the dressing-up areas, playing make-believe games where they choose a variety of different roles. Through fantasy play children express their feelings and explore the boundaries between fantasy and reality. “Pretend” play allows children to learn valuable lessons as they share ideas and acquire new vocabulary through conversation and interaction.
Children are given plenty of opportunity to discover the properties of sand and water, solids and liquids. These outside play areas allow them to actively explore their senses and to experiment with maths concepts such as size, shape, volume and quantity.
Building and construction toys, threading and lacing activities, and other fun educational games and puzzles will help your child develop perceptual skills and learn basic number concepts as he counts, sorts, classifies and matches objects according to their physical attributes. His powers of observation, concentration and vocabulary will increase too as he learns terminology such as big and small, tall, taller, tallest, and is introduced to spatial concepts such as on top, in the middle, in front, behind, left and right. Completing puzzles will also encourage your child to plan ahead and think things through while increasing his concentration and problem solving skills. For children who progress very quickly, games are available to extend their skills and stimulate interest.
Through books , puppets, flannel boards, story cd’s and illustrations, your child’s relationship with the wonderful world of storytelling will be encouraged and nurtured. Not only will his language, listening and concentration skills improve, but his imagination will also be stimulated. He will be given the opportunity to answer questions, anticipate what will happen next, express his ideas and listen to and value the opinions of others. Story time usually takes place at the end of the day providing a quiet time for children to unwind before going home. Your child will also be able to look at books by himself in the book corner, which helps to develop a love of reading.