We use an integrated approach based on themes which we change every two weeks. The themes are related to the child’s immediate environment.
- Book Corner: A variety of books is displayed according to a topic relating to the theme. This area encourages children to value books and reading.
- House Corner: An area where role-play and language development is encouraged.
- Handcraft Area: Here the children can make an item while following a step-by-step chart.
- Writing Table: A variety of writing equipment and stationery is supplied and the children are encouraged to practice their writing and fine motor skills.
Interest Tables (where the children can manipulate the items on display):
- Environment Table: Activities and objects are displayed depicting an element in the child’s environment.
- Science / Discovery Table: On this table we focus on games and activities dealing with skills (for example figure-ground perception).
- Social Studies Table: Here we focus on people. Children are encouraged to role-play and use the games and activities supplied.
We encourage the development of each child’s creativity and all these activities are differentiated so that children can enhance their artwork according to their level of development. All the activities discussed below are available every day.
- Clay: This is a tactile-rich activity which enhances fine motor skills.
- Playdough: An easy-to-manipulate medium which also enhances the fine motor skills.
- Paint: Thick paint enables children to paint pictures and experiment with colour. This area develops their shoulder girdle and fine motor development.
- Collage: This activity involves the children sticking differently textured and coloured pieces onto paper randomly or to make a picture. This activity encourages the development of the pincer grip needed to hold a pencil correctly as well as to develop their eye/hand coordination.
- Construction: Recycled boxes, plastic containers and polystyrene are made into amazing objects by our children. Numerous skills including problem solving, planning, spatial development and imagination are developed.
- Technique: This activity teaches a specific skill (for example baking or wax and dye).
- Block Corner: An area where wooden blocks of different shapes and sizes are available for the children to use to build structures.
Gross motor and pre-numeracy skills are developed in these areas through play and discovery:
- Sand: Spades, containers and apparatus are available to encourage gross motor skills and mathematical skills in this tactile-satisfying area.
- Water: Plastic apparatus and boats entice children to explore this medium.
- Woodwork: Hammers, nails,wood and various accessories are used to enhance their eye/hand coordination and problem solving skills.
- Movement Exploration: Obstacle courses are used to encourage children to experiment and discover what their bodies can do. Ball skill activities are also provided here.
- Adventure Area: A scene is set out for the children to play outside imaginatively (for example a camping scene).
- Wheel Toys: There is a large space for children to ride on wheel toys including go-carts, scooters and steering wheels. This encourages spatial planning, directionality, teamwork and imagination.
- Animals: Our children enjoy looking after our rabbits.
- Gross Motor Apparatus: We have a variety of large climbing apparatus available in the garden including monkey bars, fireman’s pole, jungle gyms, slides and a cargo net.
- Morning Ring: A very important ring. Discussion of the theme as well as the development of numeracy and literacy skills is dealt with. Language development is also concentrated on. Mondays are show and tell days.
- Micro Education: Each child in the Older Group (Grade R) has one day of the week that they join 3 or 4 of their peers in a small group (“micro group”) where they do a gross motor activity, a perceptual game and an activity involving fine motor skills. This is a very important activity as many essential pre-school skills are developed here. Our Middle Group children do “mini-micro”, where they do a fine motor activity with their teacher. Our Younger Group children have a “special time” small group activity with their teacher once a week. Micro Education prepares our children for group teaching in Grade 1. We also use the Six Bricks programme.
- Music: We concentrate on teaching children through play to differentiate between the different music concepts. Rhythmic movement and singing is done in every ring.
- Snack: We supply a sandwich, juice or milk for the children. You are asked to bring a fruit to school every day and this is cut up and shared. Once a year we ask our parents to supply a spread.
- Physical Education: In these rings the children are challenged to discover what their bodies can do with and without apparatus.
- Story: We expose the children to good quality children’s literature. We tell, rather than read, a story as this enables us to make and keep eye contact with each child.