Early morning activities and play activities are set out for the children every day and they are encouraged to participate with their friends in many of the activities, but it is free choice time as well. This encourages social interaction and allows the children to form good friendships and practise skills in a relaxed atmosphere.
Once these activities are packed away, the children sit in a circle and greet their friends and educator in song, share news, discuss the weather, helpers are chosen and the register is completed using a fun daily word, often relating to the theme.
In the Grade 000 and Grade 00 groups many of the learning areas of Literacy, Numeracy and Life Skills are covered using fun activities using themes. A lot of spoken language and basic communication skills take place daily. The children are also assisted and encouraged to advance their fine and gross motor skills both within and outside the classrooms through play. Every day ends with a special story time.
Our Grade R learners also make use of a very holistic way of learning using themes as well as activities set out in the more formal CAPS based Literacy, Numeracy and Life Skills programme of the foundation years. Each activity takes place with lots of verbal discussion and creative art work, relating to the letter of the week. These letters are taught with the name of the letter, the starting sound it makes, words starting with the sound, the shape of the letter and how it relates to the children’s names. Later in the year the children will learn to blend simple words and learn rhymes and poems. Each day a group of four or five children are encouraged to bring show and tell. This is based on the work/snack table they sit at with their friends. This allows the children more time and the teacher can really listen to what each child wants to share with the class. They are also encouraged to tell news from their weekend or an exciting activity they have done. During numeracy they learn to write and count their numbers up to 20, count in 1’s, 2’s, 5’s and 10’s. Life skills encompass learning about their world around them and their place in the world.
The children have 2 playtimes each day the Grade 000 and Grade 00 children are out in the garden for about an hour twice a day and the Grade R children have two half hour outdoor playtimes. Snack times for all groups are half an hour in the classroom sitting down at the table or on the mat with their friends. Healthy snacks for snack times are encouraged. Water is freely available from the classroom water coolers and juice and water is part of their snack time.
The children also participate in Baker Baker day where each child has an opportunity to bring something special to ‘sell’ to their friends. They also get the opportunity to partake in a Cake Raffle weekly – each child having a turn to then pick out the winner who gets to take the cake home.
Our Grade 000 and Grade 00 also do baking weekly with auntie Maureen in the kitchen area – they make cupcakes, crunchies, make biscuits as well as ice and decorate smores. They get the opportunity to mix the ingredients, taste the leftover mixture, wash and dry their dishes and get their baking to take home at the end of the day.
Our Grade R children bake twice a month and have a yummy ice-cream every second Friday.
This activity also teaches them basic greetings and the names of the ingredients in english and zulu.
Our school is part of the greater school sports programme and good core muscle and ball skills are encouraged in all the activities. All our children get to swim once a week in the school pool with dedicated coaches from the Flying Fish Swim School as well as coaches from our sports department. During the winter terms the children also learn netball skills and rugby tag skills as well as hockey skills.
All the children also participate in Play-ball weekly – this is a weekly half hour session for Grade 000 and Grade 00 children and a three quarter hour session for Grade R children. The Grade R children are also part of the Saturday morning Grade 1, 2 and 3 Mini sport – an hour long session where they learn a variety of sport skills and sport etiquette. Our Grade R children wear the same sports uniform as the main school – this is worn to school on sports days and they then change into school uniform after the session.
All our children from Grade 000 to Grade R wear a hat when they are playing outside in the outdoor areas. The Grade R children also wear a simple hard wearing jeans skorts – girls, or shorts for boys, and our school logo wash and quick dry shirts. Shoes for our preschool are flat, easy to wear neutral coloured slops, takkies, shoes or sandals. Our winter outfit is a navy plain tracksuit pants and plain navy jacket or jersey. This is often worn over the school uniform or the children change into their uniform as the day heats up.
We also have a number of privately coached extra-mural activities available for the children – these take place during the school morning like Build-em-Brix; ballet; Sports4 Kidz; Garvlingz. Others are directly after the school day – Speech and Drama; Modern Dancing; Karate; Grade R Garvlingz; and private Swimming lessons.
We have an open day viewing lesson for parents towards the end of swimming season when parents are welcome to visit to watch a lesson. We also have our Mini-Athletics day in Term 3 where we have our own Mini-Olympics. Other days where we have special visits are for Valentine’s Day in Term 1 and Mothers and Fathers day – an evening fun craft activity time with parent and child, in Term 2.
Every second year we have our big Fair fundraising event.
Our Grade 000 and Grade 00 children also participate in a Classroom Special Show Ring for their families in Term 4 and the Grade R children have their special Graduation evening.
Another special activity we have yearly is our Mini-market day where the children do their shopping ably assisted by our special moms and dads who make themselves available to help on the day.
Access to a Private Speech Therapist and Private Occupational Therapist on our premises at school, enable minor and some major difficulties to be assessed and resolved early on, with continued intervention available as needed. Both these specialists also meet with the educators and assist with advice and remedial interventions. We do occasionally need the assistance of our own school counsellor – Mrs van Tonder, known to our children as “Auntie Carol”. She is available at school both for children and parents when required.
Our Little Acorns Aftercare caters for casual aftercare plus two set sessions of Sunshine 12h20 – 15h15 and Rainbow 12h20 – 17h15. These are available to the parents on the lower playground. Grade 1 and 2 are catered for on the upper deck and adventure playground.
The children from Grade 3 to 7 attend Homework Centre run by the educators in the main school classrooms.