Irene Pre-primary offers a high-standard Grade R curriculum as well as Grade RR and Grade RRR. Pre-primary education lays the foundations of a child’s knowledge, skills and rules of behaviour that create prerequisites for successful progress in daily life and school. Therefore, at Irene Pre-primary, we provide a stimulating play environment for the Physical, Intellectual, Language, Social and Emotional development of the child. It prepares children for an easy adjustment to primary education and it focuses on the holistic development of the child.
Our educational programme lays the foundation for the development of reading, writing and number work. It is a program which encourages interaction with the environment, active participation in-group activities and enhances creativity and problem solving in children. It stresses on providing first-hand experiences to children in ways that would ensure the development of skills related to the process of learning. We place great importance on prior planning and scheduling of our education programme but at the same time we recognize the need to be flexible to children’s needs. Our education programme indirectly promotes self control and thereby inner discipline in children.
At the beginning of the year teachers together decide on the themes. In doing this, our aim is to help the child to understand his world, so themes involve the child's everyday life. The pre-school child learns through concrete experience so our choice of themes includes things like the food he eats, the seasons he experiences, the insects and animals around him etc. We study the calendar and try to co-ordinate themes with internal events.
Each Monday afternoon at the staff meeting, we discuss what is happening during the week and what information regarding the theme is relevant for each age group. When presenting a theme we try to offer as much concrete experience as possible, making use of the five senses - Maria Montessori said: "if it's in the muscles it's forever in the mind".
The school sends a short report out at the end of the first term, and a more detailed one at the end of the second and fourth terms. Teachers keep a detailed (confidential) report on each child, which almost acts as a check list, ensuring that all aspects of development are evaluated.