We follow the South African National Curriculum Framework for children birth to four years and the CAPs for Grade R
Developing the Whole Child
Formal structured schooling is purposely excluded from Kyalami Ridge Crèche and Preschool as it is considered inappropriate for this stage of the child’s development.
Instead, children learn through play by engaging in weekly themes, art and crafts, singing and movement, educational games, emergent math/science and fantasy play.
Encouraging the child’s use of language and general knowledge by awakening his curiosity, through fact and fiction stories, theme discussions, current affair projects, songs and rhymes, puppets and flannel board stories.
This covers all the senses, Visual, Auditory, Tactile, Smell and Taste, as well as educational games e.g. Puzzles, block construction, dominoes and memory games, which help to develop concentration, abstract reasoning, number concepts, and shape/colour discrimination and also provides a daily opportunity for Senso-pathic play such as sand, water and mud.
Physical development (Large or gross motor skills)
The 1st 5 years of life are mainly spent in the development of motor skills such as coordination of movement, balance and building muscle strength and tone. Therefore physical development is initiated by providing outdoor equipment, spacious grounds to play, planned physical activities, as well as training in personal hygiene and independence in toilet training and dressing.
Social and Emotional Development
Helping the child to form stable relationships through interaction with his/her peers and teachers by encouraging the sense of responsibility, consideration for others, self-confidence, independence and self-control. Giving the child daily classroom tasks to perform, e.g. watering the classroom plants, helping to set up and pack away toys, sharing and taking turns during group games and activities. Also, encouraging self-expression in the form of art and spoken word.
The child is given opportunities to experiment with a variety of materials in art and music. Encouraging the child to be creative and expressive and awakening in him/her the growing awareness and appreciation of beauty by providing beautiful gardens and making the child aware of nature, birds, insects, flowers and the change of season.
Art Activities/Fine Motor Skills
Developing the fine muscles skills in a creative form such as drawing, painting, and collage, moulding and cutting on a daily basis. Art activities are an outlet for feelings and expression. It has a calming effect on the child and helps to enrich his/her imagination. A creative art activity enables the child an opportunity to experiment with different materials and media. It also provides an opportunity to appreciate individualism in themselves and others.
Science and Nature
Scientific experiences come naturally to the child in his normal play. Science process skills are the means by which children make discoveries about their surrounding world and solve the problems they encounter. The richer the play environment provides the more opportunities the child can observe, compare, classify, measure and predict.
We believe that teaching environmental awareness (looking after mother earth) is very important for young children this day and age. We have our own vegetable gardens, fruit trees and a farm yard for the children to enjoy. Outside areas are provided where the child can plant their own gardens and experience how plants grow. Observing the chickens, duck and geese as well the fruit trees will introduce the children, in a natural way to the cycle of life.
Cooking and baking with the children once a week is also an important part of the science curriculum.
Music and Movement
Music and movement allow the child to express themselves in another medium. Music is a source of pleasure and enrichment in a child’s life. Musical activities include singing, playing instruments, rhythmical movement and dramatization. Music presentation is a group activity and integrated throughout the day.
Free or Fantasy Play
Free play is a very important component in the development and exploration of the child. In the fantasy area a child has an opportunity to practice their language skills and learn social skills without interference from adults. Fantasy games also help the child to understand and process the impression they receive from the outside world.
Life Skills and Ethics
Life skills are moral and value developments. This is achieved by supporting the “National Pride” campaign, being proactive in supporting local charities and teaching the children the preservation, appreciation for all living creatures (human and animal) and the expression of Peace, Hope, Love and Joy.
The Reggio Emilia approach to childhood education believes that children have an “endless number” of ways of learning. We make all of these learning tools available to children based on their ongoing interests. It is a very hands-on approach to learning and discovering. A perfect example is when a child takes the construction toys and builds his “weed eater” and then, walks around our lawns pretending to trim the edges, being innovative and creative. This is how we have named our classrooms as well. Portraying different characteristics in the different stages of development. Wonderers – 2 year olds, Explorers – 3 year olds Discoverers – 4 year olds and Inventors – 5 year olds.