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our school | the teaching programme

the teaching programme at Settlers' park pre-primary school pietermaritzburg

free play, beware free range children on the go!

During free play, children from all classes play together. Integrating children from different age groups allows them to develop socially, intellectually and emotionally.

During free play, teachers encourage the children to work independently and use the materials productively. If a difficulty arises, a teacher may step in to assist but will never give more help than is needed. Children are encouraged to work at their own pace and develop their own learning style.

During free play, your child has access to four carefully laid out areas, where he or she is free to choose the area of play. The structure and dynamics of the situation are also determined by the children.

creative area: children can cut, stick, paint and draw, build and sculpt to express their creativity

From pictures and paintings to models and masterpieces, the children can cut, stick, paint and draw, build and sculpt to express their creativity and imagination throughout.

fantasy area: this is a place where your children can pretend, in their own world of make-believe

A chance to be "grown-up" for a while, this is a place where your child can pretend, in their own world of make-believe. Puppets and props, costumes and toys help them live out their dreams…

cognitive area: an area to play with puzzles, construction toys like lego and educational games

Each classroom offers the children an area to play with puzzles, construction toys like Lego and educational games that encourage them to think independently. Our book corners are comfortable and appealing. Books are changed regularly in our library to spark new interest. The children also select a library book every week to read at home.

outdoor area: our spacious playground is a child’s paradise.

Our spacious playground is a child’s paradise. the sandpits, cycle track, jungle gyms and slides, as well as other climbing and balancing equipment provide places to strengthen muscles and improve co-ordination. There are designated sensopathic areas using materials such as rice, gravel, sawdust and water. These areas are also used to develop technological and cognitive skills.

outings, external visits:

We encourage visits from organisations to come and speak to our pupils. These are timed to relate to our themes. Classes go on various outings as an extension of what we are learning about at school, extending knowledge and to maintain interest levels.

teacher directed learning: children and teacher enjoy discussions, dance, music, improvised drama and movement

During teacher directed times children are generally placed in classes according to age. The maximum number of children in a class is approximately 20. The children and teacher enjoy discussions, dance, music, improvised drama and movement.

The curriculum at Settlers’ Park Pre-Primary School is planned according to ISASA (Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa) and CAPS (Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements). It is designed to give children the opportunity to practise everyday skills and help them develop concentration as well as co-ordination of mind and body. The sensory materials encourage the children to use all their senses to learn.

Through these materials they are encouraged to order and classify the physical properties of the world in which they live. During teacher directed times the teacher designs activities to develop age appropriate skills and knowledge necessary for life-long learning. The children may work individually, in a small or a large group, or with a friend.

at settlers' , we believe in developing your child’s multiple intelligences. these are:

  • Logical – mathematical
  • Verbal – linguistic
  • Musical
  • Visual – spatial
  • Bodily – kinesthetic
  • Interpersonal
  • Intrapersonal

activities designed to prepare them for reading and writing begin the minute they enter the settlers’ park programme

Pre-reading and pre-writing skills are taught informally when children enter the Settlers’ Park Programme. The Arts and general knowledge are covered through a hands-on approach based on the fact that children learn most effectively from their own experiences.

Themes relate to current events or to our childrens’ interests and frame of reference

A new theme is introduced regularly and a display related to the theme is put up in the foyer. Themes relate to current events or to our childrens’ interests and frame of reference. Interwoven with these themes are visits from various organisations.

We aim to develop your children’s confidence and self-esteem, so that they are able to maximize learning opportunities. An occupational therapist and a speech therapist from the private sector provide a service for children who need assistance.

school readiness programme: grade r

School Readiness links informal learning of pre-primary school with formal education. Our task at Settlers’is to fully prepare our students for the challenges of Grade 1.

The skills, concepts and attitude needed for formal learning are consciously pursued so that when your child leaves us at the end of his / her Grade R year, they are well prepared for what lies ahead. The programme is designed to expand skills developed in the previous years and refine the ones needed for the foundation phase of education.

These skills – social, pre-reading, writing and maths are developed throughout your child’s time at Settlers’. We believe that the most important aspects are the social skills, a positive self-image and self-worth as well as self-discipline. The School Readiness programme is planned in accordance with the ISASA (Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa) CAPS (Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements)principals. The Time2Read, Numbersense, Alphaland and Letterland programmes are used.

Music Awareness: Music is taught once per week to our Grade R and RR classes, by a professional music teacher.

psychomotor educational programme

The aim of Psychomotor education is to develop the child to their full potential to focus on the external world and not on themselves. The children learn to be in charge of themselves and develop self-confidence, self-esteem and self-respect.


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Settlers' Park Pre-Primary School is a Registered Member of ISASA. Why is this important to your child's education? Download a copy of the ISASA brochure from this link

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