New England Pre-Primary School is secure; friendly; has an open door policy; it is like a family, no-one is excluded and each child is recognised as being unique in their own individual way; it provides a happy, nurturing environment with helpful, willing and passionate teachers and you are always guaranteed a hug and a smile!
New England Pre-Primary offers a vibrant, spontaneous, fun and educationally stimulating environment where the whole child is actively involved in learning.
On 22nd July, 1969 New England Pre-Primary School opened it’s doors as St John’s Nursery School with 26 children enrolled at the school. The Supervisor was Mrs Price and her assistant, Mrs Buchanan Clarke. The school was inspected and registered by the Natal Education Department on 19th September, 1969. By June 1970 the number of children enrolled at the school had risen to 65!
St John’s Nursery School was sold to the New England Pre-Primary School Parents Association in 1982 and was registered with the Natal Education Department as New England Pre-Primary School with effect from 1st January 1982.
New England Pre-Primary School started with 4 groups and a full intake of 90 children. Over the years our family has grown and we now have six, very busy, very happy groups.
New England Pre-Primary School is a Private school for young children catering for the pre-primary and Grade (R) years. The teachers, all specialists in this field, are dedicated and ready to guide the children to develop socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually. These teachers all work together, helping to plan the educational programme, implement it and evaluate its success. The Principal as well as the five teachers each have a group of children with whom to observe and plan activities, where an active fun approach is used to enhance the growth of the children through work and play.Meet Our Staff
The programme is structured in such a way that there is time for each teacher to be with the children individually as well as in groups. The teachers are there to talk with the children, share ideas and listen as they make decisions and evaluations. There are many opportunities for the children to choose and start their own activities with a wide range of play materials.
The children may play outdoors on our tractor, sandpit, climbing structures and other playground equipment. They may decide to explore the Fantasy Area where they can dress up or act out different roles. The children may choose to work in the Art Area with painting, cutting and sticking, or they can work quietly with Lego, construction kits, puzzles or blocks in the Cognitive Room or learn a new skill in our Fringe Area.
2012 saw the introduction of CAPS (Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement) around which our lessons are planned.
These lessons fall under three main headings:
- Life Skills which include; Creative Arts (both visual and performing arts); Beginning Knowledge and Personal and Social Wellbeing (e.g. colours, days of the week, my body); Physical Education (e.g. Locomotor, rhythm, balance, spatial orientation, sports and games).
- Mathematics incorporates Space and Shape (Geometry; e.g. shapes, sorting, symmetry); Numbers, Operations and Relationships (e.g. counting, sequencing); Data Handling (e.g. pictographs, classification); Measurement (e.g. mass, size, capacity); and Patterns, functions and relationships, (e.g. patterning)
- Home Language English covers Emergent reading, emergent writing, listening and speaking.
Each lesson is age appropriate and encourages plenty of talking and creative decision making. The children are encouraged to become actively involved in each lesson – exploring the various concepts using all their senses to reach their own solutions.
Through this “hands on” approach we believe, as Pre-Primary specialists, that the children learn many important life skills. The children learn to share and tolerate opinions, offer suggestions, make choices, adapt to changes and accept consequences by working in this flexible and sociable school environment. Their problem solving skills, thinking skills and language skills are developed by the content and themes we incorporate into the programme.
Our Arts and Crafts Festival is held during the 2nd and 3rd terms. The children get to choose from at least 16 different crafts and produce beautiful creations through sun dyeing, candle making, batik, marbling, clay work, bead work, fabric painting etc. Besides being a creative outlet which the children love, there are so many developmental benefits as well.
To name but a few:
- Children are often required to use both hands together when doing crafts. This skill (bilateral coordination) is important in other areas such as writing, tying shoelaces and so much more.
- In order to paint/draw/cut shapes etc children are required to use their fine motor coordination, which similarly translates to other areas such as dressing, eating and in the academic setting.
- Crafts that need time to dry require waiting, which is a good lesson for children to demonstrate self-control and patience.
- Completing crafts successfully gives them a great sense of pride and achievement – which boosts their self-esteem.
PREPARATION FOR FORMAL SCHOOLING:
The overall programme we offer at our school provides many opportunities for the children to do pre-maths and pre-reading activities without actually teaching reading and writing, which is done in Grade (1). We set aside time in each day for the pre-school and Grade (R) children to work on a more structured programme. We also maintain close links with the local primary schools in order to facilitate the child’s transition to formal schooling.
We believe that our children benefit most from our programme if the parents, older brothers and sisters and other family members know and actively support the programme. New England Pre-Primary prides itself in being a “family” school.
New England Pre-Primary School has over the years built up an enviable reputation for the extent of the parent involvement in the running and maintenance of the school. The school relies on the parents to help with various tasks, and events during the year. Parents with suitable skills may be called to assist where necessary. We need ALL parents to get involved in these endeavours so that we are not forced to increase fees substantially. Although the demands made by the school are not onerous, the help given by the parents is an essential ingredient in the successful functioning of the school.
The staff also make themselves available to every parent to discuss their child’s progress during informal chats, consultations, parent evenings and contact with parents during school excursions.
School excursions depend on the generosity of the parents as they supply private transport for each outing. We try to arrange outings that relate to our themes and they vary from a visit to the museum to a safari. Parents may supply a small treat with a healthy snack on these outings.
At New England Pre-Primary we try our best through constant parent contact and our stimulating daily programme to create for each child the best possible learning environment. We really do care about each family and the school is seen as an extension of the child’s warm, caring home environment where they can feel safe, secure and happy. All we ask from each family is that we work together to give every child the best possible start to his / her school career.
Our school has a waiting list so you are advised to make an application in good time – it is never too early to apply. Parents and children wishing to visit the school for tours and interviews are invited to phone the Secretary on the following telephone number: 033 386 3442.