Junior Primary phase
The Junior Primary phase (Grades 0, 1, 2 and 3) encourages the girls to develop confident and independent thinking and to explore their potential through group work, reading, numeracy, art and drama, on the sports field, in the swimming pool and in the choir. A mathematics curriculum from Singapore and the phonics programme Time2Read, as well as the Reggio philosphy from Italy form the basis. Talk circles to enable the emotional wellbeing of the girls take place daily. The school is well supported by therapists who offer occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, play therapy and remedial therapy.
A varied and integrated co-curricular programme develops ball skills and also includes swimming, netball, diving, rhythmic gymnastics, hockey, drama, arts and craft, ballet, gymnastics, pottery, chess and Mathletics. Each grade is responsible for one market day annually, deciding collectively what they will sell, and learning about advertising, budgeting and profits.
Outings to a variety of exciting destinations are integral. Workshops are conducted by professionals and include puppet shows, theatrical productions and talks on sun awareness and other health topics. The annual book fortnight includes a book character parade, the making of books, a storytelling pyjama evening and some theatrical productions. All girls are involved in an annual school play, sports day and swimming gala.
Grade 0 is the start of monastic schooling and the bridging year between the Pre-Primary and the Foundation phases. Its play-based, holistic programme encourages the development of pre-literacy, pre-numeracy, creative and critical thinking and scientific reasoning.
We have adopted Time2Read methodology for teaching reading and phonics as part of our pre-literacy programme. The methodology includes the development of strong auditory skills and a knowledge of sound to symbol which immediately gives meaning to the spelling and reading process. Our pre-literacy programme provides language stimulation through stories, rhymes, discussions, the creation of stories and telling of news. By the end of the year, many girls are able to read several words and simple books as a result of incidental learning. The Singapore Maths programme introduces numeracy in Grade 0 and the girls are actively involved in their own discoveries, working largely with concrete objects.
During group work activities based on the MATAL programme, creativity, critical thinking and scientific reasoning are developed in collaborative ventures. The girls attend music, computing, book education and physical education lessons, as well as assemblies and chapel services. The school day begins at 07h20 and ends at 12h30.
Grade 1 is a most exciting year for the girls as they begin to apply all that they have been learning. Learning to read is the greatest achievement and a whole new world opens up as they begin to make sense of letters. They are required to learn two additional languages: Sesotho, isiZulu and Afrikaans are offered. Emphasis remains on creativity, sensory exploration and individual interpretation. Music, art, computing and physical education ensure a balanced programme.
Grade 2 is an exciting year of challenges and growth. Foundation skills are developed and Grade 2 is about mastering skills and applying this knowledge to everyday life.
Participation in group work allows the girls to negotiate and share and learn the value of friendship and empathy. They begin to develop independence and a sense of responsibility.
The curriculum is extensive and lessons are primarily oral. The girls learn songs and poems to develop language.
In Grade 3, the girls are taught by both their class and specialist subject teachers. They are involved in music, art, technology and computing. Physical education is important with sports lessons twice a week during school hours while there is also an extensive co-curricular cultural and sporting programme. The girls are given the wonderful opportunity to learn to play various musical instruments as part of the school curriculum.
Homework is weekly to allow the girls to organise and structure their time appropriately. Daily supervised prep is offered and attendance is encouraged.