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Junior Preparatory (Grades 1 to 3)

The Junior Prep phase is situated below the College Amphitheatre and has a history of its own. The oldest block of classrooms known as ‘The Cottage’ was home to the young Marist Brothers who once taught at the school. When the need for more classrooms became necessary the Brother’s residence became home to the Junior Prep.

St Henry’s places a strong emphasis on moral values, which ensures a happy, caring and nurturing educational environment for all. In the Junior Preparatory Phase, every child is happy, healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged to grow in our school. We encourage the children to become interested and motivated learners in the classroom. Each child has plenty of opportunities to develop as an individual, have fun whilst learning and at the same time be challenged in the classroom and beyond.

Academic Programme

Developing Mathematical skills is fundamental in the Junior Prep Phase. The children learn through play and guided Mathematical activities such as exploring and investigating, doing and observing, talking and listening, and asking and answering questions.  Language across the curriculum and Time2Read phonics form the basis of the Literacy Programme. The Time2Read method includes the development of strong auditory skills and a knowledge of sound to symbol, which immediately gives meaning to the spelling and reading process. Two additional languages, isiZulu and Afrikaans are taught from Grades 1 to 3.  Thinking Maps are used to develop critical and creative thinking skills as well as to encourage reflective thinking – essential components of 21st Century education.

Computer skills are taught, and our specialist teacher uses developmentally appropriate technology which helps young children to grow and learn. In the JP Phase we use technology to explore new worlds and actively engage in fun and challenging activities. The children can learn about technology and technology tools and use them to play and solve problems while learning. Here, coding and robotics are included and are taught from Grade R to Grade 3. Coding is a basic literacy skill in the digital age, and it is important for children to understand and be able to work with the technology around them. Having children learn coding at a young age prepares them for the future. Coding helps children with communication, creativity, maths and writing skills.

School Life

Religious Education plays an integral part in the daily routine. The children are guided in Christian Catholic values while being taught the value of accepting diversity in all walks of life.

St Marcellin, founder of everything Marist, approached education using the 5 pillars on which our Junior Primary’s philosophy is firmly based.

Presence… caring for each other.
Simplicity… being straightforward and genuine, humble and modest, ‘doing good quietly’.
Family Spirit… relating to each other as members of a loving family and building community.
Love of Work… being generous of heart and persevering in our daily work.
In the Way of Mary… seeing Mary as a perfect model of being Marist, tender, strong and constant in faith.

The children are encouraged to embrace these values and model them daily.

Creativity is encouraged in all aspects of our Junior Primary phase. The ability to create something from personal feelings and experiences, can reflect and nurture children’s emotional health. At St Henry’s we take an interest in each child and small class sizes allow a personalised educational experience.

The children are well supported by a school Counsellor / Educational Psychologist and a Remedial therapist. Also visiting the campus and offering additional therapies are an Occupational therapist and a Speech therapist.

Theme related outings for all Grades to a variety of exciting destinations are integral. Workshops are conducted by professionals and include puppet shows, educational talks and theatrical productions.

Building partnerships between parents and teachers is an important aspect of the Junior Primary phase. Teachers meet with parents on a regular basis and the lines of communication are always open. Together, as a team, the Junior Primary teachers and parents work to create the best possible environments to foster physical, emotional and intellectual well-being for the children.

A relationship with God, resilience, self-respect, respect for all in their diversity, social responsibility, integrity, a strong work ethic, dreaming and imagining possibilities are the core values of our daily life in the Junior Prep at St Henry’s.

School begins at 7h40. Grade 1 and 2 finish school at 13h00 while school closes for Grade 3 at 14h00. On Monday and Wednesday the school day is extended by an hour to allow for compulsory sport for both the girls and boys.

Aftercare

The Lion’s Den Aftercare is situated at the Junior Primary Section of the school and at the end of the school day, the learners make their way down to the Aftercare area where the staff are waiting to greet the pupils. Those who attend extra-mural activities offered by the school will need to register with the staff on duty after their sporting or cultural codes are finished. The pupils are signed in when they arrive at Aftercare and must be signed out by the designated person/s collecting them. Children may not leave the Aftercare area without the permission of the staff.

The Lion’s Den Aftercare is a vibrant environment where the Junior Prep children are overseen by experienced caregivers. The children are given the opportunity to socialise and play after the school day in a relaxed and happy setting. They are assisted with homework and are encouraged to manage their time productively during the afternoon. Although homework is supervised, parents still need to check their child’s work so that they play a part in supporting their child. On Friday’s, craft and art related activities are planned for enjoyment and creativity.

The Lion’s Den offers aftercare on Mondays to Fridays from school closure until 17h00.

Extra-Murals

The compulsory, twice a week, co-curricular sporting programme includes cricket, tag rugby and hockey for our boys and tennis, netball and hockey for the girls. The children participate in matches in all these disciplines.  On the cultural side drama, arts and crafts and chess are offered. Private lessons for ballet, judo, swimming, ball-skills and soccer are available on campus as well as Young Engineers and Experi-Buddies. The children are expected to participate in the extra mural programme. All the children participate in our annual sports day and swimming gala and are encouraged to be involved in all aspects of school life.

St Henry’s Marist College

Take a tour of our Junior Preparatory