Pre-Primary for our Grade 000 to R (4, 5 and 6 year olds)
While children are young and tender, it is beneficial for them to start learning to build a strong foundation. St Henry’s Pre-Primary provides an education that caters for our children’s social, physical, intellectual, spiritual, creative and emotional development. We offer a warm and comforting environment for the children, passionate, caring, dedicated and qualified teachers and teacher assistants, active and hands on learning for all the children and child friendly facilities which are safe and engaging.
Learning through play is an approach favoured by our Pre-Primary. This is a vital part of the pre-school child’s day. Among the many benefits of this approach are – problem solving skills are developed; compromise, conflict resolution and sharing with others are learnt; fine and gross motor skills are developed; creativity and imagination are nurtured and just as importantly independence and positive self-esteem are built.
A day in the life of a Pre-Primary child at St Henry’s is full of learning, fun and a great deal of play.
Our Little Lions group consists of the Grade 000 and 00 age groups and the Yellow Group is our Grade R class. The life of a lion cub is all about play. Purposeful play prepares cubs to cope in many situations as they are growing up as well as developing skills that will assist them in circumstances later in life.
The play of cubs also allows them to learn about relationships and form strong bonds. St Henry’s lion cubs learn these very important life skills during their time in the Pre-Primary as well as many other valuable lessons for life.
Our School Day
A typical morning begins at 7h15 when the children begin to arrive at school. The teachers are available from 7h00 and the children engage in morning play or various set activities organised by their teachers.
At 8h00, the school day officially begins with the Greeting Ring. This ring includes songs, language and vocabulary extension, news and deciding on the weather patterns for the present day. The Religious programme also forms part of the morning greeting ring and the children reverently enjoy the time spent with God. The children are taught to understand that every individual is unique and recognition of our individual differences and respect for diversity is encouraged and expected. Being a Catholic school, our Religious Education programme is an integral part of every day. Our beliefs are based on our Catholic Ethos while our teaching principles are rooted in our Marist Characteristics namely Presence, Simplicity, Family Spirit, Love of Work and Marys Way.
After the morning ring the Grade R children begin their School Readiness Programme and the Little Lions embark on their age specific Academic Programme. Our Grade R children do Readiness activities and the younger children focus on developing necessary skills.
Our Grade R children follow the Letterland Phonics approach and the Time to Read Methodology which is proving to be a huge success. This programme includes the development of strong auditory skills and a knowledge of sound to symbol which immediately gives meaning to the spelling and reading process.
After the academic work is complete the children enjoy their snack and then proceed to outdoor free play where they are provided with the opportunity to engage in gross motor activities, sensopathic exploration, cognitive, creative and fantasy activities as well as social interaction with their peers. Learning through play is an approach favoured by our Pre-Primary. Play is a chance for children to practice what they are learning and so our Free Play time is a vital part of our school day.
Our Grade R children then have a second ring which includes theme discussions, developmental play, music and movement amongst other fun and exciting things such as Birthday Rings.
We end the day with a relaxed story ring, some quiet music and we enjoy a bit of down time after a busy and fun-filled day in Pre-school.
Other activities included in our Pre-school week include Library and Computers for Grade R and Music, Swimming and PE for both our Little Lions and Yellow Group children.
In the words of Dr Seuss “Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted”. The children of the St Henry’s Pre-Primary definitely experience all of the above in the course of their school day.
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 pupils from Grade 000 to Grade 7 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 operates every day from 13h00 to 17h00.
A variety of Private Extra-Mural activities are available in the afternoons for our Pre-Schoolers to choose from. These include Ballet, Trident Swimming Academy “Learn to Swim” Programme, Judo John, Petron Soccer Academy, Garvlings, Young Engineers as well as Experi-Buddies Science Activities.