Educational philosophy

The educational philosophy of the Junior Prep is based on the following six pillars:

  • Spiritual
  • Service
  • Leadership
  • Academic
  • Cultural
  • Sport

Spiritual

The College was established as a Methodist Church school, embracing a Christian Methodist ethos and set of values.

The Chapel is the heart of the College and the Junior Prep meet there on Friday mornings to worship God. Parents and family are invited to attend special Chapel services. Religious Education forms part of the curriculum and all students have one lesson per week.

Service

All children in the Junior Prep are involved in outreach projects.

  • Grade R supports Animals in Distress
  • Grade 1 supports Blair Athol School
  • Grade 2 supports Blair Athol School

In addition to the above outreach projects, we support:

  • Paediatric foundations
  • The CANSA Shavathon
  • The Christmas Shoe Box initiative
  • Save the Rhinos
  • Nelson Mandela International Day
  • The Thandulwazi Stationery Drive

Leadership

In the Junior Prep the principles of leadership are closely tied to the Biblical Fruit of the Spirit. Nine of the 15 bezants on the St Stithians badge represent the nine attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit, as shown in the windows of the Chapel. The children are encouraged to reflect these attributes in their interactions with their teachers and peers. Emphasis is placed on developing leadership and responsibility. Each child is afforded the opportunity to take up a leadership role during the school day.

Academic

Grade R marks the beginning of a child's exciting journey through school. It is here that children learn independence, develop social skills and are exposed to essential values to equip them for formal schooling. We develop academic, perceptual, gross and fine motor skills.

Grade 1

Grade 1 is the beginning of the formal school programme. Grade R skills are consolidated and used as a basis for the formal learning of reading, writing and spelling. Mathematical skills are extended and problem-solving exercises are introduced. The children learn life skills and are exposed to cultural lessons and thinking skills.

Grade 2

Grade 2 is an exciting year of growth and development socially, culturally and academically.

The curriculum comprises:

  • Thematic work used to apply a broad range of knowledge, understanding and skills
  • Varied teaching and learning strategies to allow the children to think creatively and critically, and to solve problems
  • Leadership programmes, sporting and cultural activities as essential aspects of daily learning, promoting the holistic development of the child

Information Technology

Children from Grade R to Grade 2 have weekly computer lessons. These lessons are interactive and cross-curricular.

Grade R children are exposed to a variety of electronic devices and work on Smart Boards.

Grade 1 children explore the different Microsoft Office programmes and expand on the educational applications of the above devices.

The Grade 2 children consolidate and expand on the work learned during the previous two years, producing theme-related projects.

A variety of software packages are used to assist in the learning of Mathematics, English, Science and Life Skills. Lego building is introduced as part of the technology syllabus. The children start with very basic designs and graduate to simple robotics. Smart Boards, tablets and Classmate computers are used in the classrooms as part of the learning and teaching process.

Media Centre

The Media Centre functions as a multimedia and resource centre.

The children work on theme-related activities, with parents and grandparents assisting with library duties.

Cultural

In the Junior Prep children are exposed to a variety of activities that explore cultural, religious and ethnic diversity. These include art projects, story writing and dramatisation. In the Junior Prep we believe that it is important that our cultural curriculum is woven into daily activities in our school.

Through exposure to different cultural experiences the children develop an appreciation of diversity for the world around them, and the different ways in which this can be expressed.

Music

We aim to develop and nurture a love for music.

Children attend weekly lessons where they learn the following:

  • Hymns for Chapel and assemblies
  • Songs to develop singing techniques
  • Activities involving percussion instruments and djembe drums, in order to develop a sense of rhythm and to experience group interaction
  • Grade 2 children learn the basics of music notation

The choir has 120 members, and performs at various school functions and concerts.

Sport

The Sports department aims to develop physical skills, a love of sport and exercise, positive self-esteem and sportsmanship by exposing the children to a variety of sports, in a non-competitive environment. All children participate in all offered sporting activities.

The children have access to the campus facilities, including a gym, two AstroTurfs, sports fields, tennis courts and an aquatics centre. The following activities are included in Physical Education lessons:

  • Educational gym
  • Core and gross motor exercises
  • Swimming
  • Athletic disciplines
  • Ball sport disciplines: soccer, cricket, netball, hockey, basketball and tennis