Jacaranda College

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Jacaranda College & Pre- Primary

We choose equality, dignity, diversity and development.

Jacaranda Pre-Primary: Your Child's Education and Future Starts With Us.

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``A person's a person, no matter how small.`` Dr Suess

``Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future`` - John F. Kennedy

We understand that choosing a nursery or pre-school that is right for both you and your child can be a difficult decision, which is why we do our best to make it as easy as possible.

We offer everything you would expect from a registered pre-primary school such as excellent standards of daily care and education, a nurturing and safe environment, freshly prepared food, and well maintained facililities with ample outdoor areas.  But what makes Jacaranda Pre-Primary School popular with parents is that we make the child the centre of everything we do and every decision we make.

We believe that you will find that our approach to childcare and education sets the standards rather than just simply following them; an approach that sees beyond the ‘requirements’.  For children to be happy they need to be busy and to be busy they need to be engaged with their environment.

Jacaranda Pre-Primary School feels like extended family, easing separation between parent in child in early childhood.

We encourage two-way communication between parents and staff.  We are committed to supporting our parents and ensuring the well-being of their children.

Θ We have well-resourced age-appropriate designated areas where children play and learn.

Θ There is some flexibility in our routines to help with parental schedules.

Θ Nutritionally, balanced meals are freshly-prepared on-site.

Θ We engage on multiple electronic communication platforms with parents.

Θ We practice an open-door policy with parents having direct access to the senior management team of the school.

Θ Our services are client-orientated.

Θ Our curriculum framework and childcare is child-centred and developmentally age-appropriate.

Θ Know what is right and what is wrong;

Θ Be willing to share and take turns with others;

Θ Be able to relate to others;

Θ Be curious and able to explore;

Θ Be able to listen and speak with understanding;

Θ Be comfortable and happy with themselves;

Θ Have developed physical co-ordination, healthy habits, participate in and enjoy a variety of learning and arts experiences;

Θ Love their families, friends, teachers and school.

Play is a means to early learning that capitalises on children’s natural curiosity and exuberance.  Play is a vehicle for learning and lies at the core of innovation and creativity.  It provides opportunities for learning in a context in which children are at their most receptive.  Play and academic work are not distinct categories in early years education for young children, and learning and doing are inextricably linked for them.

It has long been acknowledged that there is a strong link between play and learning for young children, especially in the areas of problem solving, language acquisition, literacy, numeracy, and social, physical, and emotional skills.  Young children actively explore their environment and the world around them through a process of learning-based play.  When children are manipulating objects, acting out roles, or experimenting with various materials, they are engaged in learning through play.  Play, therefore, has a legitimate and important role in early learning and can be used to further children’s learning in all areas of the curriculum.

Our effective early childhood learning classrooms make use of play and embed opportunities for learning through play in the physical environment and play activities.  Both child-initiated free play and more structured play-based learning opportunities form the foundation of our early learning classrooms.  Children are offered choices of learning activities that reflect their developmental stages.  The learning activities are designed by the educating team to encourage the children to think creatively, to explore and investigate, to solve problems and engage in the inquiry process, and to share their learning with others.

Our Curriculum

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Our curriculum is researched-based and continuously updated to ensure relevance for early year learning today. We embrace the principles of brain-based learning, multiple-intelligences and concrete learning through play. Read more...

In our classes with the high educator to learner ratio, educators can give each child individual attention and care, and respond to their individual interests and reflections.

We follow an internationally aligned early childhood education curriculum. 

Our curriculum meets all the expectations and requirements set in the draft South African National Curriculum Framework for children from Birth to Four, but are specifically enriched in the areas of Language, Mathematical, Art and Gross Motor development.

Our curriculum is researched-based and continuously updated to ensure relevance for early year learning today.  We embrace the principles of brain-based learning, multiple-intelligences and concrete learning through play.

Our curriculum is an agreed framework through which knowledge is gained, skills are developed, and experience is widened.

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Our curriculum follows these principles:

Θ The curriculum offered is balanced and wide-ranging.

Θ Cross-curricular themes include personal identity, citizenship, the beginning of economic awareness, health and physical education, the arts and environmental education.

Matching the needs of individuals – We are not all the same, and the different learning needs of individuals are central to the planning and implementation of the school’s curriculum.  At the same time, all learners have equal rights of access to each curriculum area.

Flexible in approach – The different demands of each learning and skill development area, and the varied learning needs of individuals, require a corresponding flexibility of teaching methods.  Opportunity for direct instruction, peer-, collaborative- , and independent learning are equally important.  Children need to involve themselves actively in the process of their own learning.  They need to:-

Θ experience working in a variety of groups of different sizes, which have been bought together for a variety of reasons;

Θ develop a capacity for independent learning and attainment of objectives.

Θ explore and to discover;

Θ frame questions and to solve problems; to discuss and to debate or reason; to enact, to create, to communicate and to evaluate.

Continuous across stages – The curriculum is arranged so that individual progress is continuous both within and across the learning phases (ages within the Pre-Primary) and learning areas alike so that practices are consistent.  The experience gathered in one phase or area of the curriculum can then be built upon in the next.

Realising potential – Accurate assessment is the key to individual progress.  In order to set appropriate challenges, a teacher must be able to make informed judgements about a child’s potential, based on clear understanding of what that child knows and can do.  It is particularly important that children themselves reflect upon their successes and their difficulties.

Developing the whole person – Educating the whole child means thinking about each child as a human being in full, and not limiting the scope of education or care only to a narrow focus on core learning or developmental areas.  The quality of a child’s spiritual, social, moral, and cultural education depends upon the quality of the relationships between educators / care-givers and children, and among children themselves.  Sensitive issues are considered in a balanced and responsible manner, and in an atmosphere of open-mindedness and mutual respect.

Within the wider community – A good school relates to and makes use of the wider community of which it is a part.  We take and make opportunities to reach out into our community, and to encourage the regular involvement of groups and individuals in relating the curriculum to other aspects of children’s lives, and broadening their social experience.

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Instructional Languages

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The Language of Learning and Teaching at Jacaranda Pre-Primary is English. Toddlers in distress or struggling with significant language barriers, are comforted or assisted in their mother tongue as appropriate to the circumstance, where possible in terms of our staff's linguistic capabilities.. Read More...

The Language of Learning and Teaching at Jacaranda Pre-Primary is English.

Toddlers in distress or struggling with significant language barriers, are comforted or assisted in their mother tongue as appropriate to the circumstance, where possible in terms of our staff’s linguistic capabilities.

English, being a global language, enables individuals to compare and contrast knowledge, concepts, and cultures and, thereby, expand personal horizons and world views.  It gives learners more self-confidence as they understand how others think and why, and weaves a richer tapestry of life through an expansion of their interests and involvement.

English also enhances the learner’s personal “global reach” in terms of academic and employment competitiveness.  For employment and career advancement, linguistic skills and international experience matter a great deal. Those who are competent in English can help bridge the gap between cultures, seamlessly engage in international trade and, to a greater extent, contribute to international diplomacy and promote national security and world peace. In addition, business transactions between South Africa and most other nations in the world are conducted in English; thus, there is a real and growing need for more South Africans to be proficient in both spoken and written English.

Abacus Math

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Abacus Math is offered as a highly recommended extra-curricular service at Jacaranda Pre-Primary from age 3. Read More...

Abacus Math is offered as a highly recommended extra-curricular service at Jacaranda Pre-Primary from age 3.

Abacus Math is a unique mathematical skill development and enrichment program.  Through the use of the Japanese Abacus and other materials, the program is designed to ensure that pre-primary children are able to conceptualise numbers on a physical, numerical and symbolic level.  It is necessary to ensure that children have an appropriate understanding of the concept of numbers before they embark on the abacus maths learning path.

The Abacus Maths program is based on similar programs that are offered in countries such as Japan, China, Singapore, America and Taiwan.  

The Abacus Math program is highly recommended is assisting children to reach mathematical school readiness standards.

Learning Beyond The Classroom

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The classroom must prepare children for life – providing them with the essential skills to be successful in their futures: socially and career-wise. Read More...

The classroom must prepare children for life – providing them with the essential skills to be successful in their futures:  socially and career-wise.

Θ We are living in exponential times. The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years.

Θ Children today, live in a world of instant information, instant communication, instant entertainment, global collaboration and rapidly changing multi-media.

Our children’s world has changed.  Their world demands new skills.

What are the advantages of computers for young children?

Θ It helps children to be in control of their experience, to set their own pace, and to select the level of challenge with which they feel comfortable.

Θ It helps children to use all of their senses to extract information. Computers fascinate children and can draw their full attention, which often results in a deeper focus and concentration.

Θ It enables children to learn through creating, just as they gain hands-on knowledge and understanding when they build forts, make up stories, and paint, increase their skills.

Θ As they master computers, children build positive attitudes toward technology that will pay dividends for the rest of their live

Θ Computers benefit the development of fundamental skills. Good educational software enables children to develop and practice a broad range of skills. It can help them learn, for example, about letters, numbers, shapes, colours, and rhythm. Good software can also help children develop their understanding of cause and effect, higher order problem solving, procedural thinking, and creative expression.

Θ Emotional skills: By using a computer children develop self-confidence and self-esteem as they master computer skills and use the computer to make things happen.

Θ Social skills: In the classroom setting or in the home when their friends or parents are available, children often prefer working with one or two partners over working alone, which leads to the development of social skills.

Θ Computers benefit children with special needs. Computers have proven extremely beneficial to kids with certain speech, audio, and motor limitation They benefit especially from having access to an on-demand, patient tutor that allows them to work at their own pace. What they achieve through using a computer enhances their self-esteem and provides them with a greater sense of control and engagement with the world.

Basic Computer Education is offered as an extra-curricular service from the age of 2 years at Jacaranda Pre-Primary. 

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We Achieve Increased Learner Engagement by Extending Learning Beyond the Classroom

By taking learning beyond the classroom we create many opportunities to make learning concepts, real and relevant by putting them into a more realistic context for the early years learning.  Many concepts which seem too difficult or abstract to get a grasp of in the classroom are a lot easier to understand in the big wide world when they’re set in context, and when the children are more engaged and motivated to understand and learn.

Extending learning beyond the classroom has these benefits:-

Θ It makes learning more engaging

Θ It makes learning relevant

Θ It nurtures creativity and imagination

Θ It develops learning through perceived “play” and experimentation

Θ It improves attendance

Θ It reduces behaviour problems

Θ It develops interest in the environment and wider surroundings

Θ It exposes children to new opportunities

Θ It keeps children healthy

Θ It creates almost limitless resources

We create real world connections at pre-primary level by means of incursions, excursions, field-trips, themed-learning including themed events, holiday programs and celebrations, puppet shows and show-and-tell experiences.

A major goal at Jacaranda College & Pre-Primary is to build a school-wide culture and value structure that supports peacemaking.  Numerous consultations were had between the Joint School Board and the respective Academic Committees on how to promote peace and social justice in each classroom and the school as a whole. Representative faculty members gathered with outside experts in strategic planning sessions to develop a vision for the school.

The result, established a set of four rules that guide both learner and staff behaviour.

Θ Be on time, prepared, and ready to learn.

Θ Practice academic honesty.

Θ Respect personal space, property, and opinions.

Θ Promote a positive educational environment through respectful language and actions.

These decisions led to the adoption of programs that promote the desired atmosphere of social responsibility.  A socially responsible learning community integrates the academic, social, emotional and ethical dimensions of teaching and learning.  This fosters the ongoing development of human qualities – such as empathy, fairness, interconnectedness, peaceful coexistence and respect for human life – that become a way of being.

We have elected to support under-resourced schools and centres in Olievenhoutbosch, as our closest neighbourhood with these focus areas:

Θ Education needs, specifically within under-resourced and previously disadvantaged communities, such as school resources, training material, physical repairs and financial assistance.

Θ Social upliftment of orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children and individuals with disabilities, specifically in benefit of charities and communities that are under-resourced and/or previously disadvantaged.

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Physical Education

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Even at the tender age of 3, 4, or 5, your child needs lots of opportunities for physical activity, both for good health and for skill building. Read More...

High-quality health and physical education programs help children succeed in life. An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body.

Even at the tender age of 3, 4, or 5, your child needs lots of opportunities for physical activity, both for good health and for skill building.

 

Developing and achieving gross motor control is one of the most important milestones for babies up to 24 months to achieve.

Gross Motor Ability is a critical life skill – Motor skills are actions that involve the movement of muscles in the body.  They are divided into two groups: gross motor skills, which are the larger movements of arms, legs, feet, or the entire body (crawling, running, and jumping); and fine motor skills, which are smaller actions, such as grasping an object between the thumb and a finger or using the lips and tongue to taste objects.

Motor skills usually develop together since many activities depend on the coordination of gross and fine motor skills.  Gross motor skills develop over a relatively short period. Most development occurs during early childhood and often poor gross motor development has direct correlation to learning difficulties/skills such as mathematics or writing.

We vigorously enforce the development of Gross Motor Skills – we follow an active, structured play-based program, adhere strictly to the Gross Motor curriculum, and offer Gross Motor Aerobics (the most fun a little one can have!) as an extra mural activity on the premises and also facilitate Action Sports, Karate and Swimming.

The Arts

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In our curriculum, The Arts as a learning area includes dance & movement, drama, music, and the visual arts. Read More...

Art Instruction

Art Instruction at Pre-Primary level is integrated at cross-curricular level throughout the structured daily program.

In our curriculum, The Arts as a learning area includes dance & movement, drama, music, and the visual arts.  Each of these art-forms is viewed as a separate discipline, although not taught separately.  The concept of ‘arts literacies’ has been adopted as a unifying idea which can be applied across arts subjects.

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Children actively participating in the performing arts, shows these positive outcomes:-

Θ Immediate positive educational, emotional and behavioural benefits for the children and young people themselves (for example, enjoyment, self-confidence, communication skills, creative thinking).

Θ Short- and long-term benefits to wider society (for example, reduction in crime or anti-social behaviour, an improved economic situation due to more skilled workforce).

Θ Long-term impact on children’s attitudes towards and engagement with the arts, with potential benefits for the children (enabling life-long enjoyment of the arts) and the arts sector (building arts audiences and practitioners for the future).

At Jacaranda Pre-Primary, our Annual Concert is a spectacular production showcasing the magnificence of our children’s artistic and dancing abilities.  Drawing sold-out performances every year this highlight in our calendar sizzles with excitement and anticipation in the hearts and bodies of our little ones, long before the first nappy encased bum is first put on stage and remains the play act of choice, long after the last Grade 00 leaves the stage proudly bowing to an on-their-feet audience.

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Sports & Extra-Curricular

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A quality health and physical education program can be life-changing for today’s children. Read More...

Sports

“The ability to conquer oneself is the most precious of all things sports bestows” Olga Korbut

We focus on talent identification and development in respect of sport and extra-curricular activities with the aim to enable success at competitive level.

To this extend our extra-curricular activities are presented by professional coaches and expert external suppliers.  Sports are a paid-for service.  In terms of the PSDW curriculum children must participate in at least one extra-curricular activity – being it at school or not. This participation counts towards the PSDW report marks.

Sport and extra-curricular starts officially in January.  There are many opportunities for team context competing.  Seasonal sports such as Athletics etc. are communicated at the start of each season.

Sports available at Jacaranda College:

Θ Action Sports including:

Θ Netball

Θ Soccer

Θ Athletics

Θ Rugby

Θ Cricket

Θ Hockey

Θ Gross Motor Aerobics

Θ Karate

Θ Tennis

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“When I was a teenager, I started to settle into school because I’d found the extra-curricular activities that interested me: Music and Theater” Morgan Freeman

Drama & Public Speaking is offered as an optional extra-curricular service at Jacaranda College & Pre-Primary.

Developing confidence, self-esteem, communication, and performance skills, it is appropriate for boys and girls aged 4 years and older.

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