The Barkly House Pre-Primary Schools motto is ex fine origo: in my end is my beginning. At Barkly House situated in Kenilworth we approach education with a view to the future of our children.
Aspects of this approach are discussed below.
The Importance of Play
At Barkly House we want our children to be lifelong learners and therefore we teach through play as this is the best way for them to learn. Play is the work of children. It is a non-threatening and happy experience which enhances their self image.
There are many different types and levels of play. Children need to experience all of them. We create opportunities in our school to facilitate all the types and levels. Play assists children’s needs in all areas of their development.
* Physical: Developing their motor skills and coordination.
* Social: Initiating relations between children and by playing roles they see in the world around them.
* Emotional: Learning to trust and accept each other. Learning to take responsibility and independence for their own decisions and ideas.
* Intellectual: Here there are an enormous amount of experiences including identifying differences, classification, symbolizing, problem solving, reasoning and developing perceptual skills. Other important skills that are developed are paying attention, concentration, memory, creativity and the use of imagination.
Play does not mean that the children can just do as they want. The teachers present all areas in the school to optimise play and learning.
Philosophy of Education
Barkly House Kenilworth Pre-Primary School offers a 3-year programme for children from the year that they turn 4 until the year they turn 6. Our mission statement is: “Every child is developed holistically through play to the best of their ability in a structured environment.” This mission statement informs all our interactions, preparations and planning for each individual child every day.
Our philosophy of education is an eclectic approach based on the theories of Piaget and Montessori (Cognitive Theorists), Bruner (Discovery Theorist focusing on the importance of the environment) and Vygotsky (Developmental Psychologist focusing on the importance of a teacher and on interaction for learning and language development).
The school uses the integrated open-plan method. This is based on systems used in England, America and Wales.
Literacy and Numeracy
Throughout our preschool programme we are in fact teaching both literacy and numeracy. All the underlying skills required for learning to read and do mathematics are included in every activity and area every day. We focus on listening skills during teacher-directed activities and teach the children to focus their listening. This is done through the use of informal age-appropriate activities.
Barkly House is registered with the Western Cape Education Department (WCED). Our teaching staff are registered with the South African Council of Educators (SACE) and are bound by SACE’s Code of Professional Ethics. All staff are trained in pediatric first aid every two years.