What we offer
We understand that many parents need to work full time and therefore we offer hours which support that need. The preschool day begins at 6:30 and ends at 17:30 (sharp) Monday to Friday. Although we only offer full day, you are welcome to fetch your child(ren) at any time. We do ask, however, that this is before or after nap time so as to not wake the others.
Goldwater Pre – Primary is open all year round, with the exception of the Christmas holidays, and 1 week in Easter in order for our staff to have a good break, as well as to sterilize and organize the school for the new year. Any major repairs or renovations to the school also take place during this time. We are also closed on public holidays and on the Monday or Friday when a public holiday falls on a Tuesday of Thursday.
In order to build a good relationship from day one between you and the school, a meeting will be set up for you to meet the principal. This meeting is for both parents (where possible), as well as for your child(ren), to get to know the principal and for her to get to know you. We see this meeting as a priority, so please make every effort to attend.
We are aware that at first it might take some time for your child to settle into a new environment with new faces and being away from you. We want to work together with you to create a settling in plan that is individual to your child.
Junior Preschool: Feel free to come and spend a short time in our school with your child before he/she starts. This will enable you to see the daily routine, as well as build relationships with the staff that will be taking care of your little one. An appointment can be made with our administrator.
Senior Preschool: In the preschool we encourage children to become more independent, so we do ask that once your child has settled in, morning goodbyes are quick and that you do not linger.
We want to make sure that the transition from home to school life is as easy and comfortable as possible, for both you and your child.
Attendance and Registration
In the beginning and at the end of each session we ask you to sign your child
in and out on the Sign In Sheets. These are in each classroom and are imperative in the event of a fire drill or emergency.
Please let us know if your child is unwell or unable to attend preschool for any reason. It is also necessary to inform us of any holidays you will be taking within term time. Class time starts at 8am and breakfast is served just before, so please ensure your child is here promptly. This is especially important if you child is in Pre-R (00), as they are working on a school readiness program and it is important that they don’t miss out on anything.
“Open Door” Policy
We have an Open Door Policy whereby staff will be happy to listen to and talk to you about any worries/concerns and achievements you may wish to share about your child.
We ask that you remember that our first priority is the children and if for any reason staff are unable to respond to you at the beginning or the end of a session, a separate time to meet you will be arranged as soon as possible.
Feel free to dress your child as you feel appropriate, bearing in mind that they will be involved in a lot of messy play, water play and outdoor play. We recommend old clothes. Please bring in a spare set of clothing for your child, marked with your child’s name, for changing into should they get wet or dirty. We also ask that you please provide a sun hat and sunblock for your child. Please encourage your child to wear secure comfortable low heel shoes or sandals. This will allow them to climb on equipment and play outdoors safely. In summer feel free to send them barefoot. We expect that girls with long hair have their hair tied back to prevent it from hanging in their eyes while playing and learning or getting dirty in the paint or sand. Please ensure that everything is well marked. This includes lunchboxes, bottles, blankets, clothes, etc. We will not be held responsible for any missing items.
We ask for your cooperation with our policy that children do not wear jewellery when they are at school. Rings, chains and bracelets can cause injuries or get lost whilst they play. If your child does wear earrings, please ensure that they wear the stud type, rather than the hoops.
Food and Snacks
Here at Goldwater Pre – Primary we encourage a healthy lifestyle and eating. We start the day by having a good breakfast together. This is based on the principle that children will learn better and be able to concentrate more if they are not hungry or thirsty. Later in the morning the children stop to have snack. This is provided by you. Please note that the snack need not be anything extravagant, but could be simply a yoghurt, a sandwich or a piece of fruit. We ask that the snack not include the following:
- sweets and chips
- fizzy drinks
- other ‘junk’ food
On Fridays, however, feel free to pack a special treat for your child. We also have Baker’s Day every Friday, where your child can buy a delicious treat.
At midday all children receive lunch. The menu is available for you to see what your child is eating each day. These meals are prepared by our full time cook and the menu is based on nutritional requirements, as well as classic children’s favourites.
We encourage children to drink a lot of water as research shows that the brain is 75% water and needs to be filled up daily to be able to work at its best. A healthy brain can make learning fun!
As we know how important it is to recognise and celebrate a child’s birthday, we do allow parents to bring cakes/sweeties for the class on your child’s birthday. Please note that this is not to be a huge party with family members etc, but rather a small celebration with their classmates.
For children who are staying for the whole day, a small 2pm and 4pm snack also needs to be provided by you.
Please ensure all bottles and boxes are clearly marked and are taken home to be cleaned at the end of each day.
If your child has any food allergies, please make staff aware and note this on your application forms. We also ask that if your child has any special dietary needs, that you please provide for your child. Please note that we are a peanut-free school, due to the high number of children that are at risk with peanut allergies. Please refrain from sending in any type of peanut snack for your child.
Illness and medicines
It is our policy that if a child has a fever of 37 degrees Celsius, the parent is notified, and we ask for permission to give medicine to break the fever. If, however, the child has a fever of above 38 degrees Celsius, we require a parent to fetch the child from school.
If a child has a runny tummy, or if they have been vomiting, they have to be free from the symptoms for at least 12 hours before returning to school.
If a child arrives at school with a rash, the parent will be asked to get confirmation from a medical practitioner/nurse/clinic that the rash is not contagious to others before the child can return. If a child starts showing a rash during the day, the parent will be contacted immediately.
Every class has a medicine box. If parents require a teacher to administer medicine, please give the medicine to the teacher upon arrival – please do not put the medicine in your child’s school bag. The medicine will then be safely stowed away – this is for the safety of the children.
We have a booklet in each class where we require parents to fill in the following information:
- Name of child
- Name of medicine
- Time to be given
Please note that no medicine will be given to a child if the booklet has not been filled in and signed!
Our teachers are not qualified to make the call of whether or not it is necessary to administer medicine. Please do not bring the medicine if it is not absolutely necessary. If your child is not well we will phone to discuss the next step.
For your child’s safety we follow strict early childhood guidelines for the distribution of medication to children. Please remember to check that the medicine has been packed at the end of the day when you pick up your child.
The Reggio Emilia Inspired Curriculum
Our learning policy is based on the knowledge that young children learn through play. Playing is children’s work! Children learn by experiencing for themselves, experimenting, exploring, investigating, talking, listening, hearing, imagining and thinking. The Reggio Emilia Approach is an Italian based approach that encourages children’s learning through creative means. Through play and a variety of art and craft activities, each child will have the freedom to explore every area of learning and allow them to have ‘ownership’ of their learning, as well as of the environment in which it takes place. This enables children to make informed choices and become independent learners.
Each child is considered to be unique and is encouraged to work at his/her developmental stage, interest and their individual needs.
Junior Preschool: Children are given a choice of activities and are encouraged to join in, however no child is forced to do the activities.
Senior Preschool: The children are also given choices of activities, however they are encouraged to spend time on all of them.
We create a portfolio for each child which grows with them every year that they are here. These portfolios will be sent home twice a year and must be returned at the beginning of the following term. As the portfolio will follow your child throughout their stay at Goldwater Pre-Primary, it is imperative that they are returned and are well looked after. The replacement cost of a portfolio is R100. Children will take their work home on a termly basis.
Our portfolios act as our reports and are based on the stepping stones from the UK’s New Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum which incorporates six areas of learning:
- Personal Social and Emotional Developmental
- Communication, Languages and Literacy Developmental
- Knowledge and Understanding of the World
- Mathematical Development
- Physical Development
- Creative Development
Please feel free to ask the teachers about the themes of projects and get involved. We want to encourage a good learning relationship between each teacher, child and parent.
Out-Door Learning Environment
Outdoor play is an integral part of preschool life. It is crucial to remember that the outdoor learning environment is equally important to children’s all-round development and well-being as the indoor learning environment. Children will have access to outdoor play throughout the seasons. (Weather permitting)
The outdoor environment is also a place where children have the space to challenge themselves and where they are able to take acceptable risks and learn from their experience. Allowing children to take acceptable risks now will give them the skills and experience to work out risks in the wider world as they grow. Please remember there is no right or wrong way to play. Staff use their professional judgement and take reasonable steps to ensure safety at all times.
Staffing and ratio
At our preschool we strive to ensure better ratios than the ratio guidelines stipulated by the Department of Social Development for Early Childhood Development Services.
Our maximum class sizes are as follows:
- Junior Preschool: 16 children with 2 adults
- Senior Preschool: 18 -20 children with 2 adults
The role of the Teacher:
- Works closely with parents to support children’s transition from home to school.
- Communicates with parents and with other professionals involved.
- Works together with other staff to identify any needs so that appropriate referrals about any issues or concerns for individual children can be made.
All staff are committed to ongoing self development in the best interests of children and families. Each member of staff is responsible for the care and education of the children.
Working in Partnership with Mommies, Daddies and/or Carers
We know that parents are children’s first and most influential teachers and keeping this in mind we would like to work closely with you and your child.
How do we strive to build a happy and strong link between home and school?
We do it by:
Sharing information – exchanging knowledge that may affect your child’s performance at the school or home, for example an illness of a parent or extended family member, an argument or disagreement or possibly an issue with a brother or sister, absence of staff members and issues or events arising at the centre. Each child receives a communication book that goes home daily. This contains information about your child’s day – nappy changes, eating and sleeping habits. We ask that you sign all notices that go home. Feel free to write back to us in these books.
- Inviting you to explore how children learn in the nursery.
- Encouraging positive relationships between all who are at our school, Children, Fathers, Mothers and visiting non-professionals and professionals.
- Being available to address any issues or concerns as soon as possible.
It is the school’s policy that ALL visitors to the building are strangers to the children. Please remember that you are a STRANGER to the children.
Make your first contact a staff member.
It is also important to note that children will only be allowed to be picked up from school by their parents / carers, unless a prior arrangement has been made. If so, the person has to be over the age of 18.