I am absolutely passionate about early childhood education and I believe, because of the critical foundations that need to be put in place in order for formal learning to take place, this phase of education should have the most qualified and experienced teachers. At HeronBridge College Pre-Preparatory, we pride ourselves in that our teachers are all qualified ECD teachers as well as having a teaching assistant in each class.
It is indeed a privilege for me to introduce HeronBridge Pre-Preparatory to you. Our Pre-Preparatory classes range from Grade 0000 – Grade R. Come and catch a glimpse of our special Pre-Preparatory and what it means to learn through play.
Our beautiful little Pre-Preparatory school is completely separate from the rest of the HeronBridge College campus. In our space, we specialise in nurturing the children and encouraging play through our fantastic facilities which includes a one of a kind Fantasy Village, one of the unique attributes and forward thinking ideas recently constructed at HeronBridge Pre-Preparatory where children get to role play what they might want to be when they grow up. Please view a beautiful gallery of our gorgeous Pre-Preparatory.
Pretend play is of central importance in the cognitive, social and emotional development of children throughout their preschool years.
Early developmental learning theorists continue to advocate the importance of pretend play based learning from an early age up to and including children who are in the early childhood development and foundation phase of schooling.
When children are engaged in pretend or sociodramatic play, they assume different roles. Through this type of play they express and make meaning of very many different emotions and behaviours that they have witnessed or experienced. Pretend play enables children to make sense of their own and the adult world, as well as express their interests, concerns and anxieties. Through pretend play children learn how to self-regulate their own behaviour and then how to react appropriately in different situations.
Pretend play occurs when children play collaboratively, usually in a situation of their choosing. They make rules and set their own boundaries. It speaks to social involvement. Children engage and cooperate with one another, learn to take turns, learn to share and learn to designate roles, who is the leader and who is the follower. Through engagement with one another they refine language skills, and extend their vocabulary, whilst acting out different roles. While ‘pretending to be’ children have an opportunity to discover and explore contextual and cultural similarities and differences. Understanding and accepting differences is becoming essential in our diverse, multicultural environment. Children also learn to reason, solve problems and make decisions. They have ample opportunities to successfully deal with conflict situations. Pretend play provides opportunities for children to understand and work out their difficulties by themselves, without adult intervention.
What’s more, through pretend play children acquire many of the skills, attitudes and values needed for them to successfully cope in a rapidly changing 21 century environment.
Using play as a foundation: The nature of teaching in the early years is unlike that of any other age group. Play forms the foundation of any good Pre-Preparatory programme: To deprive your child the right to play is to deprive him of the right to learn.
Children learn through play but what does it mean for a teacher to teach through play? It speaks to ensuring that not only the inside area is set up for learning through play but the outside environment as well and is just as important. It is when teachers have the necessary qualification in Early Childhood Education that they understand what it means to teach and for children to learn through play. Learning through play encourages the development of the whole child, physical, emotional, social, cognitive and spiritual. It also involves child initiated, adult guided and routine activities. All this is achieved in a loving nurturing environment. Happy children learn!
Play is the essence of creativity in children throughout the world; it is universal and knows no national or cultural boundaries. Educators and psychologists have called play a reflection of the child’s growth. It is a self-satisfying activity through which children gain control and come to understand life.
At HeronBridge Pre-Preparatory we base our foundation of learning through play on a strong Perceptual Motor Development Programme where children develop all the skills, values and attitudes needed in order for formal learning to take place. I often use the analogy of a twelve story building, it is what is below the foundation in the Early Childhood Development department where these skills are established in order for formal learning to be successful.
Play is therefore the cornerstone of learning, the foundation from which children venture forth to investigate and test. Curriculum takes on expression through play; teachers plan curriculum that includes play as a medium for learning and as children grow they integrate and assimilate their play experiences. What starts out as play and sheer fun is transformed into learning experiences.
Glynis Courtney (BEd Honours: Early Childhood Specialization, BEd: ECD and Foundation Phase)
2020 Pre-Prep Admissions
We still have a few places available for 2020, ranging from Grade 0000 – Grade 0. Please contact our Admissions Team to make an appointment to come through and visit the school. We look forward to introducing you to some of our exciting features and focal points, such as our Special Fantasy Play Area, Mud Kitchen, Sensory Gardens, etc.
While we do have Open Mornings every Tuesday at 09:00, we’re always available to meet with parents who aren’t able to make the Open Mornings.
Most of what I really need to know about life and how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in pre-school – Robert Fulgham