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Inspiring a Life of Significance

“Every child deserves the right to leave her own unique mark on the world”

JUNIOR SCHOOL CURRICULUM

Foundation Phase

Overview

Literacy

We instil a love for reading from the very start of Grade 0, so that by the time our girls leave St Margaret’s (our Foundation Phase) they are confident, fluent readers. Using Jolly Phonics, a multi-sensory programme that teaches children to read and write using synthetic phonics, our girls are soon decoding words and expressing themselves in writing. The programme continues throughout the school years, by extending the earlier phonics teaching with further spelling, grammar, and punctuation concepts in the Jolly Grammar Programme.

Communication and language development is promoted by providing a rich language environment, allowing our girls to express themselves with confidence, and speak and listen in a range of situations.

Afrikaans and isiZulu: We offer Afrikaans and isi-Zulu as first additional language subjects, and these are taught from Grade 1.


Numeracy

Using the Pearson Abacus Scheme, we promote a passion for Mathematics, the relationships between numbers and our daily lives, and in patterns and solving problems. Fostering a positive relationship with mathematics from a very early age is paramount, and investment at this stage sets children on the road to future success.

 


Life Skills

Personal, social and emotional development is fostered through Mindfulness, and the Conscious Discipline and the Think Equal programmes. Our value-based Life Skills curriculum starts in Grade 0, in the Foundation Phase, and extends into the Upper Junior grades, assisting the girls in developing a positive sense of self and positive relationships with others, in learning how to manage their feelings, and in developing confidence in their own abilities.

The Arts: The girls are encouraged to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, and to engage in activities, which incorporate expressive art, music, movement, drama, and dance.

Knowledge and Understanding of the world: The girls are guided to make sense of their physical world and their communities through rich inquiry-based learning tasks and research, encouraging them to explore, observe, and find out more about people, places, technology, and the environment. The Think Equal programme is the foundation to our Social Justice and Diversity curriculum which begins in Grade 3. Each girl is involved in school productions, special assemblies, sports days, and adventure days. Outings, specialist visits, and special days form an important part of the curriculum.

Physical development is promoted through interaction with one another, developing co-ordination, control, and movement, and understanding the importance of making healthy choices in relation to food and nutrition.

St Margaret’s has its own learn-to-swim, heated swimming pool, tailor-made to the requirements of our younger girls.

The daily use of the adventure playground, participating in active classroom sessions, and exploring the fairy gardens promote physical activity, creative adventure, and play.