The Little Red Dragon preschool class is a group of 24 children aged 4 – 5 years (Grade 00). In 2015, we piloted a multi-lingual approach whereby isiXhosa, English and Afrikaans were used in equal measure in the classroom on a daily basis, and the two teachers engaged in team teaching and translanguaging. Consultation took place with ECD linguistic and literacy experts in order to reflect on and refine the approach. Aside from valuing multiple languages, the objective is to prepare the children for a variety of options when they move up to Grade R and Grade 1.
Children attend a daily programme from 8.30 to 12.30, with a theme-based approach utilizing materials from the Rhodes University Education Department. Tests are done annually on the children’s sight and hearing, and they regularly pay a visit to the local library. Other outings are arranged on an occasional basis, e.g. to the dentist and to SciFest.
There is a strong emphasis on learning through play and on literacy development through immersion in stories and books.
Although fees are charged, nearly half of the children are drawn from vulnerable families and are provided with bursaries.
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