In Term 4 we continued with our two main education related projects, Teachers as Observers with PRAESA, and Weekly Planning with Jane Hampton. Both projects are nearly complete and we will be rolling out our new weekly plans in 2020.
In 2020 we are also going to be working with Innovation Edge, which is part of the DG Murray Trust. Innovation Edge have developed an assessment tool, ELOM (Early Learning Outcomes Measures). ELOM is South Africa’s first population level pre-school child assessment tool. The tool’s requirements are that it should fairly assess children aged 4 to 6 from across the cultural and socio-economic spectrum. We will be piloting ELOM in 2020. We believe that the outcomes of the assessment will enable us to improve the quality of our education by tweaking and enhancing our existing curriculum and implementation.
STAFF DEVELOPMENT: TRAINING PROGRAMME
We were lucky to have our second training session with Stella Louis. This time Stella did the training with Tina Bruce, also from the United Kingdom. Tina is one of the world experts on early childhood development, and her book “Early Childhood Education” is a great book for anyone who wants to get into the philosophy of how children are educated.
The Peak Child teachers, assistants and Principals had an amazing two hour session, most of which was extremely practical. We were pleased to be joined by some of our education partners, Karen and Bev from ORT, and Jane. We would like to thank PRAESA who once again arranged this wonderful training.
STAFF DEVELOPMENT: PRE-PRIMARY NETWORK MEETINGS
Suzette and Mishkaah, from our Nimble (Salt River) attended two fantastic and interactive talks as part of a pre-primary network. This first was presented by Emma-Jean Laubscher, a Learning Support teacher at St. Joseph's Marist College. Her topic was developing attention and concentration span in the pre-school children. Emma gave us some great ideas on how to increase the attention span by introducing the children to activities which require more concentration. The teachers attending the course got to practice by playing the games which will improve concentration.
The second workshop was a hands on session presented by Sandra Boyes of Bridge House about how to use LEGO as a teaching aid. The workshop was very interactive and was well attended by many of the top pre-schools in Cape Town. The activities that most impressed the teachers was using LEGO to do brain gym and as a memory recall exercise.
STAFF DEVELOPMENT: HYGIENE AND EMPOWERMENT
Our teachers and principals had a very successful training session with Tatum Louw, who is currently studying her Masters in Social Work. Tatum covered the topics of hygiene, which included hand washing, pesticides, and poisons. She then led the staff in an empowerment session. This was a short, but very meaningful exercise highlighting the fact that teachers need to first care for themselves, in order to enable them to care for their children. Tatum provided some practical tips on how to do this.
STAFF CHANGES: NEW STAFF AND LEARNERSHIPS
Peak Child is growing the number of children in our care, and consequently we are also increasing our staff numbers. In January Faieka, Debbie and Mary will be joining Peak Child, as Teachers. Themba will be joining us as our full time Maintenance Manager.
We have also come to the end of the first 12 month intern programme, and we are very pleased that Monica, Nelly, Rumielda and Zikhona will be joining Peak Child next year.
We received the fantastic news a few weeks ago that Investec are repeating, and expanding, the Early Childhood Education Intern programme, in partnership with ORT. Not only will we be getting 8 new interns in 2020, but Investec are investing in the next step, which is supporting learnerships for the interns to get their teaching qualifications. Several of our interns, and Peak Child staff, will be attending ORT’s Level 4 early childhood education course next year.
STAFF CHANGES: PROMOTIONS
We are very pleased to announced the Felicia Abrahams has been promoted to Head Teacher at Peak Child Harfield, and Mishkaah Roberts has been promoted to Head Teacher at Peak Child Nimble (Salt River).