curriculum
handspencilThe Unique Child

Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. When activities are being planned, the staff are very much aware that each child is unique; with their own individual interests, communication and learning styles. Throughout their day these will have been observed, discussed, assessed and planned for so that their different and individual needs can be met.

The Staff are committed to equal opportunities for all children of all cultures and for boys and girls. We believe that boys and girls have an equal right to all areas of the curriculum and must be actively encouraged to use all areas. E.g. girls’ mathematical ability may by impaired if they are not encouraged to use construction toys; boys use role play area to develop their language skills as well as fostering caring attitudes.

Environment

SOWLE has plenty of space to grow, situated on a tranquil plot in the Benoni Small Farms area in Gauteng. We have ample space for outside play with outdoor based activities to enhance what our children have learned inside the classroom. With an abundance of bird-life, low to no traffic noise and the odd sheep walking by, this creates an optimum space for learning to take place.

Our classrooms are not set up in the conventional classroom layout-each classroom is divided into specific learning areas with numerous resources assigned to each area which can be adjusted to each child’s specific learning objectives. Individual and group-based learning is encouraged through hands-on activities and play. Each classroom is also equipped with an interactive whiteboard where songs and drama are just one of our many methods we use to encourage learning.

SOWLE also has a dedicated Therapy room where our Occupational and Speech therapy takes place. This doubles as our tumbling room once a week where gross-motor development is the objective.

For those parents who’d like to make use of our Aftercare, we have a dedicated Aftercare room as well as an outside play area. Many of the resources used during the school day are also available at Aftercare doubling the learning effort even though it is through play.

Learning Areas

At SOLWE Centre we will be basing our initial curriculum on the English Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). This curriculum is a hands on, play based, physical curriculum which suites the needs of Downs Syndrome and most special needs children. The curriculum caters for children who are just beginning their learning up when they are able to read, write and do basic mathematics. It emphasises the need for children learning through what they are interested in and this features highly when planning activities for individual children. Children are more able and have accomplished the assessment criteria in this curriculum we will move on to the progressing through outcomes of higher grades.

The Curriculum the children will follow is guided by the four following Principles from the Early Years Foundation Stage. The overarching aim is to help children achieve outcomes of Every Child Matters- staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well-being. These outcomes of Every Child matters link directly to the principles of the revised National Curriculum Statement of South Africa which are:

• Social Justice

• Healthy Environment

• Human Rights

• Inclusivity

• Learning Areas

The Learning and Development is made up of six areas. All the areas of Learning and development are connected to one another and are equally important. They are underpinned by the above principles. The six Areas of Learning and Development together make up the skills, knowledge and experiences appropriate for babies and children as they grow, learn and develop. (DFES) These six areas are planned for daily, in order to provide children with activities both inside and outside based on their individual development and needs. Children develop rapidly during the early years physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. They are entitled to provision which supports and extents knowledge, understanding, skills and confidence, and helps them overcome any disadvantage.

learningThe areas of Learning and Development are:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Languages, Life Orientation)

Communication, Language and Literacy (Languages)

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy (Mathematics, Economic and Management Sciences)

Knowledge and Understanding of the World (Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Technology)

Physical Development (Life Orientation, Arts and Culture)

Creative Development (Arts and Culture)