The Pre-Foundation program has been a wonderful success since its inception. These children are now going into Foundation confident, mature and showing leadership in their grades.
The program is language and play based, concentrating on readiness aspects. It includes language experience, phonemic awareness, maths language and concepts, and covers all aspects of the school curriculum. More formal aspects of learning are introduced into the program later in the year as children show a readiness for it. The children fully participate in all specialist classes ie: Physical Education, Music and Art. Children are introduced to learning technologies (computers) and participate in swimming lessons in our heated indoor pool.
The Pre-Foundation year is like a stepping stone for those children who, after a year at kinder, are not ready for formal learning for a variety of reasons. e.g: immaturity, January to April birthday, gross and fine motor co-ordination difficulties, delayed language development, and social behaviour. It's not a case of being "bright" or not. There are lots and lots of "bright" children but emotionally they're not quite ready for Foundation.
The Pre-Foundation year gives these children an opportunity to mature, gain confidence and develop without the expectation of more formal learning that we have in the Foundation year. It allows the children to experience success and to grow and develop confidence. The children also get used to school routines, e.g: bells, being with other teachers, moving rooms and being in a larger environment with children of various ages. It is not intended to replace the extremely important kindergarten year and it is not a special needs program.
Absolutely not! The children are very much part of our school and attend all specialist classes (e.g music, physical education, art). Their classroom is with all the other F-2 classrooms. They go to Assembly with everyone else and they attend a full school day from 9:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. five days a week (not Wednesdays in February). They wear our school uniform and participate in all our school concerts and whole school days.
The program is play based, concentrating on readiness aspects. It includes language experience, phonemic awareness, maths language and concepts, and covers all aspects of the school curriculum. More formal aspects of learning are introduced into the program later in the year as children show a readiness for it. A lot of the learning is play-based. It might look like the children are "just playing" but the teacher has a specific purpose in mind, so the children might be playing dress-ups (to develop oral language), painting a picture or modelling with play dough (for fine motor skill development) or playing a board game (social skills — taking turns, sharing). There is not the expectation however that all children will be reading and writing by the end of their Pre-Foundation year (although some will!). Some children may not be ready for those skills until Foundation .
Children must turn 5 by the 30 April of the year they start school. It is in your child's best interest if they have had a year of kindergarten.
Talk to your child's kindergarten teacher. Talk with parents who have had children come through the Pre-Foundation program. Come for a visit! Ask lots of questions! Ring the school on 51443633 and we will happily take you on a tour.