Research has shown that the Grade R is critical to prepare children to be ready for school. With this in mind, Starting Chance employed a new field worker this year to support and train our teachers to be best practice for Grade R.

Bonita, our field worker, shares her thoughts on progress this year:

We have been running weekly Resource Training with the Grade R teachers and have focused on the Links to Learning in all aspects of the Grade R day. We started off with “WHAT ARE LINKS TO LEARNING”?

The Grade R teachers were intrigued to see the importance of their jobs as pre-school teachers and how they teach skills to the children which will prepare them for school and for their future.

We then looked at how to include the 3 important Links (literacy, Mathematics and Life Skills) into the day of a pre-school child. The daily programme includes Music and Movement rings, story times and morning rings as well as a time for creative art and quiet play time.

At resource trainings we have a closer look at the daily programme and constantly slot it in with the Links to learning. At these trainings we make and create resources and tools using waste material to enhance learning. Because teachers have a better understanding of teaching their children, a few of them have indicated that they are ready to start assessment. This is wonderful progress as it indicates that they are starting to grasp the developmental stages and milestones of the Grade R child. I also do visits to our 4 phase 1 schools’ Grade R classes to support the teachers. Teachers eagerly display their implementation of Links to learning in their classrooms now. Their awareness of it is displayed in their interaction with children and lessons.  We also have a Monthly Training Workshop (TRAINING TEACHERS IN TOWNSHIP) where these topics are covered. After these trainings, I visit some of these TTin T schools. I am amazed to see how most of them are eager to implement the information and knowledge shared at the Workshops. I have noticed a change in their children as well as they are cognitively stimulated and busy in their school day.

The feedback from teachers is that they feel empowered and wants more knowledge as they see the difference in their children whom they teach. They show confidence and want to learn more.