ABOUT US

OUR STORY

In 1998, Sally was teaching computer lessons as an extra mural to pre-school children. She travelled to various pre-schools in the area and established a good relationship with the existing owner of Pied Piper. When the owner married and moved to the Eastern Cape, Sally was offered the opportunity to buy the school. She took ownership on the 1st September 1999, a dream come true. The history of Pied Piper extends back over 60 years! Previous owners frequently pop in to visit. It has been said that it was originally built in the 60’s, as the feeder pre-school to Blairgowrie Primary. It was a Transvaal Education Department listed pre-school. The school and the house were built at the same time, with the original owner residing in the house. Pied Piper has a wonderful relationship with Blairgowrie Primary School. Both Sally and her husband were learners at Blairgowrie Primary themselves. The Chait family is the first “3 generation Blairgowrie Primary family”. Sally’s son has also been an educator at Blairgowrie Primary since 2010. This important connection with the primary school allows to make sure that our Grade R learners are fully prepared to attend Grade 1. We also work closely with the teachers to make sure the After Care children are completing homework and assignments proficiently. Many alterations and additions have taken place over the last few years, modernising the teaching spaces, without losing the traditional, airy space that Pied Piper is so blessed to have. In 2006 Sally opened a specialised baby centre, which allowed us to cater for 8 babies, from birth to 2 years old. 2017 saw the school expand into the attached house, moving the Grade R and After Care Centre into their own area, which has a kitchen, library and patio. This extension allowed us to employ another teacher and open a 5 th group – the Elephants. Pied Piper now caters for babies from birth until 2 years in the Baby Centre, children turning 3 in the Bunnies Group, children turning 4 in the Elephants Group, children turning 5 in the Lions Group and those turning 6 in Grade R.
The After Care Centre has been an integral part of Pied Piper from the start, catering for children from Blairgowrie Primary and Delta Park School. Pied Piper’s trademark 1974 VW Blue Combi picks up children who have often been with us from their very first years until they are ready for high school. We welcome outside children to join our After Care family throughout the year. We pride ourselves in our long-standing staff members, who make Pied Piper a family.We continue to enrol children whose parents were Pied Piper children when they were young, the stories are rich in memories and it is always special to welcome families back for a new generation of Pied Piper children!

CLASSES

Baby Centre: Birth – year turning 2
Our Baby Centre offers specialised care for infants and toddlers from birth until roughly 2 years old.
The environment is stimulating, safe and homely – catering for only 8 children at a time. There are beautiful wooden cots lining the centre allowing the babies to follow their own sleeping routines, until they are able to progress to one sleep a day. Bottle feeding, introduction to solids, and self-feeding are wonderful milestones that our babies achieve daily. Each child has a detailed feedback book for communication between the carers and parents. The playground is exciting and challenging, but surfaced with soft, cushioned artificial grass, so that little knees and toes are able to explore easily. The area is shaded all day, with grassy patches of sunshine during the morning. All staff are fully trained in Early Childhood Development, with First Aid qualifications.

Bunnies Group: Year turning 3
The Bunnies group introduces toddlers to the pre-school environment for the first time. Through unstructured, incidental learning, the children follow a set routine every day. This allows them to feel safe and comfortable in the school environment, and develop a sense of time and order. A theme discussion, singing and introduction to numbers and shapes takes place every day, as well as exciting art activities and stimulating perceptual opportunities. Children are potty trained when they are ready (normally during the warmer seasons) – the classroom has 6 small toilets that are perfect for little bodies to sit on. The playground, shared with the baby centre, is exciting and challenging, but surfaced with soft, cushioned artificial grass, so that little knees and toes are able to explore easily. The area is shaded all day,
with grassy patches of sunshine during the morning. Each child has an accessible locker with their name on, to keep their bags and water bottles in. Full day children will have a sleep in the afternoon, on a mattress provided by parents. No more than 15 children are enrolled for this group.

Elephants Group: Year turning 4
The Elephants group follows a more structured routine, encouraging children to participate in activities that require longer periods of concentration. Theme discussions are more detailed and children are exposed to challenging perceptual experiences that develop their fine motor skills in preparation for writing. Exposure to a wide range of artistic techniques and creative activities develops their love for creating and exploring their world through art media and materials. Care for equipment, cleanliness and helping others is strongly encouraged during this year, as well as care and responsibility for their own belongings. Each child has their own labelled locker in the classroom. There is also a bathroom with small toilets for them to access throughout the day (All children in this group are required to be toilet trained). Depending on the individual child’s ability to cope on outside equipment, their playtime will either be on the smaller playground, or the bigger more challenging jungle gyms. Full day children will have a sleep in the afternoon, on a mattress provided by parents. No more than 15 children are enrolled for this group.

Lions Group: Year turning 5
Also referred to as “00”, this class introduces children to a slightly more demanding routine. Art activities are detailed and normally comprise of 3 or 4 days of efforts with a wide variety of media. Theme discussions are extensive and encourage children to listen to books introducing them to fascinating facts and ideas that develop their general knowledge. Fine motor skills are fine-tuned for writing, although they are not introduced to reading during this year. Identifying sounds and syllables within words is incorporated into their learning through poems, stories and songs. By the end of the year children are able to read number symbols and do simple addition and subtraction problems orally. A firm development of “self” is encouraged in the Lions group by giving children simple responsibilities as well as activities that develop spatial awareness, familiarity with their own body, and how their behaviour affects those around them. It is during this year that we ask parents to test their children’s ears and eyes. There is a bathroom with small toilets
attached to the classroom and each child has an accessible locker for their belongings. The playground for this group is big and challenging. Many opportunities to develop gross motor strength and agility are found on the big jungle gym, where the sunny, grassy field is wonderful for running and ball games. The sandpit is shady and busy all day long – equipment is changed daily for exciting fantasy play as well. Full day children will have a sleep in the afternoon, on a mattress provided by parents. No more than 15 children are enrolled for this group.

Grade R – Year turning 6
Our Grade R program is of a very high standard. A carefully planned, researched and successful routine prepares children in all areas, so that they are ready for Grade 1. We mainly feed to Blairgowrie Primary School, and work closely with those teachers to make sure that our children are 100% ready for them. The program follows the current CAPS curriculum, as well as additional Montessori, Traditional and IEB concepts that we have found to be crucial in developing the whole child. By the end of the year, children are able to write all their letters as well as read a few simple words. They are also able to complete basic addition and subtraction problems orally and in writing. Although the workload for the children is increased, our focus remains on play based education, so that children do not miss playground time, free play and fantasy explorations. Their routine remains structured, and by this year they are familiar enough with this routine, to be entrusted with more responsibilities – dishing up food, washing equipment, a little bit of homework and general contributions as the “oldest and wisest” children in the school. The bathroom attached to this classroom has a bigger toilet for children to use. The playground for this group is big and challenging. Many opportunities to develop gross motor strength and agility are found on the big jungle gym, where the sunny, grassy field is wonderful for running and ball games. The sandpit is shady and busy all day long – equipment is changed daily for exciting fantasy play as well.
For the first few months, full day children will have a sleep in the afternoon, on a mattress provided by parents. No more than 15 children are enrolled for this group.

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