FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Grade R

  • How old must my child be for Gr R? Children must turn 6 years old in their Gr R year.
  • When should I enrol? ASAP. Preference given to those in area A and at registered local pre schools
  • Do you follow a set curriculum and is the school monitored by the WCED? CAPS followed but tweeked to suit FHPS. Departmental visits occur and promotions and progressions are signed off by the WCED at the end of each year.
  • How are assessments done? Assessments done all term (by observation) and ongoing tasks and termly reports given.
  • How do staff communicate with parents? Teachers are always available to speak with parents about any concern and a parent may request a meeting with their child’s teacher at any time. Dropping off or picking up can be a busy time for staff. We encourage you to make an appointment so that undivided attention may be given to you. Teachers will communicate regularly with parents about their child’s progress. Additionally, each child is sent home with a weekly form that communicates the activities of the week.
  • Are the staff trained? All staff qualified with a relevant teaching degree and are SACE Registered.
  • How many adults per child? Assistants in each class.
  • How big are the classes? Max 24 per class.
  • How is discipline handled? Discipline is positive. We encourage the children to come up with their own conflict resolutions. Difficult children are removed from the group and encouraged to take time out and reflect on behaviour. We encourage empathy and try to redirect behaviour and set boundaries.
  • Are extra therapies available if necessary? Remedial, OT and Speech are offered on site for those who would benefit from group therapy. However, private sessions are needed by some.
  • What else is on offer? Many sports and extra murals are offered.
  • What does the school offer over and above the curriculum? Ball skills, domestic skills, keyboard and computer lessons are part of the curriculum and part of school fees.
  • Do you go on outings? No, we get outside shows and people of interest to come to school.
  • What aftercare facilities are available? Early morning care is available from 07:15 in the Gr R garden. This is a free service. Aftercare children are collected from Gr R and taken to aftercare. This is paid for, runs until 18:00 and is in all the school holidays - excepting over the Christmas period.
  • What should my child wear? We encourage messy play, and although we supply an apron, spills are a part of our day. Please send your child in older, comfortable clothes. A sun hat is provided for outside play.
  • What is the school’s religious policy? FHPS is a Christian school, however, no doctrine is taught. Certain religious events and holidays which are culturally significant may be celebrated during the year with a non-religious focus. For example, in December we celebrate the holiday seasons with Santa etc and a Nativity Play is produced in which all children are encouraged to participate. We have a diverse community that encompasses many religions and cultures and we endeavour to be sensitive to every family’s beliefs.
  • Does my child have to attend FHPS Gr R if we want them to attend Gr 1? No. There are a limited number of places available for Gr 1. However, having been at Gr R at FHPS when starting primary school, they are at a significant advantage knowing the “big school” and are academically and socially well prepared.
  • Will my child settle easily? Preschool is an opportunity for children to develop and experience the joy of their independence. We view our little people as capable and very willing to make new relationships with adults and children at preschool. For a few children, preschool is their first experience in a group setting away from their parents. We acknowledge that this process can be a big challenge and a little scary for parents as well as children. We will work with you on the best way to step out and allow your child to make connections with others and have a smooth transition to preschool. We have years of experience in guiding children through the separation process.
  • What must my child bring to school? A snack for 10:30, something to drink (preferably water) and a set of spare clothes.
  • Is my child safe in the play space? The school is locked and is under camera surveillance. Staff are on duty before school and at break time. The Gr R play area is separate from the Gr 1 play area.

Grade 1 - 3

  • How are the classes divided? In Grade 1, we divide into 2 younger and 2 older classes. We do this for emotional growth reasons, not academics. From Grade 2 onwards, children are divided randomly - no academic streaming takes place.
  • How long is the school day? The typical day starts at 08:00 and ends at 13:20 for Grade 1 and 2. Grade 1 and 2 sport starts at 13.30 until 14.30 (when the older children finish school). Grade 3 – 7 sport takes place after school, from 14:30 onwards.
  • How early can I drop my child at school? Early morning care runs from 07:15 until the bell rings for Grade 1’s in our Grade 1 meet and greet garden. The older grades have free play time and staff monitor this on the fields before school. The school day starts at 08:00.
  • What subjects are taught? We follow a timetable which covers Language, Maths, Life Skills and Afrikaans. Children also participate in computer lessons, domestic skills, keyboards, library, Maths hub, phys ed, community singing and assemblies.
  • Are your classrooms fitted with technology? All classes have interactive whiteboards/projectors. Classes also have weekly time slots in the IT Center.
  • How many children in each class? We aim to keep each class to 30 in each class with a teacher as well as an assistant in every class.
  • Will my child get a place in Gr 1 if they haven’t been at the Gr R at FHPS? There are a limited number of places available for children from within the catchment area who attend a registered pre-school. Priority is given to those who attend Gr R at our school.

Grade 4 - 6

  • Grade 6 is the end of the Intermediate phase
  • How do I go about applying for high school? Grade 6 marks are submitted for High School applications. FHPS is one of the feeder schools for Fish Hoek High School. Our Grade 7’s are well equipped for Grade 8 having done all 9 required subjects in Grade 7.
  • Do you teach in ability groups? Maths is taught in ability groups and is streamlined. Children go to other teachers within the grade for Maths according to their ability group.
  • What curriculum do you follow? We follow CAPS but we adapt it to suit FHPS’s needs and to ensure continuity and not too much repetition between grades.
  • What subjects are taught? English, Afrikaans, Maths, Social science (History and Geography), Natural science and Life Orientation
  • Do the children write formal exams? We run a test week in April and Sept and formal exams in June and Nov.
  • How many children per class? Our aim is to keep all classes to 30 children with a teacher in each class as well as an assistant available in each grade.

Camps:

  • 3 days and 2 nights
  • Grade 5 - SOS in Villiersdorp
  • Grade 6 - Rocklands
  • Grade 7 - Stellenbosch

Grade 7

  • Grade 7 is the start of the Senior phase
  • What subjects are taught in Grade 7? We teach all 9 subjects as required for Grade 8 (English, Afrikaans, Maths, Natural sciences, Technology, Life Orientation, Social sciences (History and Geography), Creative Arts and Economic Management Sciences.
  • How do I apply for high school? Most high schools require Gr 6 marks for application early in the Grade 7 year. Open days are held very early every year – please take note and attend these very important days.

Sports Department

  • Do the classes attend Phys Ed lessons? Grade 1 – 7 do Phys Ed lessons facilitated by our sports coaches.
  • Do you have a swimming pool? Yes. Swimming lessons take place from Gr 1 to 7 during the school day.
  • School sports are included in the school fees: Summer: Athletics, Mini cricket (incl Gr R), Cricket, Mini tennis (incl Gr R), Tennis, Waterpolo, Summer netball, Summer squash, swimming/squad Winter: Cross country, Chess, Mini hockey (Grade R incl), Hockey, Mini netball (Grade R included), Netball, Mini rugby (Grade R incl), Rugby, Squash
  • Is sport compulsory? Yes. We encourage every child to participate in at least one sport every term.

Private extra murals

  • What else is on offer? Also on offer, but paid in addition to school fees: Dance, Gymnastics, Golf, Judo, Cheerleading, Experibuddies

Also offered at school: Free of charge

  • Extra lessons
  • Arts and crafts
  • Band
  • Choir
  • Drama
  • Computer Club

Information Technology

  • What do we do in computer lessons? Grade R cover basic mouse skills through educational games that are linked to their theme in class during that week. From Grade 1-7 we take an integrated approach to IT where the computer room is seen as an extension of the classroom. The learning of computer skills is done in conjunction with content learning within each grade. We work on all of the fundamental MS Office programs (Word, Powerpoint, Publisher and Excel) as well as a variety of online programs like Scratch, Reading Eggs, Matific and ABCya!. We also cover a great deal on Digital Citizenship to ensure that our learners know how to behave responsibly online.
  • Do we use iPads/mobile devices? No. We have a designated IT Center which the children visit every week. We are equipped with 35 computers in the IT Center, which allows each child to work on their own computer. We alternate between a computer lesson (1 hr) and Matific lesson (30 min) each week. Classrooms are all equipped with a projector/Interactive whiteboard which is used during lessons.
  • What is Computer Club? Gr 3-7 (1 hour per week) Grade 3-4 on a Monday, Grade 5-7 on a Wednesday. We are learning computer programming (coding) with an online program called Scratch. The children learn to write their own games and interactive movies with the use of this program.
  • Watch this space... FHPS is going Google...


Domestic skills

  • What are the duration of classes? Grade R – Grade 5 30 min classes every alternate week. Grade 6 and 7 classes are 60 min long every alternate week.
  • Allergies - how do we handle them? Parents are required to complete a form at the beginning of each year, stating any allergies and dietary requirements. We then plan our lessons accordingly. We try to come up with alternatives so that children do not miss out.
  • What do we make? From Grade R, cooking lessons are obviously very basic eg making fruit skewers, cutting biscuit dough etc. Higher grades learn more advanced cooking skills and how to use kitchen equipment. Children are responsible for washing up their dishes and cleaning up after themselves.
  • Is it just cooking? No. We also do some basic sewing skills, looming, polishing shoes, serviette folding and setting a table. We also invite guests to do demonstrations eg: Lindt sent their head chocolatier, a food stylist (Emma Wilson) came to demonstrate how to present and photograph food and Cait McWilliams, the winner of The Great South African Bake Off, came to speak to us and do a demonstration.

Maths Hub

  • What is this? This is a practical maths class for Grades 1 – 3. It takes place every week and is meant to be a fun, non-threatening and experimental way to cover areas such as measurement and basic geometry.

Music department

  • What is on offer? All classes from Grade R to 7 take keyboard lessons in the designated lab. Private tuition is offered in a variety of other instruments.
  • Are there choirs? We have 3 different choirs.
  • Do you have a band? Yes, we have 3 different bands.
  • Does the school produce plays/musicals? We put on a yearly production as well as a Nativity Play for Grade R and Grades 1 – 3

Creative Arts: Art and Drama

  • Take place during class for Grades 4 – 7
  • Grade 7 includes theory lessons
  • This is a practical subject

Extended learning:

  • What is offered to those who would like to do more than what is offered in the curriculum? We run a “Love 4 Learning Programme” on Friday afternoons which offers courses such as science experiments, baking, draw like an artist, changing a wheel, basic electricity, Irish dancing and various crafts. Our computer classes also offer programmes which allow the children to continue at their own pace. These are graded programmes such a Matific and Reading Eggs which provide the teacher with a report of the child’s progress for each activity. We encourage the children to use these programmes at home as well.

Remedial team:

  • What is available to children needing extra assistance? Besides extra lessons offered to all grades after school, we also have a dedicated remedial team who take children from class in a “pull out” system.

Aftercare:

  • What grades can attend? From Grade R – 7
  • Where is the aftercare facility? A specially designated, separate, safe environment with well equipped play area, quiet indoor area as well as homework area is situated on our ring road in the centre of the school fields
  • Is homework covered? Homework is supervised by our loving aftercare staff
  • Must I send food to aftercare with my child? No, a healthy, cooked lunch is served daily as well as snacks and juice
  • Can aftercare children attend sports and extra murals? Children are taken to, and collected from, the various sports
  • What time does aftercare close? Open until 6 pm
  • Is aftercare open during school holidays? A holiday care program is offered.

Library:

  • When do the children use the library? Grade 1-5 attend weekly lessons where they take books out and enjoy story time in the well equipped library. Grade 6 attend every alternate week. Grade 7 may visit the library during the first 30 minutes of the day.
  • A highlight of the year is the Grade 3’s Library night where they come to school on a Friday evening, dressed up as a favourite book character and enjoy story time with their teachers

Homework: The BIG question!

  • Does FHPS do homework? Yes. However, no new work is done for homework. It is for work not completed in class to be finished, for consolidation of reading, phonics, spelling and spel (Afrikaans), for preparation of orals and mondeling (Afrikaans), for revision/study in preparation for tests and exams and for research towards projects which are done in class.
  • Why do we do homework? We like to have the parents’ involvement in their child’s education – with parents being aware of their child’s progress and being aware of what is being taught in the curriculum. We feel that it is of great benefit to develop a healthy work ethic which is necessary for high school and beyond.

EQ lessons:

  • Emotional intelligence lessons are run by our counselling department in class from Grade 1 – 6 covering topics such as relationships and friendships, feelings, bullying, coping skills etc
  • We have a counsellor as well as a social worker as part of our caring staff