Most of us can remember being in pre-primary. Closing my eyes, I can see the array of colours plastered across paintings which lined the walls.
Chaos to calm, as we all ate little sandwiches, drank juice and then silently faded into a much-needed nap. Running and climbing as we conquered the playground, with our imaginations, creating magical storylines.
Pre-primary schools are where we begin our journey into the world and this means that a great one is needed to ensure children can look back and love where they once began. One such place is none other than Klein Spoortjies Pre-Primary School.
As an integral part of the Newcastle community, we interviewed three educators from Klein Spoortjies to find out just what makes the school so special.
Teaching at Klein Spoortjies for the past three years, Luzaan Olivier says she began her career as a pre-primary teacher due to her love for children.
“Children always have a smile on their face. For me, being a teacher brings immense joy. I love the feeling of being able to teach my learners something new every day.”
Working with children, Luzaan says the days are not without laughter. The children sometimes coming up with the most unusual ideas.
“One of the funniest things I have seen took place in 2018. A little boy didn’t want to eat his porridge and then his friend suddenly started feeding him. When I asked what they were doing, the friend simply said, ‘But he wasn’t eating.’ It really made me laugh,” Luzaan giggles.
Having been at the school for the past three years, what makes Klein Spoortjies stand out from other pre-primary schools?
“I would have to say it is the staff’s dedication. We are always willing to go the extra mile, determined to help the children when they are struggling. Even if it means sitting with them until they understand something,” Luzaan says.
Jenavieve Tinkler began her teaching career at Klein Spoortjies in 2011.
“The biggest reason I chose this as a profession, is because I have a love for children. I love seeing them grow, developing and reaching certain milestones. I really feel proud of watching them grow.”
With children coming up with humorous ideas, Jenavieve says their funny antics don’t always happen at school.
“I had a parent come in once and say she can see how I teach in my classroom. Her daughter was playing teacher-teacher with her brother and even put him in the naughty corner. Her mom said she could literally see me in her child while she was playing,” Jenavieve laughs.
Being with the school for eight years, what makes Klein Spoortjies stand out for Jenavieve?
“We always go the extra mile, involving the children with different activities and then there is our love for them. The children themselves also make it an awesome school with all the hugs they give, it is a genuine form of love.”
Zania La Grange has been with Klein Spoortjies for a year and a half. An experience which she enjoys to the fullest.
“I just love the children and how they grow and develop. Also, I love how their faces light up when you teach them something and they get it right afterwards.”
As a teacher and working in the after-care section of the school, Zania says she witnesses a lot of humorous situations. “I always want to laugh when a child bumps their arm and hurts it as they will come to me and say they just broke their arm. Then there are times when we catch them imitating us and a child will tell another child what to do, just like I would,” she laughs.
As for what makes Klein Spoortjies special, Zania says the staff’s love and dedication can be seen in how they treat their learners. “We have autistic children who aren’t always accepted in other schools. Klein Spoortjies embraces these children and the staff goes out of their way to ensure these children flourish.”
With the staff dedicated to their careers, their learners and the school itself constantly thriving to promote excellence, Klein Spoortjies is truly a pre-primary school like no other.