Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Pre-Primary School – An interview with Candice

Candice le Roux - Pricipal of Buelmbu Christian Pre-Primary

Candice le Roux is the new principal of the Bulembu Christian Pre-Primary School. She has been actively involved in getting the new building ready for the pre-schoolers and will be playing a large role in implementing a curriculum that lays a firm and stable foundation in the children’s lives.

·         How many students  and teachers at BCPPS?
We have nine teachers employed.  There are a few applicants that still need to be processed but at the moment the amount of children attending the school is 78.

·         What ages are the students at the new school? 
The youngest children would have just turned two and then the oldest in the pre-school class is five to six years old. One of the girls is 10 but she is physically really small and mentally younger so she is fitting in fine.

·         Why is there a need to expand? 
At the previous campus we only had three classrooms dedicated to the pre-primary and then when we brought the two and three year old classes under the school umbrella, there was not enough room for the children, so it’s just a case of numbers expanding and needing space.

·         How will you work in partnership with the teachers and principal at BCPPS
M  My focus is not only on the children’s education but also developing the teachers as professionals. It’s very important to me that they offer a standard of teaching that can fully benefit the children in all aspects. I don’t believe in giving half measures. I need to be very aware of where the teacher’s shortfalls/weaknesses are so that I can strengthen them in those areas and encourage them to improve themselves and try and keep a level of enthusiasm so that they never look at their role in the school as a job but as a calling.

·         You have a fantastic building. Do have great equipment at your disposal? There are so many areas where we have room for growth. We have very limited resources and we need more to be able to teach better and for the kids to learn more. We have a lovely building, it wasn’t so lovely in the beginning but the guys have worked hard. I would really like to thank everyone in Bulembu who has worked so hard to get the building ready for us. There is still a lot more that can be done but we have made the most of what we have and there is a lot we would like to do.

·         Do the kids have a uniform?
Yes they do. They will be equipped with a uniform that includes a beautiful bright canary yellow T-shirt and long jeans that is made from a light-weight denim so it’s suitable for Winter and Summer.

·         What extracurricular activities can the kids get involved in?
      Our pre-school class will do what we call ECA class (extra curricula actives) and that is a 40 min period at the end of every day Monday to Thursday where they do an activity like sports, art and music.

·         I heard you have a sensory garden for the kids?  What is a sensory garden and how will it be used?
A sensory garden is a garden in which children can walk through and have all their senses stimulated at the same time. We have planned it in a way that they will be able to enjoy a variety of visual, touch and taste aspects. Whether it’s from leaf size, shape, colour, watching all the insects coming in and feeding, to feeling the woodchips and stepping stones, to tasting  strawberries, apples and wild plums. When it’s ready it’s going to be great

·         Are you going to have computer classes? (heard that they will probably introduce them to IT at that age)  What skills do you hope they will learn?
We will have computer classes that will be 35min periods. We have a few laptops that we will be using for the kids. We will be teaching basic functions such as mouse usage, coordination of the mouse and what’s on the screen and naming the computer.

·         What is your goal for these students?  What are your expectations for each of them? 
We want the best for them ‘Jeremiah 29:11’ and we want to be as much a part of that as possible. It’s not just about education, it’s not just about intellect but our focus is also on helping them overcome things in their lives and also to grow emotionally, socially and spiritually and to be the children God intended them to be.

·         What are your goals for your teachers?  What are your expectations for them?
I want them to be the best teachers they can be. I want them to develop an internal motivation to not see this as a job, but to see it as a calling and a passion. A passion for the children, to love them  and to care for them, to truly care for them. To provide the best way to educate them and to always be open minded to new ideas, to always be open minded to growing and also for them personally.

·         Where will the children go on class outings?
Fortunately in Bulembu we have a lot of different interesting aspects and spots we can take the children to. If we want to teach them something about medicine/doctors/clinics, we have the clinic here. Anything to do with where milk come from, we have the dairy, we have honey,  the water bottling plant. There is just so many things we can teach them right here in Bulembu.

·         Who drew the murals on the walls?
The Noah’s ark mural was done by a group from Court Moore form the U.K. and the Swazi 1000  not only helped in the gardens, but did a lot of prep work on the walls, doors and windows so that our teams could come in and do what they needed to do.  

Inside one of the new classrooms

The children's first day at school

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