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Approach to Learning

Pridwin’s mission is to develop boys that are confident, creative and critical thinkers, and who can communicate effectively. The emphasis in the Junior Prep is to consolidate and extend the foundational skills and strategies needed for learning in the higher grades. We recognise that the world is rapidly changing and that our boys require new tools to navigate this landscape. As such, we embrace innovative approaches to education and technology to help them succeed. Our approach to teaching and learning is therefore varied, taking into consideration the results of recent research in the fields of education and neuroscientific studies into brain development and learning.

We are inspired by the practices of the Reggio Emilia schools in northern Italy and the philosophy that children should play some part in their own learning journey. Themes offer an interesting vehicle through which teachers can ensure that skills learned in Literacy and Numeracy are transferred and applied to different contexts. Experimentation and risk taking are encouraged, leading to the development of creative thinking, planning and problem-solving skills. In the process social skills are developed, including leadership, negotiation, conflict management, flexibility and empathy.

Learning areas

In Grade 0 to 3, we focus on the three learning areas: numeracy, literacy and life skills.



Pridwin follows an integrative approach to mathematics, where teachers facilitate active experiences drawing on concrete and kinaesthetic learning, and combine various methods in order to deliver the most complete curriculum. Singapore Maths, our predominant approach, is a comprehensive, activity-based curriculum designed to provide pupils with a firm foundation in mathematics and to develop creative and critical thinking skills resulting in efficient problem solving. 


Communication & Citizenship

Confident communicators depend on creative and critical thinking skills to speak with wisdom and consideration. Pridwin boys are given numerous opportunities to share their thoughts, views and ideas, and to explain their thinking in informal and formal settings. An environment of mutual trust and respect is encouraged, where children can express their opinions without fear of recourse. Philosophy for Children (P4C) is a protocol that is used to develop critical and social thinking skills through participation and practice in philosophical and other debate. ‘Show and Tell’ and Formal Speeches give boys the opportunity to learn to be both a presenter and a listener. Social and Civic Justice is a subject concerned with creating a healthy democracy. It aims to enhance children’s thinking and communication skills, develop understanding, respect and empathy for others and boost self-esteem. An hour a week is dedicated to exploring concepts of diversity, belonging, citizenship, equality and equity, rights and responsibilities, and self-reflection skills, all of which are necessary to foster an inclusive society. SCJ is an enquiry-based approach and concepts are taught  in an age-appropriate manner, increasing in depth and complexity through the grades.  The concepts and principles of SCJ are reinforced across the academic and hidden curricula, in every subject and throughout all the grades.



The foundation of learning to read and write is one of the most critical in a child’s education. We use an integrated approach to ensure that our boys develop and build the necessary skills to be proficient in these areas. Charlie Marshall a Grade 0 student (2023) articulated just why this is important: “I am excited about learning to read because when I grow up, I want to read to my kids very well.” 


Through the use of programmes like RAVE-O (Reading, Automaticity, Vocabulary, Engagement and Orthography) and protocols like Shared and Guided Reading, the boys are taught the key components of reading. Guided Reading allows for classes to be divided into small groups where teachers focus on the development of a variety of reading strategies, language and vocabulary skills, as well as higher-order thinking and comprehension skills. This protocol gives us the opportunity to give reading instruction to children at their correct instructional level.


A multisensory approach to the teaching of letter formation and sound-symbol relationships are an integral part of our learning. The principles of READ WRITE INC. underpin our teaching of phonemic awareness, phonics and oral blending. Sounds are taught through the use of picture hooks, which link to handwriting rhymes, ensuring that the correct letter formation is grasped right from the start. THRASS is used to complement RWI; together they offer a method of improving vocabulary and providing boys with the tools to read and spell.

Additional Languages

Afrikaans and isiZulu are part of the literacy component. They are both taught at a first additional language level, until Grade 5 where the boys will be able to distinguish between their first and second additional languages. The languages are taught at a very basic level in Grade 0 and 1 focusing on vocabulary development through rhymes, songs, poems and stories, and at a slightly more advanced level in Grade 2 and 3 where basic reading and writing are introduced. Cultural understanding is an important element  woven into the language lessons. 

Expressive Writing

The importance of writing skills extend beyond the classroom and competence is reported to be on the decline globally. At Pridwin there is a strong focus on written expression where boys are encouraged to explore their creativity and imagination using tools such as Thinking Maps to facilitate ideation and planning. Boys are taught how to form words, build sentences, organise ideas, construct paragraphs and then to review and edit. Cognitive strategies such as COPS (Capital letters, Organisation, Punctuation and Spelling) are used to encourage and guide the editing process. 

Inquiry-Based Learning

When children are told what they need to know, they become less likely to explore on their own; they learn more by looking for the answers to a question whether they find the answer or not. Inquiry-based learning is a teaching methodology that generates excitement and triggers curiosity. Neurons begin to fire, and students can’t wait to become experts or solve real-world problems.

Working together, students investigate open-ended questions. They rely on each other to use evidence-based reasoning and creative problem-solving. They conceptualise, hypothesise, explore, experiment, reassess, refine and present their conclusions. In the process, students are exposed to a range of competencies and 21st century skills and are pushed beyond general curiosity, into the realms of critical thinking and understanding, and as such, this approach has exchanged an emphasis on teaching subject content, to emphasising the teaching process in order to prepare students for a future of lifelong learning.


Art is the perfect opportunity to learn a host of skills, express yourself and have fun. Boys engage with different media, materials and tools to learn new techniques. Language development, decision making, visual learning and inventiveness all form an integral part of each lesson.                                                                                                                                                                   

Originality and unique interpretations are supported, together with a love and appreciation of art. The boys’ artwork decorate the Junior Block in celebration of their talent and creativity. 

Educational Technology

At Pridwin, we are dedicated to equipping young boys with the necessary skills to thrive in the ever-evolving future. The Junior Prep Educational Technology department is fully committed to this mission, using a hands-on and interactive approach to exploring various educational apps that enhance learning and engagement.                                                                                                                   

Through the introduction of coding and robotics, we foster a love for STEAM subjects, inspiring young learners to pursue these fields and develop critical thinking, creativity and problem solving. Ultimately, we believe that these skills are essential for success in the 21st century. As the Chinese proverb wisely advises, we must not confine our children to our own learning, but rather empower them with the skills they need to flourish in the world they were born into. 


Pridwin believes that homework, especially in the early grades, has a limited effect on improving academic performance, unless employed effectively. A rule of thumb for homework in the foundation phase is that tasks should foster positive habits, permit appropriate parent involvement, and reinforce learning of simple skills introduced in class.

 The amount of homework assigned should be appropriate to students’ age and should not take too much time away from other home activities.

Reading homework is assigned daily, due to its impact on achievement in all areas. A few routine tasks such as spelling, bonds, handwriting or consolidation and extension activities related to individual learning goals may also be sent home when needed.

Academic & Emotional Support

Children experiencing difficulties in emotional, social or academic areas are supported by the highly skilled and often remedially trained Pridwin teachers in collaboration with the school’s Educational Psychologist.                                                                          

A team of therapists who operate privately on the Pridwin campus, include a Speech-Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Remedial Therapist and NCT Physiotherapist. They work with the teachers in a supportive capacity, enhancing the ability of our teachers to understand and address individual needs within the classroom. Should a difficulty in any foundational area become evident, the school may ask for an assessment to be conducted by a relevant practitioner or recommend the relevant therapy. Therapy fees are charged privately.


We believe that in order to create an environment that fosters good behaviour, connections – such as the relationships between teacher and pupil and between pupils – need to be developed. In addition, confidence must be developed to ensure that each pupil maintains a good self-image.

Positive reinforcement of good behaviour is seen as more productive than punitive measures. Meritorious behaviour is acknowledged through our class merit systems and the various opportunities for the boys to be recognised in Assembly and Chapel. With restorative justice in mind, decisions about disciplinary measures take into account the situation and the student.

Pridwin takes a strong stand against bullying and follows an anti-bullying policy that incorporates dealing with both the bully and the victim, providing support and counselling for both.

Hot Lunch & Aftercare

Hot Lunch is available daily except for Wednesdays. The catering manager and her team work hard to provide healthy food of a high quality. All food served is halal friendly, and vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.                                                            

This facility is available to all the boys. It is compulsory for the Grade 3s to have Hot Lunch and optional for Grade 0 to 2 boys. 

On a Wednesday, Chicken and Chips are sold. Parents and siblings are welcome to partake. 


Our Aftercare facility is open from 13h00 to 17h00 each day. Homework is supervised, after which the boys are free to engage in structured and free play activities, also supervised by our dedicated aftercare staff. A drink and snack are provided to the boys in Aftercare at 15h00.

Holiday Club

The school runs Holiday Clubs for certain periods during the school holidays. 

Class & Individual Music

Boys are exposed to a wide variety of contemporary instruments and music styles and are encouraged to participate in listening and movement activities. All boys are taught to play the recorder in Grade 3. From Grade 2 upwards, a second stream of music is introduced:

 African music. These classes include group instruction on marimbas and African drumming and boys are taught to sing and dance to music from across the African continent. 

Boys who wish to learn an instrument can sign up with the Music Department. Applications can be completed online ( or email Karien Gudde: ( Lessons are scheduled during the school day on a rotational basis, to ensure that the same lesson is not missed each week and fees are charged accordingly. 

Physical Development

Exercise readies the brain for learning and provides the body with the strength and endurance necessary to sustain concentration and seated tasks, while at the same time developing skills and positive attitudes that enhance self-esteem.                                                     

With this in mind, the PE programme targets physical, social, emotional and intellectual development through a curriculum focused on underlying skills necessary for success in the classroom and on the sports field. Fundamental physical fitness components prepare the boys for sports participation while a wide variety of movement activities to extend agility, balance and coordination are offered in a range of increasingly challenging situations. 

Pridwin’s compulsory Sports Programme offers seasonal sports coaching to the Junior boys. The mission of the sports programme is to allow maximum participation in all sports and to create opportunities for boys to develop all-round skills while growing a love of sport.  In the process, the boys learn desirable personal and social attributes, such as the ability to cooperate in group situations, the concept of fair play and acceptance of success and failure. 

The boys are exposed to swimming, cricket, soccer, tag-rugby and hockey in their sports sessions which are integrated into the school day. The Grade 0s and 1s also attend sport skills sessions on Saturday mornings and the Grade 2s play in a number of  friendly fixtures on Friday afternoons. The Grade 3 boys follow the Senior School sporting programme and play midweek and Saturday fixtures, depending on the sporting code.  

Private Extramural Programme

A number of private extramural activities take place on the Pridwin campus and are available to the Grade 0 to 2 pupils. These include Chess, Pottery, Confident Kids, Cricket, Soccer, Tennis and Golf.                                                                                                                               

A number of private extramural activities take place on the Pridwin campus and are available to the Grade 0 to 2 pupils. These include Chess, Pottery, Confident Kids, Cricket, Soccer, Tennis and Golf.

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