Foundation Phase

Grades R-3

In the Foundation Phase, there are four Grade R classes, six classes each in Grades 1 and 2, and five classes in Grade 3. Each class has a registration teacher, supported by specialist teachers in various subjects.

Subjects in the Foundation Phase are: Mathematics, English Home Language, Afrikaans as a Second Additional Language, isiZulu as a Third Additional Language, Physical Education, Music, Computers, Art, Life Skills and Social and emotional Learning (SEL).

Learning Through Play

One of the keys to valuable ‘play-based’ learning is the involvement of the senses. Through sensory play, the seven senses are stimulated, and the sensory input is then processed and organised to achieve an appropriate response.

At Umhlali Preparatory, our Grade Rs are encouraged, supported, and given the opportunity to engage in and learn through sensory play.

Our teachers focus on the five most commonly known senses, as well as two less spoken of – proprioceptive and vestibular senses. The development of language skills, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor strength, problem-solving, and social integration is then accomplished.

We believe in a hands-on approach to teaching and that learning should be a meaningful and memorable experience for every child.

It’s Time To Read!

Learning to read is one of the most important and rewarding things a child can do. Without knowing how to read with understanding, a child’s educational progress is severely inhibited.

We use the ‘Time2Read’ South African programme which had been developed by an experienced teacher and speech therapist.

This approach to teaching reading removes the limitations of traditional methodologies, as well as the need to memorise endless word lists. Instead, it ensures the development of strong auditory skills and a good knowledge of sound to symbol.

This in turn gives meaning to the spelling and reading process, thereby empowering children and equipping them with the skills to read independently.

We believe that the Time2Read programme helps to develop confident readers and creates a lifelong love for reading.

Mind Moves

Mind Moves in the Classroom was developed by Dr Melody de Jager. These are fun, simple exercises used to wake up the senses.  Known as Brain Gym, the exercises improve listening skills by warming up the ears, which are the antennae of the body. When awakened, children concentrate better and are able to process instructions more effectively.

Mind Moves also assists with the development of language skills, allowing children to learn better when using their whole body and muscles. Pathways to the brain are strengthened, helping to remove learning barriers.

Fine motor skills improve and core muscles are strengthened as a child works through a series of different moves for five to ten minutes a day. These exercises are used as ‘brain breaks’ in the classroom.

Moving And Growing

Physical Education in the Foundation Phase forms an important part of the children’s gross motor development. It focuses on perceptual and locomotor development, rhythm, balance and laterality.

Physical Education helps children to develop a sense of confidence in themselves. It impacts many areas of their life, such as relationships, the ability to make friends and to solve problems.

We focus on teamwork and games that will form the basis of sports in the later grades of primary school.

Senior Preparatory

From Grades 4-7, we have five classes in each grade. The Intermediate and Senior Phases operate on a six-day timetable to allow us to include other relevant subjects, allowing pupils to engage in role-play, discussions and group work.

Learner Support

The REACH Centre is the home of our Learning Support program. With its vibrant and inviting atmosphere, our centre provides a range of creative and functional spaces for both individual and group therapy sessions.




Years Established