Mitchell House

Squirrels' Nest

About Squirrels' Nest

"Most of what I really need to know about life and how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in pre-school".

Robert Fulgham

Squirrels' Nest aims to provide a safe, happy and stimulating environment for every child. We celebrate uniqueness, encourage curiosity and assist every child in fulfilling their potential. For every child to achieve this we follow the IEB Foundation Phase curriculum: 'Learning through play' to develop children's social, emotional, physical and cognitive development.

The philosophy of Squirrels' Nest is based on the Reggio Emilia approach to education. Reggio Emilia is rooted in the belief that children, no matter their age, are natural learners. When given the proper supportive environment that encourages pursuit of their own interests, they will develop a love of learning that extends into adulthood.

Squirrels' Nest Pre-School has a caring ethos that values every child and their individuality and provides a firm educational foundation for children to build upon throughout their childhood.

Reggio Emilia

The Reggio Emilia Approach is an innovative and inspiring approach to early childhood education which values the child as strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge. Every child brings with them deep curiosity and potential and this innate curiosity drives their interest to understand their world and their place within it.

Probably the most well-known aspect of the Reggio Emilia Approach is the belief that children use many different ways to show their understanding and express their thoughts and creativity. A hundred different ways of thinking, of discovering, of learning.

Through drawing and sculpting, through dance and movement, through painting and pretend play, through modelling and music, and that each one of these Hundred Languages must be valued and nurtured.

These languages, or ways of learning, are all a part of the child. Learning and play are not separated. The Reggio Emilia Approach emphasises hands-on discovery learning that allows the child to use all their senses and all their languages to learn.

Learning through Play

Play underpins our Pre-school curriculum. It also supports learning and all aspects of children's development. Through play, children develop language skills, their emotions and creativity, social and intellectual skills. For most children, their play is natural and spontaneous although some children may need extra help from adults. Play takes place indoors and outdoors and it is in these different environments that children explore and discover their immediate world. It is here they practise new ideas and skills, they take risks, show imagination and solve problems on their own or with others. The role that adults have is crucial. Adults provide time and space and appropriate resources. These might include clothes, boxes, buckets, old blankets that will inspire play and fire children's imaginations.
The teachers observe play and join in when invited, watching and listening before intervening. They value play and provide safe but challenging environments that support and extend learning and development.

Cultural and co-curricular activities

Our children take part in weekly music lessons provided by Michelle Cronje where they learn about rhythm, beats and rhyme in a fun and interactive way. Sport is an important part of a child's development and our pre-schoolers have weekly PE lesson with our specialist coaches.

Outside clubs

  • Pottery Gr 00 - 0
  • Stimulus Maksima Gr 00 - 0
  • Ballet Gr 00 - 0
  • Drama Gr 00 - 0
  • Music Gr 00 - 0
  • Tennis Gr 00 - 0
  • Soccer stars Gr 000 - 0
  • Chess Gr 0

School Hours

Grade Start End
Grade 000 8:00 12:30
Grade 00 8:00 12:30
Gr 0 7:30 13:00

Aftercare is available at a fee until 5pm.

Meet the staff

Lee-Anne Petzer

Head of Phase

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Shirley Skinner

Grade 000 Teacher

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Elsie Makhubedu

Grade 000 Teacher

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Jess Dale

Grade 00 Teacher

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Punkie Rasodi

Grade 00 Teacher

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Jidzo Ndebele

Grade 0 Teacher

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Rosy Lopes

Grade 0 Teacher

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Kylie Wilkinson

Grade 0 Teacher

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Trecia

ECD Administrator

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Supporting Documents

Year Plan
Grade 000
Grade 00
Grade 0
Phonics Sounds
British English 1
British English 2