By the end of May, twenty four children (eleven boys and thirteen girls) were studying at Saplings Preschool.
The new and continuing pupils have been engaged in a variety of activities including learning the alphabet and practising handwriting. The children are also covering the topic of ‘good habits’, which includes the importance of punctuality, maintaining personal hygiene and respecting adults. In addition, they are learning to identify different animals, plants, fruit, vegetables and vehicles. Furthermore, through time spent drawing, painting and doing craftwork, the children are improving their creative skills. Mindfulness activities are now integrated into some lessons to aid the development of listening and observation skills.
At the annual local sports day in March, the pupils were given a special opportunity to participate in a team game.
The Saplings academic year 2022-23 was celebrated with a graduation ceremony and concert to recognise the achievements of the fifteen children who have successfully completed their preschool education and are ready to progress to primary school.
Prior to new children starting at Saplings preschool for 2023-24, their parents attended regular meetings with staff to discuss the curriculum. A shramadana campaign (gift of labour) was carried out by parents and children to clean and tidy the classroom premises prior to the start of the new term. At the end of March, a welcome ceremony was held for all new preschool entrants.
In April, pupils were invited to attend a Sinhala and Hindu New Year ceremony held at the SERVE Head Office. In May, they spent time making cards to celebrate Mother’s Day and also created lanterns and decorations for Vesak festivities at home and to decorate their classroom. The children were provided with markers and coloured pencil sets to improve their drawing and creativity skills.
Pupils continue to participate in activities using building-blocks challenges, jigsaw puzzles, playing with soft toys and under the supervision of their teachers in playing outdoor games such as passing and throwing rubber balls.
In May, the Executive Director of SERVE visited Saplings to monitor their activities and to talk with pupils and teachers about the children’s progress.