Child Development Programme

One of the main targets for Ocean Stars as our work in preschools develops is the provision of a quality of education programme for the children in our care. Consequently, we have initiated a Child Development Project which is being rolled out in all our preschools. It aims to ensure good standards of teaching, monitoring of each child's progress and improved resourcing of our classrooms.

There are three parts to the programme:

(a) Teacher Training:

As Ocean Stars Trust focuses on empowering children through education in Sri Lanka, the training of our teachers is our top priority. Currently, we support 26 preschools attended by 887 children and employing 33 teachers. Our aim is to improve teaching standards and provide a top-quality education for our students.

We are very privileged to have dedicated teachers who are committed to their jobs in early years education. We also believe that teacher learning, networking and professional development is important for driving up standards and improving the learning experience for our students.

Our preschool teachers work in isolation in their remote communities so Teacher Training offers all our staff the opportunity to meet together, to form professional friendships, to share teaching ideas and resources, to master new knowledge and develop new proficiency.

The local government education offices and the Preschool Bureau support our teacher training events and are incredibly grateful for organising and facilitating these.

We organise an annual teacher training event in October which has been running for the last 12 years.

In 2019 OST organised our first ever 3-day residential teacher training event for 75 teachers. Workshops on Preschool Management, Child Psychology, English Songs, First Aid, Nutrition and Yoga were held. The feedback was incredibly positive, and we thank Fonthill Foundation for sponsoring the event. We are planning to have another residential teacher training event in 2020 August, and we are currently reviewing the situation due to COVID-19.

Teacheer training sessions

 

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(b) Assessment Tool:

Ocean Stars has developed an assessment tool to track the development of early years skills of our 800+ preschool children.

The aim of the Assessment Tool is;

  • To make it easier for teachers to track the progress of each pre-school children.
  • For the teachers to be able to identify children who might require further support.
  • To engage parents in their child's development.
  • For Ocean Stars to improve the quality of education in the pre-schools they support.

This Child Development tool was introduced last year (2019) for three pilot preschools (Kurumenveli, Soruvamunai and Pattipalai) and this year introduced the tool to 21 pre-schools. Kurumenveli, Soruvamunai and Pattipalai Pre-schools teachers were selected to be mentors to guide other pre-schools teachers on how to use the tool.

The child development assessment includes three assessment periods (Jan/Feb, June/July and Oct/Dec).

The Preschool Bureau and the DS (Divisional Secretariat) are both very supportive of the tool. They are both very keen to work with OST UK and Lanka to track the development of our preschool students.

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(c) Resourcing:

To support and enable children to develop essential skills, additional resourcing has been provided for our classrooms.  Mega Bloks construction kits which can be used both for play and for learning in early years, have been introduced, as well as additional small apparatus such as balls and bean bags.

As well as teaching resources our aim is to make sure that all our preschools have basic equipment such as tables and chairs for each child, a teacher's table and chairs, a resources cupboard, a white/ black board, a rubbish bin, drinking water, toilets and where possible playgrounds.

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