About Launchpad 1 - Launchpad Learning

About Launchpad
What we’re about
The very first question a parent must ask when looking for a pre-school for their child
is, “What do I value in education?” Your child’s school must align with what’s important
to you and how you’re raising your child.
Our founders, Leisl Algeo & Tina Chen started Launchpad to bring the values of playbased, academically-driven education and dual language learning together. We believe
children thrive academically in an environment which nurtures and stimulates their
natural interests. In a Montessori classroom, our teachers engage the children’s minds
by observing which stage of learning they’re at and guiding them through material
appropriate to where they’re at.
Montessori children are excited about their education and are equipped with the
independence & leadership skills to actively steer their own education experience.
What this means is that Montessori children love learning and always seek out new
experiences and ideas to challenge themselves.
Your child’s school
must align with what’s
important to you and how
you’re raising your child.
Our Objectives
• To make a globally relevant education accessible to all young South Africans
in inclusive & affordable multilingual Montessori environments
• To build & grow schools which reflect the true cultural and socioeconomic
diversity of our country
• To advance education in Africa by partnering with global leaders and
continuously investing in ways to become better at what we do
Our Different School Models
Launchpad Access
Core Curriculum
Montessori curriculum (aligned with Common Core, US-based educational standards)
Dual language learning
Character Development
Extra Inclusions
Design Thinking
Extra-murals (defined at school level)
4 weeks holiday school
Lunch (for full day kids)
Online Reporting Tool
Sport & Gross Motor Development Programme
Residential/suburban based
Urban based (main routes, city, township)
R2100/month: 3 days/week
R3100/month: 5 days/week
R3900/month: 5 days/week
Exclusions (can be arranged at extra
Holiday school
The earlier a child is
introduced to a language,
the greater the likelihood
they will become truly
proficient in it.
A School Re-Thinking Education
1. Montessori
Learning that takes place during these early years comes spontaneously
and without effort. Montessori helps children to become self-motivated,
self-disciplined, and to retain the sense of curiosity that so many children
lose along the way in traditional classrooms.
3. Design Theory (exclusive to Launchpad schools)
a. Design Thinking
People are solving real-world problems every day in their work lives.
Entrepreneurs design new products & services and change the way the
world works. But what is the skill set needed to create these innovations?
Teachers focus on the child as a person, not on the daily lesson plan.
Montessori teachers lead children to ask questions, think for themselves,
explore, investigate, and discover. Their ultimate objective is to help their
students to learn independently and retain the curiosity, creativity, and
intelligence with which they were born.
Design thinking is a combination of having empathy for the people who you
are resolving a problem for, creativity in generating insights & solutions and
the rationality to bring together your education to try out different solutions
to the problem. This set of skills can be taught to children from a very young
age by getting them to work in groups to solve things they encounter in their
lives and their communities (e.g. how do we stop people throwing rubbish
onto the floor at the community park or how do we create a reminder for
children not to run inside the school?)
Children learn from each other just as much as they learn from their
teacher – the Montessori setting seeks to create collaboration instead of
2. Dual Language Learning
Children’s brains are naturally programmed to learn any language they are
sufficiently exposed to, perfectly and without accent. This ability declines
with age, disappearing by high school. The most effective way to learn
a language is to put a young child in an environment where they are
surrounded by the language – their language acquisition is then similar to
that of a native speaker.
Our (language) teachers are all native speakers in the languages they
teach in. The school aims to create a two-way enrichment programme
for both native and non-native English speakers to learn in two languages
and develop full bilingual fluency. We achieve this through having a target
language teacher and an English speaking teacher in each classroom.
Children learn to associate each teacher with a language as this teacher
will only ever speak in their assigned language.
Not only is a bilingual child at an advantage in our global village, but
research shows they think & process faster, resolve conflicts better and
have a greater cultural appreciation and awareness.
Benefits of a
Bilingual Brain
Splash language immersion programs
provide a unique and powerful
opportunity to strengthen children’s
highest cognitive brain potentials
through deliberate literacy development
in two languages and authentic exposure
to rich language experiences.
Research shows that bilingual people
have an easier time with these key brain
Developing strong
thinking skills
Cultivating greater
cultural awareness
Using IDEO’s (leading global innovation consultants) framework for
teaching children about design thinking, we will have a creative period
every week to allow children to work together to frame a problem and
design a solution at age-appropriate levels.
b. Junior Electronics
Using a combination of Little Bits (award-winning building blocks that teach
the basics of electronics) and Lego, we aim to teach children how to start
thinking about making things that work! With globally tested curriculums
and modules, this is a fun way to start learning about science, technology
and electronics.
c. Character Development
Through weekly circle time activities, we introduce children to emotions,
how to talk about them and work through them, how to deal with other
people’s feelings and how to resolve problems.
Based on research by leading psychologists, Martin Seligman & Angela
Duckworth, we focus on 7 key characteristics which have been shown to
be highly predictive of later success in life: zest, grit, self-control, optimism,
gratitude, social intelligence, and curiosity.
Understanding math
concepts and problems
Increasing reading
A multilingual brain is quicker, nimbler
and more resistant to Alzheimers and
other forms of dementia.
Academic Performance
Students of dual language programs
consistently outperform monolingual
peers on state-mandated tests,
regardless of demographic.
Preparation for the future
Using logic
Focusing, remembering
and making decisions
Mental Health
Bilingual adults have several advantages
over monolingual adults, including higher
average salaries and greater career
Parent Engagement
3. Schedule
7:00 – 8:30
Kids arrive – indoor & outdoor play
8:30 – 9:00
Morning ring | Discuss the day
9:00 – 12:00
Work period
12:00 – 12:30
Lunch time
12:30 – 13:00
Story & Theme time (Pickup for half-day children)
13:00 – 14:00
Lunch & free play
14:00 – 16: 00
Montessori work cycle
(with more of an English language focus)
16:00 – 16:45
Free play & arts/craft
16:45 – 17:30
Story & pickup time
We want to walk the journey of giving your child the best education possible
very closely with you, their parent. We thus make every opportunity to
engage with our parents and create a sense of community amongst the
school’s families.
Online Reporting & Newsletters
When your child starts school with us, you will get a link to an online
reporting tool. Our teachers do all their progress reports on this tool and
will push out a weekly update to you. You can also see all your children’s
photos, send out communication to your child’s teacher and read our
monthly newsletters on this.
Launchpad Access schools receive a monthly, printed or email report.
Yearly Teacher/Parent Update
In June/July, all parents have the chance to schedule a meeting with
their child’s primary teacher to discuss their progress and plan their key
development areas for the remainder of the year.
Yearly Full Assessment
In addition to the regular updates, we give a full, 10-page assessment of
your child’s progress at the end of each school year, including a full language
development report (using an international language assessment tool).
Parent Workshops
At the start of the year, you will receive a schedule of our 6-weekly parent
workshops, which will include Montessori & education talks alongside
experts on various child-raising issues from discipline, to gross motor
development, etc.
Fundraising Events
We try to do small fundraising events throughout the year to ensure our
equipment is constantly updated. These events are great community days
and will include picnics, fun days, etc.
Application process
• Complete the online form or request a prospectus & enrolment form
from [email protected]
• Once accepted, secure your child’s place with an upfront, refundable
deposit of one month’s fees
• Fill in the application form and submit with your registration fee of
R250. In order to be considered for a position, we need both the
application form & the registration fee
• Your child’s attendance will only be confirmed when the deposit is paid
• Take a tour. Look at our calendar to see when our next open day will
be held. If you can’t make it, contact the school you’re considering
directly to set up a tour.
• Join the Launchpad family!
When all the application forms & fees have been processed, your
child’s place will be confirmed with a welcome letter