Pre-School News

To Inspire So That All Flourish

ST DUNSTAN'S COLLEGE

Term 2 - Issue 2

Pre-School Talk

ST DUNSTAN’S PRESCHOOL INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME

Under the school’s vision of “Enhancing our standing as a leading independent, co-educational Christian school”, St Dunstan’s Pre-School offers an extensive internship program for those studying for their Bachelor of Education degrees at the Foundation phase level. One of the critical decisions students must make when embarking on their Bachelor of Education degree is whether to study on-campus at a university or pursue distance learning while interning at a school. Balancing work and study can be challenging, so developing proper time management skills is essential. Over time, interns will find they can integrate what they learn in the classroom into their studies and vice versa. While both options have their benefits, I firmly believe that distance learning combined with an internship is the more valuable choice. The experience of working in a classroom setting is vastly different from theoretical knowledge, and the early exposure gained from the beginning of one’s studies is instrumental in the journey to  becoming a teacher. In a classroom setting under the guidance of a mentor teacher, interns observe and learn about various teaching methods, efficient classroom management, effective behaviour management, diverse assessment techniques, report writing, addressing different learning abilities, differentiation, holistic teaching, a play-based approach, neurodevelopmental characteristics, and participating in parent interviews to learn how to best address concerns and provide constructive feedback. 

The internship programme at St Dunstan’s Pre-School is particularly valuable because the school offers abundant resources, allowing interns to immerse themselves fully in the laybased, multisensory teaching experience. This immersion gives students a significant advantage in their educational journey.

With an intern in every classroom, we currently have nine interns at the Preschool. Interns are assigned daily duties to assist with the school’s operations and ensure student safety. They also have the opportunity to get to know all the learners and their families, fostering valuable life skills such as responsibility, integrity, and respect within a caring family environment. Guided by their mentor teachers, interns develop a strong work ethic. Although interns spend most of their time in their assigned classrooms, they are sometimes required to assist in other classes and grades, enhancing their ability to adapt quickly and efficiently to different working  environments.

At the Pre-School, we balance work and play, engaging with children in sensory activities, bike riding on the cycle track, and enjoying the outdoor areas like Hobbits Hollow.

Having a preparatory school on the same campus enhances the internship programme since interns often choose to complete their practical studies for Grades 1 to 3 at the preparatory school, under the caring guidance of Mrs Kay and Mrs Cresswell. This provides a valuable opportunity for interns to observe how learners transition from preschool to a more formal school setting. The strong relationship between the preschool and the preparatory school  ensures a safe, caring family environment for our learners.

After experiencing the Pre-School internship programme myself, I can strongly recommend that anyone interested in pursuing a career as a foundation phase educator apply for an internship, as the knowledge and experience gained are unparalleled.

Justine McAlpine