My first visit to a Sri Lankan pre-school was delightful, if slightly mistimed! We only managed to arrive once the children were leaving at eleven o'clock. This actually timed perfectly as I was able to stay for an extended talk with the three teachers and share their tea and delicious Sri Lankan sweets!
The pre-schools in Sri Lanka are mostly private settings and parents pay a fee to send their children. This particular pre-school had three classes for 3-4 year olds. The children are grouped by age, into a young class, a middle class and an older class.
Upon arrival in the morning, children go to their class's little mud house in the playground, and they greet one another before going in to class. The pre-school here does not teach by topic or cross-curricular. Instead, they tend to work on specific skills as discrete subjects, such as literacy or maths.
In total 85 children attend the pre-school and parents travel from a wide catchment area to bring their children there.
Once a week the children have an assembly time together in the playground. While the children are mostly Buddhist the pre-school is actually overseen and run by Catholic Sisters. However the children are allowed to follow their own religion so Buddhist festivals are celebrated.
Now I will let the photos do the talking...