Want to come and look around first?
Want to check us out first, before enrolling? We welcome visits to the German Playschool. We affectionately call them "Schnupper" sessions (sniffing around sessions!) Prospective families are most welcome to come to the GAP and join in one of our sessions for free. Schnupper sessions can be arranged any time, usually a few weeks or months prior to the child's eligible date to start (after or in anticipation of having an offer of enrolment). Children need to be toilet trained when they come to GAP as an enrolled child, but don't need to be toilet trained in order to come for a Schnupper session.
Please let us know (by email) which day you would like to come, so we can let the teachers know you are coming. (It is so much nicer and welcoming for your child, if the staff already know your child's name, and we can make sure there are enough craft items to include your child that day. Having children and their families feeling included and welcome is important to us.)
To make the most of your Schnupper, we recommend arriving at the GAP around 9:15 or 9:20am. Arriving before the session starts at 9:30am gives your child a chance to explore the environment a little, and for you to meet the teacher, before the rest of the children arrive.
Bring morning tea and a water bottle for your child (and any siblings who might accompany you). Suitable outdoor clothing is also essential, as we spend time playing outside each day.
On arrival, children hang up their bags in the cloakroom, put their drink bottles on the counter, and their food in the fridge. Parents sign their children in, in the sign in book. (You will need to sign in as a visitor.) Most children usually take a little time to warm up, and so there is time each morning for all our children to play outdoors. When it is time to go inside, children hang up their hats and coats, with their bags.
When you arrive, join straight in with the sign in process and head out for some outdoor play, to allow your child to explore the area a little.
When everyone has arrived, the teacher calls the children to "Morgenkreis" (morning circle) and the children sing a welcome song, and the theme of the day is discussed. After this, the children usually chant a little rhyme or sing a song about washing their hands and getting ready to eat, then they go to wash their hands (after applying sunscreen when necessary) and sit at the tables for morning tea, before going outside for outdoor play. We encourage you and your child to join in the circle, handwashing and morning tea, right from the start.
If you have younger children accompanying you, we ask you to ensure they aren't allowed to roam free during morning circle time or eating time, as it can be disruptive for the other children's concentration - at all other times it is fine - we are child-friendly!
When the children go outside for outdoor play (usually around 10:30am), one of the staff or volunteers (or often our Director) will have time to step aside and welcome you, give you a tour around and answer any questions you might have. After outdoor play, the children return indoors for some craft or special activity time. You are welcome to stay and participate in this too - in fact, we encourage you to do so, so that (with any luck, and depending on the program that day) your child may have something to take home to show everyone what we made at Playschool today!
Of course, as your child is not officially enrolled, you are responsible to supervise your own child while on the premises. Siblings are also made welcome, and are also your responsibility, naturally.
Schnupper sessions end just before lunch time, and by then, we believe you will have been able to make a good assessment of what we are all about, and your child will have explored and seen a little of what it is like at GAP.
We look forward to your visit, and hope you have a great "Schnupper"!
Here's one family's account of their Schnuppertag: "At first I thought Alexander seemed a little uninterested, but we got home and he announced, "I can speak German: Alles"!!! ["Everything!"] He then requested a German video, and later a German bedtime story. He has since been asking to return, so it seems necessary that I should get his name on the waiting list!"
And another mother's comment: "This might sound crazy, but I took a look around the room at lunch time, and I could see that these kids are from families who really care about quality education and take the aims of the GAP seriously. All the lunches were quality, healthy meals - lots of fruit, vegetables, wholewheat bread, even some German rye breads (!) - and the kids were very at home with that. Even the way lots of the kids were dressed - there was a definite European quality to it. I had this feeling the kids there were expected to go far in life! I'd love for my daughter to have that advantage in life of a second language. Where do I sign?!"