First Step was founded in 1992 by Cheryl De Saram with the express intention of moving away from the traditional Montessori pre-school curriculum to one which is developmentally appropriate and offers diversified programmes in a natural child-friendly environment.
First step is one of the first pre-schools in Colombo to practise inclusive education and age-appropriate curriculum.
Cheryl De Saram is a graduate in early childhood education from the California State University and has operated pre-schools in California for good seven years before she decided to change things in her home country. She brings with her substantial experience in the field of child education which the school benefits from considerably.
First Step provides quality and inclusive pre-school, pre-kindergarten education to children aged between two and six years. All the teachers at First Step are certified pre-school educationists. All teachers and aides hold a first aid certificate from St John’s Ambulance Association.
The school hosts international interns during pre-school sessions and special holiday camp programmes as well.
Learning centres are arranged both outdoors and indoors. The school offers a varied schedule with age-appropriate structure for development of skills in language arts and reading, mathematical concepts, science awareness and overall cultural awareness.
Children are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities like singing and dancing, physical activities and games, arts and crafts, and dramatics.
The school offers a toddler programme for two year old children, a pre-school programme for three year olds and a pre-kindergarten programme for children aged between four and six years.
The toddler programme offers a variety of play-based activities to enhance the children’s social, language and cognitive skills. Toddlers are given freedom to explore and choose activities of interest from painting, drawing, sand & water play, block building, play dough, dress-up, cars & ball play and more.
The pre-school programme builds on the toddler programme. A low child to teacher ratio of 6:1 ensures that all the children get requisite individual attention. Teachers structure learning so as to promote strong social, lingual, physical and cognitive skills among the students.
The pre-kindergarten programme offers a more formalised instruction model based on the developmental and education theories of both Piaget and Vygotsky.
First Step creates a warm, nurturing and inviting environment for children stepping into the world away from their moms and dads.