Hakuna Matata Pre-School was established in 2007. I, Bronwyn Manning, the owner and now a mother of three beautiful children, am a qualified teacher with sixteen years of experience. After qualifying as a Bachelor of Primary Educator, I began my teaching career at Chelsea Preparatory. I taught Grade One for just over six years. After the birth of my first child, I left Chelsea and began the journey of creating and opening my own Pre–School.
It was a life-long dream of mine to create a school with a “home away from home” feeling, the perfect school environment, where children would be nurtured and cared for. A school where children could spend their day engaging in a variety of activities and playful learning experiences that would encourage continued learning.
The planning and building of Hakuna began in 2006. During this building, I spent my time cultivating the perfect environment, by visiting and observing many Pre–Schools. I gained valuable information on teaching ideas, school systems, playground equipment and educational toys and books.
I opened Hakuna Matata, the Timon Campus in,April 2007 and began teaching with only 5 children, ranging in age from 1 – 4 years of age. As the school grew I employed more staff and formed two age groups – the Red and Blue Group. The school continued to grow and expanded so quickly that in 2009, I decided to purchase another property. This property was transformed into the Pumbaa Campus which caters for Grade 000, 00 and Grade R / A.
Working between the two Campuses as a teacher and principal, I together with my staff grew the dream of Hakuna Matata.
In 2014 I decided to focus on the managing of Hakuna Matata as just the Principal.
In January 2017 the Timon Campus relocated to the Pumbaa Campus to amalgamate the two schools onto one property.
From 2018 on, the Hakuna Matata Pumbaa Campus caters for the ages of 1 to 6 years of age.
The Pumbaa Campus of Hakuna Matata has two buildings on the property. The main building consists of 4 beautifully decorated and thoughtfully designed classrooms. There are children’s bathrooms with private mini toilets for both girls and boys. The bathrooms also have potties for the younger children and small, child friendly hand basins. A nappy changing area is available for the younger children.
The school has two spacious playgrounds with ample shade and well planned outside equipment, that builds and develops a child’s large gross motor muscles and core area. The playground also features a climbing wall and a bike track. There is a “kiddies” Wendy House which is fully stocked with mini furniture and equipment for fantasy play. The playground also features a fort for the perfect “hide-out”
There is a large covered veranda in front of the classrooms where the children can engage in a variety of set activities. This area is used during playtime for creative play, arts and crafts, painting and cognitive activities such as puzzle building as well as construction play for Lego and block building.
The second building is used for our treasured “Jungle Library” and storage for educational and outside equipment.
Our “Jungle Library” has over two hundred books. The children have library once a week and are encouraged to choose a book to take home to “read” and enjoy. We also use this space for our Puzzle Library.
I am proud of our diverse team of teachers and staff. My hiring process includes lengthy interviews and extensive background investigations. My team comes to me with range of educational experience but most importantly, each member brings a passion for educating young children. In addition to my highly qualified teaching team, we have three full-time assistant staff members, who tend to and ensure that our space is cleaned and well-organised.
We regularly engage in ongoing staff development on a range of topics. During staff meetings we focus on team-building, reflect on our practice and share our documentation. We also partner with like-minded schools and organisations to exchange ideas and learn from outside experts. My team attend educational seminars and conferences to stay current on the latest educational research.
Hakuna Matata views parents as partners in the educational process and strives to bridge connections between home and school. We welcome parent participation and value our active Moms Committee and Class Moms who work closely with myself and my team to organise school events and fundraising for the school. A wide range of families come from all over Durban to attend my school.