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Our Mission Statement

Growing and learning with love.

Our aim is to develop your child’s skills and learning in all the appropriate developmental areas in a happy, relaxed and loving environment.

The quality of education and the level of care, love and attention we give our children, are the hallmarks of HILLTOP FRIENDS.

Hilltop Friends is a Christian school based in Douglasdale / Jukskei Park Border. We are a fully private, registered school open to children from 12 months to Grade R (Grade 0).

HILLTOP FRIENDS PRE-SCHOOL AND PLAYSCHOOL pride ourselves on smaller classes with a qualified teacher and a class assistant in each class. We have a reputation for our nurturing environment and for providing a high and holistic level of stimulation during this critical stage of their development. Research has shown – that the quality of education a child has in the early foundation years is critical to their later development and success.

Hilltop Friends follows Early Childhood Development Theme Based Curriculum focusing on all areas of development (i.e. : physical, intellectual, cognitive, perceptual, emotional and social, language and literacy, problem solving and numeracy, science and exploration, knowledge and understanding of the world, sensory and tactile play, creative and music) and prides itself on nurturing and stimulating children at this crucial development period. Every class boasts a wide range of top quality educational equipment, well planned learning and construction areas and spacious fantasy play areas to stimulate the children’s imagination and social and emotional development.

Our school campus is unique with a beautiful welcoming fantasy garden entrance and two large separate playgrounds for the Juniors and Seniors. It boasts beautiful trees for natural shade and wonderfully looked after grounds with a variety of playground equipment, large shaded and covered sand pit, bike track and tactile and sensory tables. This gives your child the edge in terms of physical development and the development of imagination and fond memories. We want our children to play. Slide. Run. Climb. Go through tunnels. Balance. Swing. Build. Pour and sift and look for treasures in the sensory tables. Play imaginative games in the Play house. Our teachers monitor the children playing and keep parents informed of their child’s development.

Play also forms the foundation of (Hilltop Friends) programme and in this play-rich environment, your child will learn about themselves.

Through play we aim:
  • To promote self-confidence and a positive self-image.
  • To develop the ability to communicate.
  • To provide guidance in developing self-discipline.
  • To develop a positive attitude towards school and learning.
  • To provide opportunities for the child to learn to reason, solve problems, make decisions, form conclusions and express opinions, without fear of rejection or ridicule.
  • To provide an atmosphere which allows for and promotes creativity.
  • To develop an awareness of the environment.

We adjust where adjustment is required and lovingly assist your child in being ready to face and capably enjoy “big school”. We are exceptionally serious about what we do. We know that looking after your child is a matter not to be taken lightly. At Hilltop Friends we all become a family; a desire to walk alongside you to prepare your child/children for the adventures of life during these precious formative pre-school years. Aiming to provide your child/children the very best in Pre-school education in a fun, loving and nurturing environment with positive learning experiences.

We are a private school following the private school terms as prescribed by ISASA. We remain open throughout the year and only close for 2 weeks in April (incorporating all the Easter Public Holidays), 2 weeks in August and December Holidays from 16th December. During the holidays we stop teaching the curriculum and offer a holiday programme filled with arts and crafts, gross motor games and all meals. Holiday programme is included in the fees provided that the children attend the same number of days that they are enrolled for.

The children are continuously being assessed with frequent parent meetings and comprehensive individual reports are handed out mid-year and at the end of the year. With a wonderful team of qualified teachers and assistants’ on-hand we teach your child with unrivalled care and attention. Our staff are all committed Christians and we endeavour to build sound values and lifestyle principles into the lives of the children. Our Principal, Kelly Da Fonseca is a hands-on Principal. Qualified Teacher with 18 years of teaching experience with a passion for children and education. A mission minded person and always introducing fresh ideas and concepts.

Hilltop Friends gladly welcomes all families regardless of race or creed. At Hilltop friends – we also offer full inclusion, i.e. providing the environment which facilitates learning for children with special needs. We take a maximum of two children per class with mild to moderate special needs.Parents must provide their own facilitator and once a term attend wrap-up meetings with facilitator, therapists, class teacher, Principal and Parents.

Children’s safety is of paramount importance to us, so teachers and class assistants are kept up to date with their CPR and First Aid Training. In addition, we have paramedic response at a push of a panic button. The school has a permanent full time security guard on the premises as well as medical and 24 hour medical and armed response from RSS. The school is also secured with electric fence, controlled access, cameras, monitors and radio response.

Hilltop Friends Provides

  • Half Day Programme, Three Quarter Day Programme and Full Day Programme.
  • School open from 06h30am to 17h30pm
  • Breakfast included at no extra cost. Breakfast served between 6h30am and 8am
  • Private School Calendar (i.e. Three Terms)
  • Holiday Programme included in the fees
  • Playball included in the fees
  • Afternoon shuttle service to surrounding areas: Bryanston, Fourways, Jukskei Park, Douglasdale, Olivedale, North Riding, Johannesburg North.
  • 2 day, 3 day, 4 day and 5 day option (from 3 years old – we recommend that children attend 5 days as it is vital for continuation of curriculum and school readiness)
  • Siblings receive: 10% discount on monthly school fees, provided that sibling is still enrolled at Hilltop Friends and that fees are paid fully up to date.
  • Letter and Sound Recognition programme called Afriphonics is incorporated from Grade 000 to Grade 0 curriculum.
  • Afriphonics is a practical, easy to follow method of teaching children (from 3 to 8 years) to identify and recognise letters and letter sounds via a multi-sensory approach that uses concrete experiences in the form of visual clues, auditory signals, tactile experiences and large and small body movements to gain an abstract understanding of the shape and sound of each letter. Once the letters can be recognised and linked to their phonetic sounds, Afriphonics takes the child further into a structured writing and reading programme. This approach ensures that the child is able to build up confidence at every level and have adequate practice in order to achieve mastery of the stage before moving on to the next level. The structure and design of the materials and the accompanying lesson plans ensure that the Afriphonics programme is aligned with the current principles of child development, brain-based learning and the requirements of the National Curriculum Statement for Grade R.
  • Parent Consultation Days (First term and Second term)
  • Detailed Progress Reports (Second and Third Term)
  • Excellent Nutritional and Balanced Meals designed by a Professional Dietician
  • Educational Activities
  • Extra-Mural Activities
  • School Functions
  • Hot Dog Days
  • Bring a Bike Day
  • Weekly Bakerman/lady
  • Every Friday: Baking Day for all the classes
  • Family Days
  • Grandparents Tea
  • Fund Raising Fun Events
  • Yearly Family and Individual Class Photo’s.
  • Annual Family Sports Day
  • Annual year end School Concert
  • Graduation Ceremony for Grade 00 and Grade 0
  • Once a term we have educational shows and a puppet show. (Included in school fees)
  • Weekly Moms Prayer and Support Group called “PIP” (Parents in Prayer).
  • Our very own Library. We are fortunate to have a big range of story books. Once a week, the children choose a library book, (with the help of their teachers and class mom’s) to take home with them and return the following week. All the children are issued with their own library bag.
  • Our own dedicated and specialized music and movement teacher from Junior Jive. Music and movement forms part of our weekly curriculum programme for all age groups and are compulsory. This is not included in the fees and Parents are billed separately for this.
  • And So Much More !

At Hilltop Friends we all become a family; a desire to walk alongside you to prepare your child/children for the adventures of life during these precious formative pre-school years.

Junior Jive Programme

The music concepts we teach:
  • A sense of pulse: show a steady pulse or beat (e.g. marching, tapping, clapping)
  • A sense of duration: listen to and imitate patterns of long and short sounds
  • A sense of tempo: understand and differentiate between fast and slow rhythmic and melodic patterns
  • A sense of pitch: understand and differentiate between high and low sounds imitate melodies
  • A sense of dynamics: understand and differentiate between loud and soft sounds
  • A sense of structure: understand ‘start’ and ‘stop’
  • A sense of timbre: play with and explore a variety of sound-making materials classify sounds by the way they are produced
  • A sense of style: listen and respond to music in different styles and genres.
Click here to download the full Junior Jive information document

Benefits of the Playball programme

Pre-and during-school
Once in the school classroom, findings show that children who have had the opportunity to strengthen their core stability are able to sit up straight in their chairs and concentrate far longer than those who are slumped, as the lungs aren’t getting the same amount of oxygen to the brain.

Fine and gross motor skills
A child’s gross motor skills need to be developed before their fine motor skills. Without fine motor skills, children will struggle to hold a pen, write, colour in a picture or tie their shoelaces. At Playball, we believe that sports can play a pivotal roll in this, for example holding a ball correctly has an impact on how kids can hold a pencil correctly, in amongst other skills that are taught to encourage fine and gross motor skill development.

Body and spatial awareness
This is of massive importance as it helps a child understand where he or she is in relation to the world around them. Children who constantly bump into objects or who seem clumsy are lacking spatial awareness, balance and possibly gross motor coordination. Playballencourages personal and spatial awareness through a plethora of age-specific exercises and skills.

Bilateral symmetry
Being able to use the left and right side of the body equally well as well as midline crossing is vital for developing the neurons between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which allows for far more effective learning to take place. Especially with toddlers, we actively encourage midline crossing through various exercises and skills so that when they start midline crossing in the classroom, for example drawing left to right, they will be able to achieve this more readily.

It’s more than just sport
Our action-packed lessons are limited to very small numbers to ensure maximum learning. Every lesson we encourage physical and social development and children are taught to:

  • Listen to instructions
  • Observe demonstrations
  • Concentrate while attempting the skill

In addition to this we like to instil the healthy values of:

  • Treating other students with respect
  • Encouraging good cooperation
  • Ensuring children take turns
  • Eeing flexible
  • Being a good sport

The programme will benefit your little star in a variety of ways that encourage positive physical and social development:

How does Playball develop confidence?
Playball helps children to build a foundation from which they can develop confidence in multiple sports skills and then go on to choose a preferred sport. This confidence is developed as they become more competent in their sports skills, and spills over into their everyday lives.

It’s more than just sport continues…
As you can see from the table below, confidence is not just limited to playing sports and we at Playballare very proud to be able to help develop confidence off the sports field too.

This is a programme for all children—previous sports skills are not a prerequisite.
Sometimes a sports star is born at Playball, and sometimes it’s a love of sports and activities that is born. Either way, our collective goal is to develop a healthy and positive association with sport!


Movement skills

Social skills

Static balance Confidence and courage
Dynamic balance Sportsmanship
Body awareness Cooperation
Direction and laterality Independence
Extension and flexion Flexibility
Fine motor coordination Leadership and responsibility
Gross motor coordination Persistence
Foot/eye coordination Concentration
Hand/eye coordination Goal setting
Kinaesthesia Respect and self worth
Spatial awareness Relationship building
Tactile awareness Decision-making
Visual tracking Communicating and listening


Click here to download the Playball Programme information