Primary Years Programme : Early Years
Early Childhood and Kindergarten
We believe that every child is unique, competent and motivated to be an agent of their own learning. We strive to provide an environment that is engaging, inspiring and joyful, because play is the natural way that children learn. We value each child’s voice, empowering them to make choices and lead their learning journey.
In our Early Childhood (EC) and Kindergarten (KG) programmes, a team of teachers, teacher assistants and specialist teachers use the following guiding statements to provide a holistic experience for your child.
The Role of an Educator
- To be a co-player (co-constructor) in student learning; to actively engage in each child’s learning journey.
- To model and support children in developing and extending their ideas, challenging thinking and constructing meaning
- To continually observe, document and reflect on children’s learning as a means of supporting dialogue and making meaning
- To intentionally create & maintain an emotionally supportive and inviting learning environment in response to children’s ideas and interests
- To provide structures and routines that enable children to safely and confidently work and play together as responsible members of the classroom community
The Learning Environment
The learning environment is “the third teacher” - resources are selected to stimulate, engage and invite rich experiences of discovery and inquiry
The learning environment extends beyond the walls of the classroom
The learning environment fosters a sense of belonging and ownership; it reflects the ideas, values, needs and learning of the group
The environment is organised to promote self-regulation, independence, choice and social interaction
The learning environment reflects and celebrates the learning of the classroom community
Children have an innate need to inquire into the world around them to try to make sense of it and learn about it. This important inquiry takes place in children’s play.
A Continuum of Learning
Children naturally learn from each other; ‘family classes’ in EC allow children aged three to five years to learn and play together regardless of their age.
Each child is unique and passes through similar developmental stages, but each at their own pace, in their own time.
We use a continuum approach by gathering observations and documentation as evidence of learning and to plan next steps for each child.
We document learning in a variety of ways to communicate and celebrate learning with the child, parents and the community.
- Play provides authentic opportunities to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of the world.
- Children need extended, uninterrupted time to explore deeply and revisit important concepts.
- Relevant learning takes place where children are engaged and self-directed
- Play drives our units of inquiry, enabling children to explore concepts and deepen understanding
- Play can be independent, collaborative, social, inclusive, or solitary
- Symbolic expression and self-regulation are developed through play
Positive relationships developed between children, parents and educators are the foundation for meaningful learning
Building peer relationships is vital for all learning; we support children to engage, problem solve and collaborate within small and large groups
We recognize the child’s home environment as the first teacher and value the experiences and learning that children bring to school
Open conversations between educators and parents create trust and a holistic understanding of the child
We encourage parents to be active members of the schoo
l learning environment and to support children in making connections between home and school experiences
The four domains for learning
The Early Years Programme consists of four domains of learning which support the development of the whole child. These domains are used to observe, plan for, support and assess early learners’ development: The learning in the early years is brought into focus through the following four lenses.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
We prioritize personal, social and emotional development; by first nurturing children’s identities, we create a solid foundation for all other learning.
To view our learning intentions for our young learners organised by these four domains, see page 28 .
Children must be toilet trained before being admitted to our Early Childhood or Kindergarten programme.
Interested In Learning More About The Early Years Programme At IST?
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