Importance of Early Childhood Education
The Early Years are distinctive in several ways, with the experiences laying the foundation for all future learning. The rapid rate of development which occurs in the physical, social, emotional and cognitive domains is particularly significant. Although the progression usually occurs in recognisable and predictable directions, it is unique in each child. For many children, these years also mark the first transition from home to group experience outside of the family and to a new physical environment. BIS strives to make this adjustment as successful as possible by encouraging the development of secure and trusting relationships with new adults and peers.
At BIS we accept children from the of age 3 into the Early Years Programme which provides a high quality preschool education, using both the indoor and outdoor environment. Every child is seen as an individual learner who is encouraged and supported to develop and actively engage in the learning process to reach their own potential. Within the curriculum framework, the Primary Years Programme enables our teachers to respond to students’ needs and continually enrich their environment to anchor and strengthen their learning.
Since children are naturally curious, questioning is encouraged and student-led inquiries are valued. These enable students to follow their interests whilst exploring and constructing their own meaning of the world around them, thus promoting agency. Language and mathematical skills are integrated and are furthered in a natural, authentic and meaningful way.
Learning through play and working with natural materials as much as possible, students extend their creativity and participate in music, art and drama learning engagements. They undertake exciting group projects, which are specifically designed to stimulate young minds and our students are encouraged to work collaboratively. Furthermore, they are positively encouraged to take on different roles to develop, use and apply a wide range of skills.
In BIS teachers, teaching assistants and parents all believe that the Early Years Programme provides a wonderful opportunity for the students to develop in a safe, caring and supportive environment.
Central Features of Learning in the Early Years
At BIS our Early Years teachers support play through:
- creating and maintaining engaging learning spaces
- scheduling uninterrupted time for play in both indoor and outdoor spaces
- noticing students’ emerging thinking processes, interests and theories, and responding in ways that extend learning
- monitoring and documenting students’ learning and development during play, and offering appropriate scaffolded learning experiences for individual students and small groups.
Our teachers support the development of relationships through:
- regular conversations with parents and legal guardians
- acknowledging and respecting each student’s individuality
- connecting with individual students throughout the day by having conversations, listening to and documenting their evolving questions, and acknowledging their efforts and achievements
- recognising opportunities for students to learn to self-regulate during play and offer support and feedback when needed
- planning uninterrupted time for play in engaging learning spaces.
Our teachers create safe, stimulating and inviting learning spaces by:
- offering a range of open-ended materials
- arranging and rearranging materials as invitations for learning
- creating areas for role play, block play, mark-making, expression through the arts, and so on
- considering a range of choices and opportunities for group and individual play
- involving students in the design and construction of play areas
- creating displays that reflect the process of students’ learning.
Symbolic Exploration and Expression
Our teachers support the students in developing their ability to listen to and speak with others, and to understand and use symbols.
The development of understandings in language and mathematics are interwoven and intentionally explored through strategies such as:
- rhymes, poems, stories
- mark-making, drawing
- problem-solving, reasoning
- counting, patterning and sequencing.
Based on information from The International Baccalaureate Organisation ("IBPYP From Principles to Practice, The Learner" issued in 2018).