2 1/2 to 6 years old
Currently, the school has eight Children’s Houses in five different locations. Parents of toddlers moving to Children’s House and new families can choose the location that is most convenient to them.
Each classroom offers bilingual individualised education, which assists every child to develop to their fullest potential! Thanks to the set up of the classroom and the materials, teachers are able to be in tune with each student by giving focused attention and appropriate guidance with a balance of freedoms and boundaries.
The bilingualism is put in place by a team of two teachers in every classroom, each speaking their respective language to the child. The child receives presentations of new concepts first in the language he/she knows best. Once the concept is understood, the interaction can continue in the other language as well, thus acquiring new vocabulary. By providing the new vocabulary in such a harmonious manner and within a concrete environment, the child does not feel uncomfortable and therefore absorbs easily.
In Toddler Community the children have had a unique year of self-development during which they have unconsciously worked on integrating their mind, body and will. Now they have formed the base of their personality and are ready for the next step.
On a social front they are becoming aware of the needs of others and are sometimes spontaneously, starting to share. The classroom enthuses them to learn to work together, help each other, make the activity ready for another child, bake bread for lunch and so on. These activities give small messages without needing to say ‘no’. Therefore they form the base of social awareness.
Children’s House children absorb everything that surrounds them! They are becoming ready for further development. Through the senses they experience the world around them and their hands are busy building up neuro-networks. It is amazing to see, when the environment is right, how a child can develop in a peaceful manner that stimulates the development of self esteem and self worth.
In order to help children build a solid understanding of the world, the classroom includes several areas. Once appropriate activities have been presented, children have the liberty to choose from the wide range of activities. During work-time, some children work autonomously, whilst others receive small group or individual presentations of specific concepts, by means of games and equipment. The teachers are in tune with the child’s developmental needs and help them advance at their own level and pace.
The activities in the classroom are divided into several areas:
- Practical life activities that aide independence in action and thinking
- A wealth of sensorial materials intended for exploration of sounds, shapes, contrasts and textures.
- The art corner includes activities that allow for the development of techniques and skills and offers activities that are related to the other subjects, such as making the Chinese wall for the Asia exhibition, or make a three dimensional mountain range of clay on the map of the world.
- The mathematics area offers concrete materials extending from symbols and quantity all the way through to the four mathematical operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
- The language corner offers materials for preparing the hand for writing while at the same time associating the symbols and sounds of the letters to reading activities and readers.
- The base for the sciences – biology, history and geography are considered as extended language work and has associated hands-on activities and attractive learning materials.
- Music is happening every day! It is represented by percussion instruments, violin instruction and a singing repertoire.
- Gross motor activities are done on a daily level in the outdoor environment.
Practical Life activities
This section contains recognisable activities related to daily life. As adults, we tend to do these chores to perfect our direct surroundings. Children, on the other hand, are keen to perform these exercises in order to develop themselves. They love to wipe the windows, to clean a table with soap, to sweep and mop the floor, to arrange flowers in a vase and beautify the room, to cut the vegetables of the day and to bake the bread for lunch. Besides the development of control of movement and the understanding of cause and effect, the children also learn to look after themselves, others and the environment. These activities appear simple, yet are very effective and can also be done at home. The ‘service minded’ idea behind these activities assist the child in development of social awareness and responsibility. The extension of the concentration span is an added bonus!
A young child’s mind is very flexible and adaptable. Therefore it is a unique period of learning that should not be ‘wasted’ by screen related activity. The mind develops through its senses. Appropriate experiences create new neuro networks and help the integration of knowledge, thus becoming a useful mental organisation to which new knowledge can be added. With the help of a well thought through set of materials addressing the different senses, the senses become more acute and related vocabulary is expanded and refined.
Whilst exploring the concepts of the materials, children also learn the nuances of the language associated with sound, colours, tastes, shapes, weights, dimensions, measurements and smells.
The Children’s House provides a very suitable environment to enhance oral and written language acquisition. The children learn to express themselves in a variety of ways. Whilst the younger children in the group are in the process of acquiring more words and concepts, the older ones are already on their way of translating and organising these concepts into abstract thought.
The guiding principle in the written language acquisition for the young child is ‘Reading through Writing’. By building a rich vocabulary the children are able to express themselves and eventually arrange their thoughts on paper. Being in a sensitive period of touch, the shapes and sounds of the 26 letters of the alphabet are introduced with Sandpaper Letters. In order to commence ‘writing’, to express their own thoughts, large boxes with several of each letter are present. This is followed by many different sets of word/picture cards that stimulate reading and spelling. And then the child ‘discovers’ that he/she can read! Suitable reading books are then used to develop the reading skills and children start taking them home to read to mum and dad!
Extended language activities – the base for the sciences
From approximately five years old, the preschooler becomes more interested in the world at large. This is, in a sense, a preparation for the Primary years as the child slowly wants to learn more and consequently extended language activities are offered related to the basic information of biology, geography and history.
The teachers bring ‘the world into the classroom’ by means of language pictures and related name-cards, posters, projects on a specific continent, related art work, the five classes of the vertebrates, parts of the plants, the history of bread making, classification of musical instruments and much more.
Children learn to enjoy the ideas of others and become happy and interested readers. The door to life long learning is opened right here and now.
The approach, together with a complete set of beautiful materials, makes the world of mathematics very interesting. In a comprehensive manner, the children encounter the abstract concepts of math in a very concrete way. Children as young as five years old can perform the four operations up to 10,000 using the ‘thousand cubes’, ‘hundred squares’, ‘ten bars’ and ‘unit beads’, without hesitation. This set of equipment carries the name ’Golden Beads’ and therefore add to the attraction. Being in the period of their life when all is absorbed, the Children’s House is also the perfect place to introduce the children to memorisation facts. Combining these two fundamental math components, a strong solid base are constructed allowing for further extensions in the Primary.
In the classroom, joy and effort are combined. The children love singing, playing percussion instruments, dancing or listening to a performance. Each classroom has a set of percussion instruments that are used during the daily music session and families can opt for children to learn to play the violin with a music specialist. Bells introduce pitch, melody and eventually music theory. Children also perform dances and actions to songs, are exposed to cultural exchanges and prepare a yearly Singalong session for the parents.
Visual arts is present in the classroom with technique enhancing activities, studies of specific artists and cultural artistic traditions. Children also make artwork related to other subjects thereby integrating new knowledge. Twice a year parents can see the result in ‘Windows into the Class’ expositions.
Gross motor activities
Gross motor activities are done both indoors and out. The indoor environment enthuses directed movement as they perform the practical activities. Due to the required precision children refine their actions and learn to control their body. The outdoor offers many different activities such as running, swinging, climbing, scooping in the sandpit and sliding. Additionally they set up different materials for balancing and jumping. The gardening activities assist in the awareness and importance of the surroundings! Some locations have a multifunctional space indoors which is used for gross motor activities on rainy days.
By paying attention to all aspects of each unique personality with a unique blend of freedoms and boundaries, a child develops a healthy self-esteem, a love for learning, and a happy attitude towards self and others!
Parent Infant Group (0 – 1 years)
Toddler Community (15 months – 3 years)
Children’s House (3 year – 6 years)
Primary Years (6 – 11 years)
International Baccalaureate – Middel Years Programme (11 – 16 years)
International Baccalaureate – Diploma Programme (aged 16 and up)