In the realm of early childhood education, our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) provision has emerged as a beacon of excellence. Aligning fully with The UK’s ‘Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage’, our curriculum is designed to provide a strong foundation for children's upcoming learning journeys by embedding an ethos of child-centered, holistic learning. From their very first day at NAIS, every child in our care benefits from our shared vision: Together, we develop creative, confident and considerate learners prepared for their futures.
One of the standout features of our EYFS curriculum is its holistic approach to child development. The British EYFS curriculum recognises that children's growth is multi-faceted, encompassing not only academic skills but also social, emotional, and physical development. By integrating all aspects of a child's development, the British EYFS curriculum ensures a well-rounded educational experience that nurtures the whole child. Our small class sizes with excellent staff-pupil ratios ensure that every moment possible is given to supporting every child in these areas.
Our EYFS learning environment also places a strong emphasis on play-based learning, understanding that young children learn best through active engagement, exploration and enjoyment. As captured by our Early Years Curriculum Leader, Ms Marushka Bunce, " Play is recognised as the crucial vehicle for learning, providing a wealth of creative and social interactions, with endless problem-solving. Through play, children develop essential skills such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking, establishing a solid foundation for future learning. For many of our learners at NAIS Pudong, we begin this process of learning through play even earlier than the traditional Pre-Nursery entry point, by welcoming children below the age of 2 to our Tiger Cubs playgroup. This flexible programme allows the children to grow in confidence with both our staff and environment whilst engaging in a wide variety of play-based activities, including arts & crafts, music, and lots of fun soft play materials.""
In line with our inclusive NAIS Pudong values, our EYFS curriculum celebrates the uniqueness of every child, and thereby understands that every individual in our care progresses at their own pace. Emphasising individualised learning and assessment, our teaching and learning community enables our specialist Early Years educators to tailor their teaching approaches to meet the specific needs and interests of every child. This personalised approach promotes inclusive education and ensures that children receive the necessary support and challenges to maximise their potential. Frequently, children will join our school having never been in a classroom setting before and will therefore demonstrate a shy temperament. However, with the nurturing care of our expert teaching professionals, we consistently see our children’s confidence levels developing dramatically and in a remarkably short period of time.
As is the case across the whole of our school, the EYFS curriculum recognises the vital role of parents and carers in a child's education. We therefore actively support strong partnerships between educators and families, fostering open communication and collaboration. By involving parents and carers in our students’ learning journeys, we are further enabled to create a highly effective and inclusive learning environment that extends far beyond the classroom setting, into our diverse and welcoming parent community.
Unlike other Early Years pedagogical programmes, the British EYFS curriculum follows a continuous assessment and progress tracking approach. This means that our teachers carefully observe and document each child's development across seven key areas of learning (Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World; Expressive Arts & Design, Communication & Language, Physical Development, and Personal, Social & Emotional Development). In so doing, we are able to establish a comprehensive understanding of our children’s progress at any point within their educational journey. This ongoing assessment also allows for early identification of any potential areas for concern or further development, enabling timely interventions and tailored support to ensure optimal progress.
Under the leadership of the Head of Primary & Early Years, Mr. Richard Thompson, NAIS Pudong’s team of Early Years specialists strive continuously to ensure that the imaginations of our youngest learners are captured at every turn, through every component of our daily care and provision.
"Our Early Years unit is a purpose-built and much-loved pocket of our school where our youngest learners begin to develop the all-important foundations for their lifelong learning. Students at NAIS Pudong are encouraged to explore their surroundings and to use their endless and unique imagination. Innovative and creative learning spaces, both indoor and outdoor, allow our children the freedom to grow and explore independently. Through our dedicated play areas, incorporating a variety of climbing, construction and cycling areas, all of which are continuously re-imagined by our passionate Early Years specialists, it is a joy to continually witness the fun, laughter and extraordinary progress made by our youngest learners year on year."
In addition to supporting children with a holistic approach to development in an individualised environment, the British EYFS curriculum places a significant emphasis on developing children's communication and language skills. In an international environment such as NAIS Pudong, where many of our youngest students speak multiple languages, recognising the crucial role of English language in all aspects of learning is at the heart of our Early Years teaching and learning model. By enabling our children to engage in ongoing language-rich activities, including storytelling, presenting, imaginary games, singing, and quality discussions, we ensure that every student in our care develops as an effective and confident communicator, ready for their transition into Primary, Secondary and beyond.
In preparation for the Primary British National Curriculum, we gradually structure learning experiences for our Early Years students, to ensure that every child adjusts positively and effectively to more formalised learning approaches. Building on the foundational skills developed in the EYFS, our children enter Key Stage 1 with confidence, solid social-emotional development, and high standards in Early Years academic outcomes.
Assistant Head of Primary, and Key Stage 1 teacher, Mr. Ian Motyka, reflects on the immeasurable value of our Early Years learning journey, for students joining Key Stage 1: "Our EYFS setting is centered around exploration and curiosity. Learners who have been exposed to our EYFS curriculum are naturally more inquisitive learners. As we see children moving into Year 1 to start their formal primary education, they express their curiosity and wonder with their ever-growing vocabulary from ‘what?’ to ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ questions. EYFS paves the way for more formal schooling with the focus becoming more recognisably academic. With their wealth of knowledge, curiosity and resilience acquired in EYFS, students are ready to take on the challenges of Key Stage 1."
At NAIS Pudong, we are incredibly proud of the progress made by our students every year, and ever prouder to witness each of them progressing through their wider school journey as creative, confident and considerate learners, with many going on to attend the leading universities across the world.
For any families that would like to learn more about our Early Years curriculum and provision, they are invited to contact our Admissions team via the contact information below, and to request a family or small group tour, either privately or via one of our upcoming open days. We look forward to welcoming you to our school very soon!