At NAISR our Early Learning Programme is based on the International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC). This is a comprehensive, research-based curriculum that supports children in their cognitive and social--emotional development. Our approach is constructivist and concept-based, inquiry-driven, and rests on a solid foundation of child development from methods such as Reggio Emilia, Anji Play and Montessori.
Social and Emotional Development
Social and emotional development is an integral part of the Foundation Years curriculum. While children of a young age are naturally egocentric, we encourage them to become increasingly aware of others and be in control of their own actions.
As an Early Learning Team, we are constantly modelling and teaching positive ways of interacting with the children. We also set time aside during the week to give students opportunities to practice and talk about effective cooperation, tolerance and mutual respect. This is done through stories, discussion, role-play, games and activities encouraging even the most timid children to participate. This time is also an opportunity for children to share their feelings within a non-threatening environment. In this way, we aim for children to reach a good level of social maturity before moving into the Primary School.
The Physical Environment
The physical learning environment in our Early Learning classrooms is designed to provide experiences that promote development in all of the areas mentioned above. Classrooms are set up to include blocks, dramatic play, toys and games, arts and crafts, a library or book corner, discovery, sand and water, music and movement, cooking and information technology. Outdoor play is also an important part of the daily routine.
As children move through Foundation 1 and 2, they gain the abilities and skills to begin reading and writing. While children may not begin doing this independently until Year 1, they gain much knowledge of these skills through principles of emergent literacy.
Emergent literacy learning acknowledges children's learning as exploratory, holistic and social in nature. In Foundation 1 and 2, the aim is to help students develop a positive attitude toward reading and writing. A variety of opportunities for children to begin to understand the concept of print are provided. Children spend time listening to stories, retelling stories and gaining new information in many forms.
Rest Time in Foundation 1 and 2
As a full-day programme, rest time is very important for children and provides rejuvenation for the afternoon programme. Younger children may need more rest time than older children. At NAISR, we support this by providing quiet time every day after lunch for the Foundation 1 and 2 students.