At KIS we define the Early Years as those between the ages of 2.5-5 years, encompassing students in the Early Years Centre and Early Years 2. Our aim is to provide the best possible learning experiences for young children. As students progress through the programmes they continually build upon and develop their independence, self confidence and sense of responsibility for their learning, providing them with a learning continuum that prepares them emotionally, socially and intellectually for the more formal environments of the Primary school.
The flexibility of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme allows teachers to encourage and develop each child’s individual interests. The IB PYP in the Early Years acknowledges that young children are constructing their own meaning and provides a framework that gives support for them to be active learners and inquirers, whilst nurturing their basic skills and needs, providing a sound beginning to the continuum of learning that goes on throughout the Primary Years.
Early Years Philosophies
Research tells us that young children learn through their experiences, through their play and interactions with each other and the environment. They construct meaning and make sense of the world around them. In the Early Years play is essential in supporting children’s learning and development. Play occurs in both indoor and outdoor environments and provides a context for them to feel comfortable, express themselves and satisfy their natural curiosity. In play, children can learn in a variety of ways as they engage socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually with other children, adults and the environment. Play in a safe and secure environment allows children to try new things, take risks, solve problems and master learning situations. Teachers can utilize these opportunities to reinforce social aspects such as caring for others, fairness, and personal responsibility.
Learning is all about building on prior experiences. For young children many of these experiences have taken place at home or within the family; therefore, the link between home and school is essential for children to succeed and constant two-way communication is encouraged to ensure that parents are aware of their child's school day.
Facilities and Environment
Our Early Years facilities incorporate The Early Years Centre and Early Years Two (EY2) class. Each environment has been carefully resourced and furnished to meet the needs of the students and their varying stages of development.
The Early Years Centre (EY1): comprises of one large communal space for play and activities with three smaller “pod” classrooms used for small group or class activities. The shared space is fully equipped and houses several learning centres, including sand and water play, carpet areas with small world toys, a book area, age appropriate IT equipment as well as areas for additional creative play activities. The pods can be used for many purposes and teachers are able to adapt the spaces to suit the learning needs of the children.
Early Years Two (EY2): is an open plan environment. The space has been developed into learning centres and an outdoor play area that incorporate developmentally appropriate learning experiences and resources for the children. Children are encouraged to work together, become more independent and make choices relating to their learning. In EY2 the children become more involved in aspects of literacy and numeracy, developing an understanding thorough a wide variety of play based and hands on activities.
Staffing: All our Early Years teachers are dedicated, qualified and experienced educators. The EY centre is staffed by three qualified teachers, two teaching assistants (TAs) and two classroom aides, allowing teachers to dedicate their time to the individual needs of the students. The EY2 programme is staffed by two teachers a TA and a classroom aide.
Children are also exposed to specialist teachers and programmes. In EY1 most specialists visit the classroom. As they move through the Early Years, the children are able to comfortably transition into visiting the specialist classrooms. Specialist teachers support the programmes by providing, music, Thai language and culture, PE, IT and swimming classes.
PYP and Inquiry in the Early Years
Young children are natural inquirers; they ask questions, explore, gather information, make predictions and come to conclusions in their play and social interactions all day long. It is the natural process of finding out about the world around them.
As an inquiry based programme, activities and play experiences are structured and organized to ensure inquiry and learning can take place. Teachers pose questions and problems and scaffold learning experiences to challenge the children in their thinking, theorizing and decision making.
Academic and social learning are integrated; the programme emphasizes increasing levels of self awareness, social development, physical skills, independence, self-help skills and responsibility. Students learn to communicate and negotiate with other children and adults.
For KIS students this means: