Playgroup: 9 - 17 months
The playgroup class, Stay & Play, at EtonHouse offers our young learners the opportunity to explore and investigate within a purposefully planned, safe and stimulating environment. Children learn through their active engagement with a range of materials that offer multiple opportunities. Learning experiences are devised in light of children’s responses to those offered, and take account of children’s interest and developmental needs.
Sensory explorations play a significant role in the Playgroup programme. Children use their senses of touch, sight, smell, hearing and, on occasion, taste as they engage with a range of materials including paint, water, sand, clay, fabric and so on.
A specific focus for the Playgroup programme is for children to deepen their relationships with their care givers and to build connections with other adults and children they encounter in school. Individual and group learning experiences are intentionally planned to promote social interactions through shared learning spaces and resources. Space and time is also provided to enable children to investigate alone.
As children become familiar with learning environments in the school and build up their trust in those they encounter, we support them in becoming more independent; building their confidence to make decisions for themselves. As children build strong connections with the materials and experiences they encounter at EtonHouse we see an increase in their attention and concentration.
The ages of six months to 24 months sees significant development in children’s mobility. Learning experiences are designed to encourage the development of motor skills and control, and encourage children to crawl, stand, walk, run, jump, etc.
In Playgroup language learning is contextualized; the children encounter English and Mandarin used in a meaningful way within their play and routine tasks (such as snack, Music sessions, Circle Times, etc).
Pre-Nursery: 18 months - 2 years old
At EtonHouse, we strongly believe in “Image of Child” as the first and singularly most important consideration, which incorporates the pedagogy of listening and acknowledging children as competent and capable thinkers and communicators.
Our Pre-Nursery classes are unaccompanied. They provide the children with opportunities for growth of their social, language, physical and cognitive development. Becoming part of the school community and gaining social experiences within the class will help the children to develop a sense of autonomy and the ability to work independently and interdependently. The children become communicators and develop a repertoire of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies.
Through careful planning and implementation of child-led inquiries, the children gain knowledge about the world around them and develop problem solving and physical skills that will support them to become independent in everyday tasks.
The well organized and purposeful physical environment honors our “Image of Child”. The children learn in comfortable spaces that reflect respect for their ideas, interest and home cultures, as well as beauty and order.
Nursery: 2-4 years old
Within the Nursery class we offer a safe and nurturing environment for the children to explore and become independent thinkers and communicators. The classroom environment acts as our third teacher, and with careful planning and setting up, the children can access literacy and numeracy opportunities as well as developing their social skills.
As long term goals, we support all children to enhance their language and literacy capacities. Students have opportunities to express themselves in “100 Languages of Children”. Every medium (music, visual art and so on) invites the children to consider a new set of challenges in order to successfully express their ideas, thoughts and feelings. As the children interact with each other, building oral language skills, they come to see mark making/writing and reading as valuable communication skills.
Young children develop familiarity with mathematics, science and technology through their daily interaction with the world. By providing play experiences and observation, we aim to form an important part of child’s ability to develop knowledge and understanding about concepts like numbers, shape, estimation, prediction, sequencing and classifying.
We engage the children by observing them in their play and then responding to what we see, with invitations to join in open-ended experiences. When their interests and prior knowledge are identified, we then take the opportunity to start an inquiry into it. This then gives us the opportunity to discuss what they want to know and where they want to go next with it.
Kindergarten: 4-6 years
Through our inquiry approach, Kindergarten children bring their ideas to the learning process and work with the support and guidance of their teachers to seek answers, creatively solve problems and challenge their own thinking. They deepen their understanding of concepts and apply and develop skills and knowledge across all domains of learning as they work cooperatively and collaboratively with others.
Language and literacy learning focuses on writing and reading as well as on speaking and listening, and the bilingual, inquiry approach provides a context for meaningful opportunities to engage with both English and Chinese each day.
Mathematical, scientific and technological learning is embedded in our inquiries as well as being taught to ensure that our children have the skills in place to approach inquiry learning independently.
The Arts provide a conduit through which the children can express themselves; with learning invitations intentionally planned to capitalize on children’s curiosities and enhance their engagement. Specialist teachers support the Arts.
The Kindergarten children are also supported in their transition to formal schooling. Teachers assist families to prepare for the various primary school assessments and also help children to adapt to the changes that come from being a member of a larger school community.