Our Pre-school curriculum considers that each student is an individual and focuses on each child’s personality, needs and abilities. The Curriculum is phased to cater for students’ personal development. It allows for progression and development based upon the existing interests, strengths and knowledge that each child possess. It allows the students to make choices and to understand that it is acceptable to possess different skills. The learning and developmental methods according to these skills, are considered when creating appropriate learning activities. Our educational activities are designed to develop a positive approach towards learning and add to the the self-confidence of students. The framework of this approach; consists of a written curriculum that includes different levels of language, mathematics, movement, music, art, crafts and most importantly social and emotional developmental objectives for each age group.
The concept of the “I” personality relates to a combination of belief, attitude, behaviour and emotions. In every aspect of our preschool program, we value and nurture this concept. The belief in themselves, and a strong understanding what they can and cannot do, has a huge impact on how a child approaches new situations and learning. A healthy “I” personality is key to a child’s success.
Young children discover and experience math naturally, in many ways. This belief is accepted in our preschool and is the basis of our highly effective math curriculum. The children learn about, space and shapes, numbers, patterning and measurement among the many concepts.
In the early years, children gradually learn more about their expanding community and eventually come to see themselves as citizens. Initially their knowledge is mainly about themselves and their families. Our program aims to develop this knowledge further by helping the students explore the world in which they live in, to find the answers to questions such as, “ What do living things need to survive?” and to question and solve problems such as, “ How can we shape the environment in which we live”?
Science and Natural History
Our curriculum enables our students to develop a meaningful understanding of events through methods of observation, measurement, classification, correlation and prediction. Many of our preschool activities are carried out in nature, offering infinite opportunities to develop a child’s interest and curiosity. Through these activities the children, observe their environment, make experiments and discover in the role of a scientist.
One of the most important aspects of the Açı Pre-school curriculum is “Creative Arts”. The art related activities in our program support and encourage the development of imagination and the ability to express emotions. Creative Art, “Creative Play” and “Drama”, play an important role in the child’s development of a positive self-concept. Through age appropriate games and activities, the children learn to develop leadership skills yet know to follow when required and to wait for his turn. These types of activities allow a child to express himself even before he can put his feelings into words.
The Pre-school “Movement Program” provides the opportunity for all students to participate regularly in physical activities. Our program consists of six important areas; Gymnastics, Games, Dance, Health, Social Skills and the basis of l Lifelong Physical Activity. We inherently encourage open-air activities as a natural part of the program. Social skills such as, the building of self-confidence, relationships with both peers and adults and leadership skills are supported through the physical activities in our Movement Program.
The Açı Pre-school Music curriculum aims to encourage the students to appreciate, love and enjoy music the capacity of both the musician and the listener. Music plays an integral role in the development of a child’s language development, ability to express themselves and confidence. Music is a “universal language” that attracts the attention of all children. The songs and musical games used in our program aim to provide an awareness of, and respect for, other cultures and languages.
The Literacy components of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening form the the basic elements of language instruction at an early age. The “Literacy” curriculum implemented in Açı Pre-school has been developed specially to support students’ language development.
The curriculum is divided into two:
- Pre Reading & Writing
- Reading-Writing Development
Our Nursery and Pre Prep students engage in “Pre Reading & Writing” activities whilst the Prep Students focus on the Development of Reading and Writing.
The use of the materials and the visual elements in the classrooms encourage students to read and write as well.
Our reading program uses the UK reading scheme, Oxford Reading Tree. The program considers the fact that a young child, whilst they may not be able to decode text, are able to recall a story that has been read to them and learn these words within context. The belief is that events and meaning take precedence. The stories themselves reflect the real life experiences of children aged between four and six years of age. This enables the children to link the stories to their own personal experiences. The visual elements within the classroom and the resources.
Through our writing program, the children learn to form the basis of accurate and confident writing skills. Through their participation in activities that provide the chance to “Experience” and “Do” and using resources that develop fine motor skills, children develop their ability to write. The materials and resources used for these activities are organised according to age appropriateness.
Reading-Writing Group Work
For our students in the Prep classes, the program starts after week six of school. The children work in small groups for 45 minutes according to their individual needs. These sessions focus on the development of Phonics knowledge, Reading skills, Writing practice and Journal writing.
The transition between Preschool and Primary can pose many challenges for students both in an academic and social sense. Our aim in Prep is to prepare the students for any upcoming challenges and facilitate a smooth transition into the next stage of their education.
The balance of the Prep program is organised to support the development of, independence, reading and writing and math through a theme based program that encourages the students to learn research and questioning skills necessary for Primary education.
Each term, the students are evaluated and assessed according to their own personal development. The purpose of these evaluations is to identify our students’ strengths as well as areas that they need support and to create an educational plan for each individual child. Any information gathered relating to the child is shared with both the parents and the educational teams in Primary school. The communication between the two schools allows us to create a smoother transition according to the individual characteristics and needs of each child.
Our Preschool program takes into account that each student’s character has different needs and has varied capabilities based on their history. This information helps us to shape an individualistic learning program that is appropriate for students with different abilities and learning styles. The curriculum for each age group consists of developmental targets in, language, math, movement, music, art, and most importantly in social-emotional development. The activities are planned to support the development skills of communication, self-confidence and the ability to work independently, with a positive attitude towards learning.
Throughout the year, samples of work created and completed by each child are collected and compiled into a Learning Portfolio. The portfolio is a measuring tool, which allows us to asses each child’s development in each area in a concrete way. Based upon this information, we are able to create plans for the support of each child’s development and share this information with parents.
With the support of regular observations and follow-ups done throughout the entire school year, the students’ work and development is evaluated. Observation notes and follow-up records are concrete data indicating the development of the students which enable us to develop a ‘whole child’ understanding.
As well the Portfolio meetings, termly reports are written and shared twice a year. The observations and evaluations relating to the development of the student are also reflected in these reports.
When I arrive in the morning, my teachers is waiting to greet me with a smile and a happy “Good Morning”. They chat with me whilst I change my shoes and prepare for the day. I take my communication book and place it it the box, remembering to tell my teacher that there is a message for them in the book. I stick my name up on the attendance chart and join my friends at the tables where my teachers have prepared activities for us.
Snacks and Yard
At “Tidy Up” time, I tidy up the area in which I have been playing, wash my hands and sit at the table for breakfast. If it is my turn to serve snack, I serve the food to my friends at the tables and when breakfast is over, I dispose of the remainders in the dustbin. It is time for Garden Time; I take my jacket and line up for the garden. Spending time in the garden twice a day helps me to develop my physical skills as well as supporting my social and emotional development. Fresh air also makes my immune system healthier.
Large Group Activity Time
We all sit together on the carpet, my peers and teachers together and discuss the daily routine, the date and weather. We also talk about how we are feeling that day. Our teacher may read a book which gives us the chance to ask and answer questions.
Large group times help me to develop; trust in myself, confidence when speaking in front of others, the ability to count and learn more about shapes and numbers, a plan for the day and learn about the weather and prediction. The also encourage me to use more English.
Small Group Activity Time
During Small Group times, we engage in activities that are divided between two or three groups. These smaller groupings allow our teachers to be able to spend more individual time with me and and to prepare plans for the areas in which I may need support.
Music, Movement and Drama; we engage in many of these activities in our own classrooms but these special lessons help us to focus more on the different arts. We enjoy time in music and sports twice a week and Drama once with our teachers who are specialists in each area.
Once I have enjoyed lunch in the dining area, I return to the class with my friends. This is time of day is a reflective and calm time. I may read quietly on the cushions and listen to peaceful music or engage in quiet activities that my teachers have set out. Even though I am full of energy, I need to learn how to relax too.
We come together on the carpet as a class and discuss in which area we would like to be active. I can choose to play alone or with my friends in the area that I choose. At the end of the session, I return to the carpet and share with my friends and teachers what I did during that time. Doing this helps me to develop my planning skills and implementation of a task whilst also learning to evaluate my choices.
Preparation to Go Home
The opportunity to learn has not yet finished even if the school day is ending. Once I have tidied the classroom with my friends, I collect my communication book from my teachers and am sure to check if there is a message to show my parents. I take my attendance sticker back to my locker where I dress myself ready for departure.
I am ready to go home, but I am already excited about what learning adventures await me tomorrow!