The Early Years in the Village School at Chadwick International is comprised of Pre-K, Kindergarten and Grade 1. We follow the IBPYP curricular framework and recognize the importance of respecting the unique differences of our youngest learners. We see them as competent and capable. As the IB states (‘Making the PYP Happen’ p.7), “Children, from birth, are full of curiosity, and the PYP provides a framework that gives crucial support for them to be active inquirers and lifelong learners.” To that end, we draw upon pedagogical approaches that are uniquely developmentally appropriate for this particular age group.
We believe in the environment as the third teacher. Our classrooms are set up to promote a natural sense of inquiry and wonder with stimulating and engaging hands on provocations. This means that as soon as the child enters, they are invited to play and engage with a variety of materials, objects and experiences.
Play is highly valued in the Early Years. We believe young children must construct their own meaning of the world around them and it is through active, unstructured and child-initiated play that they learn to communicate, inquire, self-regulate and collaborate with others.
Ours is a negotiated curriculum; a balance of teacher-facilitated and student-led learning experiences. We aim to structure our curriculum on the principles that: ● children must have some control over the direction of their learning ● children must be able to learn through multi sensory experiences ● children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves through the use of their ‘hundred languages’ which are the symbolic languages of drama, painting, sculpting, etc.
We also believe that is it crucial for our young learners to experience authentic inquiry in nature. Learning outside the classroom supports the development of healthy and active lifestyles by offering children opportunities for physical activity, freedom and movement, and promoting a sense of well-being. It gives children contact with the natural world and offers them experiences that are unique to outdoors, such as direct contact with the weather and the seasons.
Playing and learning outside also helps children to understand and respect nature, the environment and the interdependence of humans, animals, plants, and lifecycles. It supports children’s problem-solving skills and nurtures their creativity, as well as providing rich opportunities for their developing imagination, inventiveness and resourcefulness.
The outdoor environment offers space and therefore is particularly important to those children who learn best through active movement. For many children, playing outdoors at school may also be the only opportunity they have to play safely and freely while they learn to assess risk and develop the skills to manage new situations.
At Chadwick International we want our youngest learners to develop a love of school and a positive attitude towards learning. We want to cultivate the joy of self-discovery. We aim to inspire children to question the world around them, build theories, test ideas and discover new things by challenging what that they already know or understand. Most of all we want our youngest learners to be happy, healthy and self-confident members of our community.