Early Years


The first years in a child’s formal schooling are called the Early Years, and at OIS it includes Nursery (N), Junior Kindergarten (JKG), and Senior Kindergarten (SKG). The early years are just what the name suggests: it is a time when attitudes are developed, and future learning depends on the experiences and learning opportunities students have during this important, developmental time in their lives.

Our aim, belief and mission is to give our students the freedom to think and to empower them to be whatever he/she wants to be using the skills they have developed while at school. With age-appropriate activities, conceptual learning and relevant content, we instill in our students the spirit of inquiry which is evident in all our classroom engagements.

Our engaging, challenging and transdisciplinary curriculum enables us to offer a wide vista of disciplines like swimming, art, drama, and music, which are incorporated within our mainstream learning. Music, art and physical development (both gross and fine motor) are happening in Early Years classrooms all the time, as are literacy, mathematics, role play, and social-emotional learning engagements. The classrooms are set up every morning with different activities so that the students are actively engaged from the minute they step through the door. Centres in the classroom ensure that a variety of activities are available. The staff / student ratio ensures that staff can work in small groups and give students the individual attention they deserve. Parents are welcomed into the EY and communication with parents is seen as being very important.

The Early Years Pledge, which students and staff in EY follow each day is quite simple:

Today, I will:
·    smile,
·    laugh,
·    play,
·    have fun, and
·    learn new things.

We adhere to a low teacher-student ratio and our students are approached with the sensitivity and flexibility required by each individual. We believe that learning happens not only in the classroom, but also outside of the classroom. Students are exposed to many appropriate and relevant excursions and trips to nearby surroundings to extend and deepen their understanding. Local,aswell as international occasions, are celebrated in the Early Years Programme. The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a world-renowned curricular framework designed to encourage students to be active learners, well-rounded individuals and engaged world citizens. The PYP targets learners in grades Nursery to 5, giving them a global perspective and aims to create a relevant, engaging, challenging, and significant educational environment for all children.

The ground floor which houses Nursery has a covered outdoor play area.  The first floor, which houses JKG and SKG has a covered outdoor play area, with a sandpit and a large motor area, a water fountain play area, a swimming pool, a large play room which features dramatic and innovative play. The classrooms are spacious and each classroom has a PC and a projector.  Grade levels share a set of IPADs as well.


Nursery 

Mission Statement for nursery: 

In nursery, we strive to have the students increasingly take responsibility for their own things at school, work on the acquisition of basic social skills, and expand their learning experiences through multi-sensory methodology.  

The nursery program at OIS is a part-day program, from 7:50 am - 12:15 pm. There are five nursery classes housed on the ground floor. The team in nursery works collaboratively to ensure consistency throughout the grade level. Nursery has music and physical education which incorporates music and movement as specialist subjects, although a lot of music and physical movement is happening in the classrooms throughout the day. Students are mainly classroom based. Throughout the week, students will visit the sand pit area, the playroom, either the fountain area or pool (with lifeguards) for water play, the car track, and the outside play areas, and the library at least once.

Students bring their own snack to school and eat it in the Nursery café area. Teachers remain with the students at all times and help students eat during snack time. There are two members of staff in each classroom, the HRT (Homeroom Teacher) and AT (Assistant Teacher), and we strive to not exceed 19 students in each class.

Primary Years Programme 

Nursery is the beginning of the official Primary Years Programme. Students in Nursery develop knowledge, approaches to learning, concepts, and attitudes and have opportunities to take action within the context of 4 units of inquiry . Students are introduced to new materials, concepts and situations in a meaningful, play based way that is interactive and hands on. Students are given the opportunity to explore and express themselves in meaningful ways while developing their own identity and social skills.


JKG

Mission Statement for junior kindergarten:

Learners will have the freedom to think and express in a stimulating play-based and respectful learning environment, which will empower them to be creative, curious and confident.  

There are six JKG classes housed on the first floor. The team in JKG works collaboratively to ensure consistency throughout the grade level. JKG has music and physical education which incorporates music and movement as specialist subjects, although a lot of music and physical movement is happening in the classrooms throughout the day. Students are mainly classroom based. Throughout the week, students will visit the sand pit area, the playroom, either the fountain area or pool (with lifeguards) for water play, the car track, and the outside play areas and the library, at least once.

Students bring their own snack to school and eat it in the first floor cafeteria. Teachers remain with the students at all times and help students eat at snack time. There are two members of staff in each classroom, the HRT (Homeroom Teacher) and AT (Assistant Teacher); we strive to not exceed 19 students in each classroom.

Extended Day Program 

JKG begins as a part day program (7:50-12:15). In September, JKG will operate an extended day program on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (12:15 pm - 2:45 pm), with a family-style lunch served. The extended day program is included in the regular fees that each student pays. The teachers run an activity-based program in the afternoons, examples of activities offered include: parachute fun, storytime, cooking, free play, science, art, music and movement. All students are expected to participate and teachers allow flexibility with nap time for students that need more rest.

Primary Years Programme

Students in JKG develop knowledge, approaches to learning, concepts, and attitudes and have opportunities to take action within the context of 4 units of inquiry . Students are introduced to new materials, concepts and situations in a meaningful, play based way that is interactive and hands on. Students are given the opportunity to explore and express themselves in meaningful ways while developing their own identity and social skills.

The teachers collaborate to ensure some consistency across the grade level and to develop meaningful integrated activities for children to be involved in. Students are encouraged to continue to develop independence and responsibility for their belongings (snack boxes, backpacks etc). They work together in small groups and develop collaboration skills as well as personal social skills. Students are exposed to meaningful literature and given opportunities to interact with letters and sounds as well as stories to develop their communication skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing and presenting). All of these developmental skills are woven into an integrated and play based approach where children are valued and encouraged to develop as creative, curious and confident learners.


SKG

Mission statement for senior kindergarten

In SKG, we strive to:

provide an environment that will foster their natural zest for learning,
empower our children to be independent learners, and
have our students express their creativity confidently, and enjoy taking part in creative activities.  

The SKG follows a full day program, 7:50 am - 2:50 pm. There are six classes in SKG and the staff works collaboratively to ensure that some consistency is maintained throughout the grade. SKG students see specialist teachers for the following subjects:

  • Exploration Time,
  • Innovative Play (Tinker Time),
  • Art,
  • Library,
  • PE (Physical Education),
  • Music, and
  • Technology.

Students in SKG develop knowledge, approaches to learning, concepts, and attitudes and have opportunities to take action within the context of 6 units of inquiry. Students are introduced to new materials, concepts and situations in a meaningful, play based way that is interactive and hands on. Students are given the opportunity to explore and express themselves in meaningful ways while developing their own identity and social skills.

In SKG students continue to develop many different approaches to learning and attitudes and deepen their grasp of concepts. Literacy and math are integrated when possible and taught stand alone when necessary. Teachers use the workshop model to teach reading and writing and use hands on fun activities to develop numeracy, data handling, patterning, measurement and mathematical reasoning.

SKG students will visit the sand pit area, the playroom, either the fountain area or pool (with lifeguards) for water play, the car track, and the outside play areas, at least once; ensuring that SKG children still have the Early Years experience.

There are two members of staff in each classroom, the HRT (Homeroom Teacher) and AT (Assistant Teacher); we strive to not exceed 19 students in each class. At lunchtime, the HRT or the ATsits with the students in the class for a family-style lunch.


PROGRESS ASSESSMENT

In the Early Years, teachers assess their students based on their observations of targeted behaviors, such as attention, collaboration, following instructions and completing tasks. They report these observations to parents on a regular basis, both formally and informally.