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Hangzhou International School

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Early Childhood Education

At HIS, we offer an ECE programme to children from Nursery to Kindergarten (ages 2-5). We follow an inquiry-based curriculum and create an environment that is stimulating, nurturing and supportive of young learners.

Early Childhood Education is an integral part of the school and provides an excellent base from which the children progress into a more formal learning environment in Kindergarten. On a daily basis, children are provided with opportunities to explore, observe, question, and construct knowledge from the world around them. Teachers work alongside students; they watch, inquire, and interact in order to learn more about what interests each child. The ECE Curriculum is designed to provide an authentic learning pathway for children, where teachers thoughtfully provide the skills and strategies to investigate the world around them.

The Curriculum

The Curriculum

The school offers a curriculum which has:

  • Teaching and learning materials tailored to the international setting.
  • An emphasis on providing a safe, caring and nurturing environment.
  • The opportunity for each child to develop at their own pace within a structured environment.
  • Learning experiences which support and challenge each child through a combination of teacher and child-initiated, play-based activities.
  • Enrichment opportunities for the development of Mandarin language for non-native and native speakers

Learning Strands

Early Childhood Education at HIS includes four main strands:

Each of the four Learning Strands describes what children will experience and learn about through activities woven into the units of inquiry.

These strands help the children to develop skills in the following areas: Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Expressive Arts and Design, Science and Technology

Inquiry-based Learning

Inquiry-based Learning

Our units of inquiry are based on transdisciplinary themes which run from Pre-School to Grade 5. In Pre-School and Pre-K teachers choose four of these themes as a basis for the Early Years Units of Inquiry.

Who we are

An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

Where we are in place and time

An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

How we express ourselves

An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.

How the world works

An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

How we organize ourselves

An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.

Sharing the planet

An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

Key Concepts

Teachers design units which explore a main question, and focus on up to three concepts. Our students are encouraged to ask questions and to pursue explorations into their own areas of interest. Learning experiences are designed to inspire children’s curiosity and creativity and to develop their ability to be well-rounded citizens of the world.

Form

What's it like? - The understanding that everything has a form with recognizable features that can be observed, identified, described and categorized.

Function

How does it work? The understanding that everything has a purpose, a role or a way of behaving that can be investigated.

Causation

Why is it like it is? The understanding that things do not just happen, that there are causal relationships at work, and that actions have consequences.

Change

How is it changing? The understanding that change is the process of movement from one state to another. It is universal and inevitable.

Connection

How is it connected to other things? The understanding that we live in a world of interacting systems in which the actions of any individual element affect others.

Perspective

What are the points of view? The understanding that knowledge is moderated by perspectives; different perspectives lead to different interpretations, understandings and findings; perspectives may be individual, group, cultural or disciplinary.

Responsibility

What is our responsibility? The understanding that people make choices based on their understandings, and the actions they take as a result do make a difference.

Reflection

How do we know? The understanding that there are different ways of knowing, and that it is important to reflect on our conclusions, to consider our methods of reasoning, and the quality and the reliability of the evidence we have considered.

To read more about the IB Primary Years Programme in an early years setting, click here.

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