Joyful learning environments are active and cheerful.
The ICEC encompasses the following groups:
Would you like to read more about our daycares and apply for a place for your child? Please check Our Schools here.
Tiddlers and Toddlers
1-2-year-old is an exciting bundle of energy eager to learn, and soaks up new experiences like a sponge. They are almost ready to step out and do things for themselves, whilst at the same time still needing the security only a caring adult and a safe environment can provide. For this reason our Tiddle and Toddler rooms are separate from the main school, giving the under threes the confidence they need to explore their surroundings.
A 1-2-year-old is very different to a three-year-old and they have specific requirements for their stage of development (having said that, it should be remembered that all children are individuals and their rates of development will vary, according to their experiences and needs). For this reason, our tiddler and toddler group is not just a simpler version of our pre-school, but rather a ’play and learn’ environment aimed directly at 1 - 3 year olds, providing them with developmentally appropriate learning experiences and opportunities.
We provide a bright, cheerful, friendly atmosphere, where the main goals are for the teachers to build relationships with the children making them feel safe and happy, and to provide the right environment. The room is set out in a way that encourages the children to engage in all the activities that are provided (i.e. everything is easily accessible and interesting enough to excite a child’s natural curiosity). The room is split into several different areas: Painting and craft, building and construction, carpet and book area, floor toys, games and puzzles, home play area, soft toys and puppets, drawing table etc. The children are free to make choices and decisions as to what and who to play with, while the teacher will encourage, observe and work with the children, providing the materials and some specific activities such as finger painting. All of these things will encourage children to test and practise skills, to have experiences that will aid their understanding of the world, explore their boundaries and limitations, and to discover the wonderful possibilities in what they can do.
At the International Childcare and Education centre we concentrate on the whole child, this involves implementing a child-centred curriculum and offering a child-centred, active learning environment, where the child can literally play and learn. This means we have to make the environment as appealing as possible. The environment, using displays, equipment and furnishings; can with carefully thought out planning, become a place that encourages imagination and curiosity. At the same time it provides the children with a feeling of security and comfort. The schools are open-plan, but are organised into many different areas: literacy, maths and science, art and craft, design and technology, role-play areas etc.
Although the children can choose which activity to do and when, the teachers will encourage children to balance their time, and experience every area of the school. The curriculum for the 3 - 4+ children is carefully planned to meet all of their developmental needs, whilst recognising that each child is an individual. All activities within the school are planned, supervised and organised, to provide maximum all-round development for each individual child.
The children in the 4-5yr group know themselves as Pre-School 2. They are considered for the most part to be part of the pre-school group (especially for things like circle time), but they do have their own agenda for the session. As well as having access to the main school as described in the preschool section, they also have their own base room.
This room is for:
The room is theirs to decorate using displays, and the children, with the teacher, have control over the layout. It may have its own book-corner, computer and water/sand tray, and painting and craft area. But for these and other activities they can use the main school if they wish.
The High Scope Approach
This embodies many of the methods that we use in the pre-school, but offers more structure to the children’s day, without taking away the child-centredness of our philosophy. We see it as a natural extension of our system, so while maintaining the children’s choice to interact with the environment on their own terms, it encourages them to plan and structure their own time.
After the first part of circle time, the children meet in the high scope room to discuss the activities available during that session and if they are focusing on any particular project or theme. After this the teacher draws the children’s attention to a list on the wall, it could look something like this:
The children, with the teachers help, choose which activities they want to do, then, in their high scope books they list the activities in the order they are going to do them. They can record the activities in various ways; either colour/shape coded, writing the number or some will write the whole thing. They are encouraged to choose at least three areas but they do not have to complete them all, there is no time limit to these activities. The children then go off to their first activity which, depending on what they are doing, may involve working with either a small group of their friends, alone, or with a teacher, or during the discussion the whole class may decide to work together on one project. When they have finished the activity, they discuss what they have been doing, with their teacher. The activity is then recorded as finished and any special notes the teacher wants to make can be recorded in the child’s high-scope book.
The High-Scopers also have whole class teaching sessions, to introduce new concepts/ideas or to focus on developing a specific skill such as writing or painting.
The basic philosophy of our schoolroom teachers is that a child centred environment still holds true for this age group. However instead of calling it ‘Play and Learn’, we use the term an Active Learning Environment. This means that the children learn through hands-on-active learning rather than just teacher directed-passive learning. We implement this system in a cross-curricular environment, using projects, flow-charts and the High scope system. Whole class teaching is used to introduce basic concepts, new projects, and ideas to the children; giving them the confidence and knowledge to explore, investigate, and learn, both with and without a teacher.
The classroom is a bright, cheerful room, with much of the children’s work on display. It is divided into the following areas using shelving or carpeting:
The curriculum we use is the foundation stage for the younger group and the English National Curriculum Key Stage 1 for the older group. The sections of this curriculum are listed below, along with some examples of how they can be presented and taught to the children.
Speaking and Listening
Providing the opportunity for talking and listening.
Circle time, discussion and story time, drama and music, one to one conversation, poems and rhymes, word games, E.S.L. show and tell.
Reading and Writing
Exposure to the written word, drama.
Labelling objects in the classroom, books available all the time, carefully graded reading schemes, games like I-spy, reference books available, story time and reading circle, library club.
Using and applying mathematics
Number and algebra
Shape, space, measure
Set up shop area, Multi-link, calculators, computer, games, group bingo, measuring (height, weight, etc.), carefully graded workbooks, whole class teaching, especially for the 6+ group, research and graphs, cookery etc.
Physical process, materials and their properties. Experimental and scientific enquiry, investigative life processes and living things.
Sand and water tray, pouring, measuring, floating, sinking, weight, freezing, absorbing etc. animals, life process and living things, study school animals, look at environmental issues, human biology, project on self, plant life, cooking, magnets, prisms, energy, mirrors, kits for electrical experiments. 'Whole class teaching' to introduce or reinforce a concept.
Design and Technology
Construction kits, junk modelling, woodwork, sewing, outside play, junk modelling, designing and producing with the help of a teacher, in groups or alone.
Computers, office equipment, word processor, type writer, household appliances (videos, CDs), cameras, tapes. Children should gain knowledge of and have experience in using equipment.
Art and Craft
As many different arts and crafts as possible, using a variety of materials, explore different art forms, children can cut and dye their own designs, still-life drawings, clay and papier machè modelling. Art materials available in the environment for free artistic expression.
Project work i.e. dinosaurs, drama-dressing up etc. music, books, old objects brought into school for discussion, field trips, videos.
Environment, immediate surroundings, simple map and compass work, contrast between town- village etc. Other countries- clothes, food etc. study children's atlas and work books, environmental studies. Including how we can look after our planet.
Organised games and sports, gymnastics. Outside activities including climbing, dancing and moving to music.
Plays- make own costumes, make-up- children can video their plays and add sound effects and music, role-playing, making up stories alone or in a group. Acting out different emotions.
Music and music theory are an important part of the school curriculum, singing, music, dance, music and movement along with the art and craft we do is the heart of our philosophy, a lot of what we teach and how we teach is through music and art. Song, music, rhythm and rhyme form an integral part of the curriculum and philosophy of the school.
Celebrating different festivals such as the Chinese New Year, examining other cultures- music, food history etc. The children are introduced to many different cultures to help them become aware that we are all different and yet the same, that there are many different beliefs and ways of living and that we do not all look the same, and that these differences should be respected.
Sewing and cooking classes are held once a week for all the children and are in small groups.
We change the topics regularly and we use the topic to cover all the areas of the curriculum. The children learn by using a mixture of whole class teaching (where the teacher addresses all the children together), active learning (where they explore and discover for themselves), cross-curricular topics and themes, one to one teaching and small group work. They also use the High Scope method of planning their activities at the beginning of each session, and a feedback discussion at the end of the session.