Our International Nursery School and Kindergarten Curriculum – The Early Years
The Early Years Foundation Stage at Ascot International School
At Ascot we use the EYFS of England and Wales as our guiding curriculum.
Children start school at 2.5 years when they enter our Nursery classes. At 3.5 they move up to KG, and at 4.5 they complete their Foundation Stage year in Reception. Over the course of 3 years, your child will grow and progress in a nurturing and stimulating environment that will equip them with all the necessary skills needed for lifelong learning, and for their transition into Key Stage 1.
The Early Years Foundation Stage is a comprehensive curriculum that focuses on the development of the whole child. The EYFS is split into 7 areas. Each area is vital in promoting development, independent learning skills, and supporting children through natural stages of child development. Each area supports learning in other areas, for example, a child that can share toys and resources (Personal, Social and Emotional Development) can learn to work cooperatively on art projects with other children (Expressive Arts and Design).
Below are the Early Years Foundation Stage seven areas of learning that we plan for.
At Ascot, we plan for each area over a two week cycle. We spend a full day on each area of learning so that children can really explore key ideas and develop key skills. We also allow for Child-Initiated days within our 2 week cycle. These are days entirely dedicated to what children want to learn and developing ideas they have come up with in response to our topics and themes. Child-Initiated learning is also woven into our overall planning as we take into account children’s interests and ideas when planning for the next day or next 2 week theme.
Outdoor Learning at Ascot enables children to learn in an environment that provides fresh air, space, and a chance to learn within natural surroundings. Our children enjoy the larger play opportunities that take place outside and the increase in space means they can move more freely. Children respond very well to the increase in oxygen and the sensory experiences that being outside offer.
Our Outdoor Learning set-up further encourages independent skills, social bonds, language, and creative thinking. Children carry these skills back into the classroom and the
English as an Additional Language
At Ascot Early Years we promote a language-rich environment. Staff speak to children in English with Thai translation for children that are at an early stage of language acquisition. Once children have mastered skills in English language communication we encourage them to communicate their thoughts and ideas where possible in English. Our teachers use specific teaching strategies that support children in their acquisition of language, for example, by using props to support stories, or by repeating language attached to routines (Good morning Pim, how are you? Good Morning Mew, how are you?).
At Ascot we value other languages and cultures and this will be reflected in displays, in celebration days, and during special events that we hold.
At Ascot we firmly believe that strong partnerships between home and school are crucial in your child’s well-being and development. We encourage an open door policy whereby parents can come and talk to us about any issue regarding their child’s welfare and learning.
Throughout the academic year parents will be invited to presentations and workshops. These are designed to keep parents informed and to support parents with home learning. We also invite parents to celebration days and to activity days. We very much want parents to be part of our department, and to have more than just a snap-shot of what their little ones do at school.
Our Nursery classes are light, homely and equipped with resources that are appropriate for inquisitive and mobile children. Learning resources are at child-height and children are fully encouraged to gather their own equipment as they move freely around the room. Our staff encourage independence from the word go and children are encouraged to manage feeding, dressing, and tidying up by themselves. We understand that some children will need support to become more independent, and our staff are very experienced in dealing with this transition. Children in Nursery very quickly develop skills in managing their own needs and they take immense pride in their newly found skills.
Our Nursery children take daily naps in order to rest their bodies and re-charge ready for the afternoon session. They also have regular snacks, milk, and are supported in toilet training. Our lunch menu provides a variety of food items that are balanced and tasty. Our Nursery children quickly learn to feed themselves and they are always hungry after a busy morning in class!
Nursery children have regular access throughout the day to our beautiful soft play room. Here they can burn off excess energy, build social bonds, learn how to cooperate with peers, and just have lots of fun!
By the time children reach Kindergarten they are incredibly independent and have developed a greater understanding of ‘self.’ Children really begin to develop their own interests and preferences and the KG staff plan an exciting learning program that helps children to further develop these. Children have access to a wide range of learning materials that supports their independent learning, interests, and stage of development. Their independent skills are fully encouraged in every aspect of school life and at this age children usually attend to their own hygiene needs. Kindergarten children have a daily nap to help them re charge their batteries for a busy afternoon session.
In Kindergarten, children are introduced to our phonics program where they learn single letter sounds. They also have numerous opportunities to develop early reading and writing skills which prepare them for their move in Reception.
By the time children reach Reception they have developed a multitude of independent skills, both in their learning and in self-care. The children continue to learn in a child-centered and child-initiated environment where their interests and needs are catered for. Children have access to learning materials that are age appropriate, challenging, and that enable them to really develop their own ideas and make connections across all of their learning.
In Reception children build on the phonics skills they gained in KG. We systematically teach phonics alongside writing, Guided Reading, and individual reading. Children quickly build early reading and writing skills, which enable them to access a wider range of learning experiences.
All through Early Years we encourage children to think critically, to take risks, and to challenge themselves within their learning. By the time your child reaches Reception age they will be brave, fearless learners, ready to take on any challenge!
The table below outlines the specialist lessons that children receive every week. Our specialist teachers are all experienced in their field and many have been with us for a number of years.
At Ascot we have a swimming program that begins as soon as children enter Nursery. Children from Nursery and Kindergarten swim once a week in our purpose built Early Years pool. They are accompanied by their class teacher, teaching assistant, and nanny.
When children reach Reception they move to the larger pool and are taught swimming skills by Mr. John and Mr. Francis. Children quickly learn to become confident in the water and by the end of Reception many of our children are well on their way to becoming proficient swimmers.
Transition to Key Stage 1
After 3 years in Early Years your child will make the move into Key Stage One. Children leave us confident, happy, and independent. We pride ourselves on preparing children for change and the new demands of the Key Stage One curriculum. Change can be daunting to some children, but we feel that Ascot pupils are fully prepared for the transition and are equipped with the necessary skills needed to fit into new routines. Our Year 1 pupils settle quickly and soon realize that Key Stage One is just as much fun as Early Years!
We would love to hear from anyone who is interested in enrolling their child, or would like to come and visit us from another Early Years department. Our door is always open and we would be happy to make time for you.