Developing young learners’ language skill is a principal objective in mainstream early years schooling. Much emphasis, by both the parent and the teacher, is put upon the development of language or English in our case. From the child’s perspective language is only part of a whole sensory world that they are experiencing and it will be experienced at their own pace. With this in mind we provide bountiful opportunities through song, music, stories, conversation, play, role pay and much more where language can develop naturally. Initially the sounds of the alphabet are taught through phonics. This is done primarily through songs, and chanting sounds together. Next children are introduced to the written letter and they practice associating the sound to the written image. This is all done in preparation for learning to read whereby once they can associate the sound to the letter they can phonetically spell out a word. This phonic learning process runs parallel to the skill of learning to write. Learning how to navigate a pencil and write a grammatically correct sentence is a learning objective we strive for, however, it is an objective that requires practice and consistency. Our English program is both creative, fun and imaginative with plenty of input from the children with regard to what they would like to learn about. We have a very well stocked library of books and strongly encourage our children to enjoy the joy of reading by having private book time every day. Ipads and tablets are not permitted in the school for the children.
Science is a great subject area for young learners as it opens up a world of possibilities for discovery. From making gloop with cornflour for the younger years to exploding volcanoes with our older children we love to engage in sensory experiments where getting messy is all part of the fun. Scientific learning begins as soon as your child begins to mix water and sand. With consistent practice your child learns that by mixing 2 materials a 3rd is made. This hands on repetitive based play is the beginning of your child’s scientific life and we ensure there are plenty of opportunities to learn much more through doing. This is best displayed through our organic permaculture project that our children were heavily involved with the implementation of, and subsequent children are now maintaining. We are currently growing: bananas, mango, winged beans, loofah, chili, lemongrass, aloe vera, tomatoes, Malabar spinach, mulberries, anshan, papaya and dill. The children are encouraged to plant, water, weed and care for our garden and they are always thrilled to taste the result. The use of clay has been an invaluable accessory in our sensory teaching as it is so malleable and effective. Check out our video on the making of our bird house or Daisy our resident dinosaur as it shows you how children love to interact with these natural materials. By observing and interacting with the natural environment around them young children are able to internalize these experiences and attribute meaning and value.
Our science learning includes: mixing colours to make other colours, the use of glue, what are scissors?, making gloop, slime, play dough, growing a plant, things that sink or float, the 5 senses, our body, why the sky is blue, what is a cloud?, when does the sun come out, light and dark, life cycles and much more.
Early childhood is the most rapid period of physical development in a human’s life. Watching the growth of a young child’s physical abilities is a truly amazing experience. A child must navigate through an extensive list of physical abilities in order to function in our world. learning to see and recognize others, rolling over, holding a bottle or cup, crawling around objects and more. These are all complex physical tasks that require strength, coordination and perception. There are numerous academic tables available depicting expected physical ability by a pre determined age, however, in the real world of ABC Nursery with its melting pot of nationalities, cultures and languages physical ability comes at many differing paces. Our approach to this is to ensure that we encourage independence, practice, consistency and support.
There are large (gross) and small (fine) motor skills that need to be developed during the pre school years and it’s quite a steep learning curve. This ranges from walking, hopping, jumping, dancing, running, kicking, stretching, breathing, throwing and climbing to combing hair, putting shoes on, taking clothes on and off, using scissors, handling cutlery, painting, writing, threading and cooking. At ABC we practice all of the above on a weekly basis through scheduled classes of yoga, meditation, breathing, dance, music, football, art, writing, sports and general day to day functioning.