Kindergarten

About Kindergarten

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We offer two three-hour weekday sessions.  Currently, session one begins at 8:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and session two begins at 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  We also offer awhole-day session weekdays from 8:45 am. to 1:30 p.m. for K2 children.

Our Mission Statement:

To provide an environment where childrens’ natural love for life and learning are encouraged, nurtured and intrinsically instilled, so that our students will become lifelong learners. We strive to create a strong sense of community and to provide a caring, respectful environment, with high teacher-to-student ratio.

We achieve this by:

  • Recognising that everyone is a learner and that learning is continuous
  • Understanding that young children learn best through hands on inquiry and play
  • Understanding that small class sizes make a big difference
  • Working and playing collaboratively, supporting each other
  • Communicating effectively in a variety of ways and in more than one language
  • Respecting an valuing our own and other people’s cultures
  • Appreciating that we are all different and that we learn in different ways
  • Striving for excellence in learning
  • Being active learners who are curious about the world around us
  • Encouraging reflection and talking about our experiences, learning from them
  • Sharing responsibility for ourselves and others
  • Believing that our actions can make a difference

 

Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

Our International Stream Kindergarten Curriculum is developed in accordance with the learning areas specified in the UK National Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum, adapted to meet the needs of our unique bilingual school. In our international stream, Mandarin is taught every day as an additional language, by a specialist teacher, who is trained in teaching languages to children who are non-native speakers.

Our EYFS curriculum ensures:

  • children learn through ‘hands on’ activities, play and active inquiry whenever possible
  • teachers work closely with parents
  • your child’s progress is monitored and regularly assessed
  • the welfare, learning and all-round development of each child
  • teachers focus on stages of development rather than chronological, age-based teaching and learning
  • teachers focus on the development of the ‘whole child’

PRINCIPLES

The EYFS principles are grouped into 4 themes:

1.     A unique child

Principle – Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

2.     Positive Relationships

Principle – Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.

3.     Enabling Environments

Principle – The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.

4.     Learning and Development

Principle – Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.

AREAS OF LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT

The EYFS is made up of six areas of learning and development:

1.     Personal, Social and Emotional development (PSED)

2.     Communication, Language and Literacy (CLL)

3.     Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy (PSRN)

4.     Knowledge and Understanding of the World (KUW)

5.     Physical development (PD)

6.     Creative development (CD)

At OWLS, we consider personal, social and emotional education to be equally as important as academic education.

We believe our children should have opportunities to learn about themselves as developing individuals and as members of their communities, building on their own experiences and on the early learning goals for personal, social and emotional development. At OWLS, children learn the basic rules and skills for keeping themselves healthy and safe and for behaving well. They have opportunities to show they can take some responsibility for themselves and their environment. They also begin to learn about their own and other people’s feelings and become aware of the views, needs and rights of other children and older people. As members of a class and our school community, they learn social skills such as how to share, take turns, play, help others, resolve simple arguments and resist bullying. We encourage children to take an active part our school life and neighbourhood.

We provide the children with experiences and support which will help them to develop a positive sense of themselves and of others encouraging respect for others, social skills, and a positive disposition to learn. As teachers, we will provide support for the children’s well being to help them to know themselves and what they can do.

PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL EDUCATION

KEY Knowledge, skills and understanding:

  • Developing confidence and responsibility and making the most of their abilities
  • Preparing to play an active role as citizens
  • Developing a healthy, safer lifestyle
  • Developing good relationships and respecting the differences between people

We strongly believe in the development of the ‘whole child’ and activities are planned to develop the following: 

Positive Dispositions and Attitudes – is about how children become interested, excited and motivated about their learning.

Self-confidence and Self-esteem – is about children having a sense of their own value and understanding the need for sensitivity to significant events in their own and other people’s lives.

Making Relationships – is about the importance of children forming good relationships with others and working alongside others companionably.

Behaviour and Self-control – is about how children develop a growing understanding of what is right and wrong and why, together with learning about the impact of their words and actions on themselves and others.

Self-care – is about how children gain a sense of self-respect and concern for their own personal hygiene and care and how they develop independence.

Sense of Community – is about how children understand and respect their own needs, views, cultures and beliefs and those of other people. At OWLS, we are a multi denomination school and as such children have the opportunity to learn about different cultures and beliefs of people from our community and from around the world. We are sensitive to the fact that some families have a strong faith in a particular religion, so should you prefer your child to ‘opt’ out of activities where children learn about different world religions, please let us know.

Communication, Language and Literacy is made up of the following aspects:

Language for Communication – is about how children become communicators. Learning to listen and speak emerges out of non-verbal communication, which includes facial expression, eye contact, and hand gesture. These skills develop as children are encouraged to interact with others, listen to and use language, extend their vocabulary and experience stories, songs, poems and rhymes.

Language for Thinking – is about how children learn to use language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences and how they use talk to clarify their thinking and ideas or to refer to events they have observed or are curious about.

Linking Sounds and Letters – is about how children develop the ability to distinguish between sounds and become familiar with rhyme, rhythm and alliteration. They develop understanding of the correspondence between spoken and written sounds. At OWLS, we use “Jolly Phonics” as our core phonics scheme, with children learningto link sounds and letters in K1, developing their knowledge to read and write simple words by sounding out and blending.

Reading – is about children understanding and enjoying stories, books and rhymes, recognising that print carries meaning, both fiction and fact, and reading a range of familiarwords and simple sentences.

Writing – is about how children build an understanding of the relationship between the spoken and written word and how through making marks, drawing and personal writing children ascribe meaning to text and attempt to write for various purposes.

Handwriting – is about the ways in which children’s random marks, lines and drawings develop and form the basis of recognisable letters.

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy is made up of the following aspects:

Numbers as Labels and for Counting – is about how children gradually know and use numbers and counting in play, and eventually recognise and use numbers reliably, to develop mathematical ideas and to solve problems.

Calculating – is about how children develop an awareness of the relationship between numbers and amounts and know that numbers can be combined to be ‘added together’ and can be separated by ‘taking away’ and that two or more amounts can be compared.

Shape, Space and Measures – is about how through talking about shapes and quantities, and developing appropriate vocabulary, children use their knowledge to develop ideas and to solve mathematical problems.

CHINESE – Cantonese/Mandarin

We consider it extremely important that our children learn to speak Chinese. In order to engage our youngest students, Chinese is taught through a whole range of learning activities, including play, investigation, craft and topics.  Children begin to learn to recognise some simple characters in our kindergarten classes and this is built upon in Primary 1, when children begin learn to read and write Chinese characters.

Children in our kindergarten can choose between Mandarin or Cantonese. Chinese is taught every day as an additional language, through separate themes. Our language teachers have specialist training in second language teaching.

Our school library is well equipped with engaging Chinese picture books, which children have the opportunity to read and look at during the school week.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World is made up of the following aspects:

Exploration and Investigation – is about how children investigate objects and materials and their properties, learn about change and patterns, similarities and differences, and question how and why things work.

Designing and Making – is about the ways in which children learn about the construction process and the tools and techniques that can be used to assemble materials creatively and safely.

ICT – is about how children find out about and learn how to use appropriate information technology, such as computers and programmable toys that support their learning.

Time – is about how children find out about past and present events relevant to their own lives or those of their families.

Place – is about how children become aware of and interested in the natural world, and find out about their local area, knowing what they like and dislike about it.

Communities – is about how children begin to know about their own and other people’s cultures in order to understand and celebrate the similarities and differences between them in a diverse society.

Physical Development is made up of the following aspects:

Movement and Space – is about how children learn to move with confidence, imagination and safety, with an awareness of space, themselves and others.

Health and Bodily Awareness –  is about how children learn the importance of keeping healthy and the factors that contribute to maintaining their health.

Using Equipment and Materials – is about the ways in which children use a range of small and large equipment.

Creative Development is made up of the following aspects:

Being Creative – Responding to Experiences, Expressing and Communicating Ideas – is about how children respond in a variety of ways to what they see, hear, smell, touch or feel and how, as a result of these encounters, they express and communicate their own ideas, thoughts and feelings.

Exploring Media and Materials – is about children’s independent and guided exploration of and engagement with a widening range of media and materials, finding out about, thinking about and working with colour, texture, shape, space and form in two and three dimensions.

Creating Music and Dance – is about children’s independent and guided explorations of sound, movement and music. Focusing on how sounds can be made and changed and how sounds can be recognized and repeated from a pattern, it includes ways of exploring movement, matching movements to music and singing simple songs from memory.

Developing Imagination and Imaginative Play – is about how children are supported to develop and build their imaginations through stories, role-plays, imaginative play, dance, music, design, and art.

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