￼Creating strong foundations in the early years of a child’s education has a big impact on their future learning journey. At the Australian International School (AIS), students as young as 18 months embark on their first school experience. And whether they remain at AIS until graduation, or they transition to another country, the things they have learned, the friends they have made and the interests they have discovered will go on to shape their future. Here, the Early Years team at AIS explains more about the new Early Learning Village.
What principles does AIS instil in students in the early years to set children up for success in the rest of their education?
We’re committed to developing active, compassionate, lifelong learners; every child has a very individual learning journey. Our vision for children’s learning is aligned with the Early Years Learning Framework that is characterised by three main concepts: belonging, being and becoming. Children need to have a sense of “belonging” to develop interdependence and relationships with others, “being” is recognising and valuing the “here and now” in children’s lives and viewing childhood as more than preparation for adulthood, while “becoming” is acknowledging in the fast-paced and significant development and learning that occurs in the early years, along with identifying the unique potential of each child.
From the age of three years, students begin to develop the attributes of the International Baccalaureate learner profile; they start to become inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective. Children see these attributes modelled by their teachers, peers and older students within the school community.
Why are quality teachers so important in the early years?
Teachers of young children are responsible for creating rich and varied learning engagements and environments that provoke curiosity and inspire inquiry while continually building on the children’s understanding of the world. They allow children to develop at their own developmental rate and help them to take responsibility for their learning. Early Years teachers at AIS do this with a genuine care and respect for each child as an individual and through developing programmes so that children have a strong sense of identity, are connected with and contribute to the world, have a strong sense of wellbeing, are confident and involved learners, and are effective communicators.
Why are language, music and movements important in the early years?
In order for children to learn, they need to move and explore their environment. For young children, nearly all play is a combination of moving and learning. The necessary foundations for learning are underpinned by movement; children need many opportunities to translate their physical and sensory discoveries into higher order thinking, reasoning and creativity, through language.
Language is not just the spoken or written word but is all forms of how we express ourselves, including talking, singing, expressions, gestures, movements, touch, dance, beat, rhythm, melody, harmony and art. Our physical experiences combined with the opportunities to use language to express ourselves are what brings conceptual understanding.
At AIS, we understand the important role that music plays in early childhood development. We believe that exposure to music fosters speech development, listening skills, mathematical thinking (patterning and sequencing, and memory), to name just a few of the essential early learning skills.
The new Early Learning Village opens in July.
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Australian International School
1 Lorong Chuan