WHAT MAKES THE EARLY YEARS PROGRAM
AT ISR SPECIAL?
At ISR, students from age 2 to 5 share a classroom. Research confirms that the main benefit of mixed-age groups is that it accurately resembles real-life. The oldest students tend to learn and are inspired by their teachers, while the younger students learn from their peers. Children collaboratively work towards acquiring various abilities. While it is easy to see the benefits for younger students in the group, mixed-age groups are especially beneficial for the oldest students as they develop their confidence and self-esteem. While interacting with younger students, they reinforce mastery of their skills, formulate their understandings, and become more confident of their knowledge.
In Early Years, we strive to create a welcoming, home-like environment, which simultaneously fosters learning in sometimes unconventional ways.
Instead of bright plastic mass produced toys, children use “loose parts’’- materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. Thus we ensure that children are the ones who use their creativity and thinking skills to decide what the materials are going to represent – as opposed to the manufacturers.
Young children learn through their senses. Therefore, we strive to keep our classrooms as natural as possible. In this overstimulated world, natural materials tend to have a calming effect, which is especially important for young children who are leaving their familiar environment for the first time.
In the forest, the learning potential is limitless and this natural environment complements that of a school. Therefore, frequent trips to the forest are organized throughout the year for our older EY students. Research shows that children are stimulated by the outdoors and typically experience, over time, an increase in their self belief, confidence, learning capacity, enthusiasm, communication and problem-solving skills and emotional well-being.