WHAT MAKES THE EARLY YEARS PROGRAM
AT ISR SPECIAL?
In preschool, we have mixed age groups. ISR decided on this approach after researching a wealth of materials in order to find out what is the most age-appropriate model for young children. Mixed age groups in Early Years classrooms resemble family, they allow children to develop socially, emotionally, and academically in a harmonious way, children become more independent, and they learn to support each other rather than becoming fully dependent on their teacher as the only source of knowledge and help. This also means that each preschool class, depending on the student’s age, is a two or three-year programme with older children in the group moving up to the next grade while the younger ones enjoy being part of the same group for another year.
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.