Early Childhood Education (EC 3 – EC 4 – EC 5)
The Early Childhood Program
Smart City International School offers three levels of instruction in the Early Childhood department. EC 3, EC 4, and EC 5 provide the foundation for social and academic learning for children between the ages of three and six. Our nurturing EC staff provides an atmosphere in which life-long learners develop in a safe and secure environment. Students are encouraged to take risks and to share their ideas, cooperative activities on individual projects.
The WIS Early Childhood department is committed to providing a variety of learning opportunities and experiences that are based on the interests, strengths and needs of the children, laying the foundation for success in learning. The kindergarten years are an important time in a child's total development. Smart City International School helps the child grow and develop physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively and linguistically in order to address the full range of each child's developmental needs, the Early Childhood program provides opportunities for learning in a variety of areas.
EC 3 (Pre-Kindergarten or Nursery)
A positive first year is important to establish a life-long love of learning. The EC 3 program focuses on social, self-help, language, ne and gross motor skills. Children are introduced to academic skills such as Pre-reading instruction and Pre-math skills.
EC 4 (Kindergarten 1)
In EC 4, children are exposed to math and reading readiness activities building on the skills they learned in EC 3. EC 4 uses a child-friendly phonics and literacy program. Science and social studies skills are introduced at this level and integrated into Language Art classes.
EC 5 (Kindergarten 2)
In EC 5, children continue to build their reading, writing and math skills in a more structured way in preparation for grade 1, as well as Science and Social Studies. Children are encouraged to be self-reliant and more independent in the classroom.
While specific activities may vary from level to level and classroom to classroom, the following are activities that all children participate in during the school day.
Each morning begins with attendance and circle time introducing students to the concepts of time, seasons and weather as the main objectives. Teachers review letters, numbers, patterns and colors using thematic units.
Stories, group discussions, games and activities using creative instruction techniques, teach important concepts related to the curriculum. Lessons are interactive and allow for maximum participation of children.
During the time they spend with their Arabic teacher, the children will be exposed to the language in a fun and creative way. They also receive Religion lessons.
Children will be exposed to the language in a fun and creative way. Language learning is more audio-visual and oral communication-based.
Structured Activity Time
Planned activities, designed to implement the curriculum, take place within the numerous learning centers where small groups of children work individually, together, or with the teacher or assistant. Children are able to make guided choices about their activities in the classroom. The teacher provides areas that focus on a particular skill that the children will need to develop successfully. This provides the children with opportunities to develop social skills, creativity, independence and oral language skills.
Time Children have snack and lunch in their dinning room. The classroom teacher and assistant remain with their students to teach important life skills that are an integral part of the curriculum. Table manners, eating politely, washing hands before and after eating, as well as tidying up after eating, are all part of the snack and lunch routines. Teachers sit with the students and discuss daily activities, encourage conversation and reinforce proper eating habits. Healthy eating is encouraged. Fizzy drinks, chips, chocolate and sweets are not allowed in the school.
Children will play outdoors at least twice each day. Teachers and assistants supervise and circulate among students during this time, ensuring safety on the playground.
Field trips are scheduled throughout the school year of each level and notification of these plans will be made to the parents by way of the weekly newsletter at least one week in advance. Children will receive a permission slip a few days before the scheduled trip. This form must be signed and returned to the teacher the next day. Children who do not have a signed permission slip are not permitted to go to the trip. Non-participation is very hard on the child, so parents are strongly urged to return all field trips forms in a timely manner.
Children will have music and art lessons, visit the library and the computer lab on a weekly basis.
Communications Between Home and School
Every month, your child's teacher will send home a newsletter informing parents of what their child has covered, and what will be going on at school and in the classroom for the following month. This newsletter will include theme topics, academic skills being taught, special projects and events and may also include a request for a form to be returned or some materials for an art or science project. Teachers may also write to inform you of a special achievement your child has made or to point out an area where your child may need improvement. There will be space provided for parents to make comments that can be returned for the teacher to read. This will enable parents to better follow their child's progress.
Early childhood children at WIS will bring home a plastic folder containing work that was completed during the week. Parents are encouraged to look over the newsletter and any other school forms or information along with your child's work. This provides an excellent opportunity for parents and their children to review and reinforce concepts and skills taught at school.
Before the academic year begins, WIS will hold an Orientation Day. In the EC department, parents will meet the Early Childhood Principal and learn about the Early Childhood program goals and objectives. They will also meet their child's teacher and see the environment where their child will spend many hours of the coming year. This is a very informative and important event. Parents are warmly invited to attend.
Three formal parent-teacher conferences are scheduled prior to the delivery of the first, second and third reports cards. The teacher will outline the child's areas of strength and weakness and other suggestions for possible courses of actions. The teacher or the parent may initiate additional meetings at other times. Parents may be called, for example, if a child displays moderate to severe behavior problems, academic difficulty, or if a change in the child's normal behavior occurs. Parents may request an additional conference by means of note or call to the Principal.
The academic year is divided into four quarters. A formal report card will be sent home at the end of each quarter. They indicate student progress in meeting curricular goals, both academically and socially. Parents must remember that each child develops at a diffierent rate and they should be encouraging and supportive as they discuss the report card with their child.
In their early years, discipline means helping children practice acceptable behavior. We believe that children learn self-discipline when they are treated with respect. We do not use the same disciplinary techniques in every situation for we recognize that each child and situation is unique.
However, all staff follows the same general disciplinary techniques stipulated in the school regulation book as follows:
* Set clear, consistent and fair guidelines for classroom behavior and remind children of the guidelines when necessary.
* Direct children to a more acceptable behavior or activity.
* Listen carefully to what children have to say about their feelings.
* Regard mistakes as opportunities for learning.
* Help children develop the skills to solve their own conflicts.
* Model appropriate and respectful treatment of people and materials.
In cases of inappropriate behavior, the staff member first tries to determine what happened , then uses professional judgment to decide how best to handle the situation. Staff members try to involve children in the resolution of their conflicts. Staff members also try to encourage the children to see each other's points of view, which is a first step in the development of empathy, an important pro-social behavior.
Discipline and showing courtesy to others is expected of the students during field trips and other school related activities.
On occasion, the teacher may need to direct a child away from a group or activity, but this redirection is not used as punishment. It is an attempt to change a situation that is leading to inappropriate behavior.
"Time-out" is used if redirecting a child's activities is not effective.
Students are bought to the EC Principal when their behavior is dangerous to themselves or others, or if all other attempts to solve the problem have failed. Parents will be notified in these cases and a parent conference may be scheduled.
At WIS, we believe a consistent and positive approach to discipline is best. Staff members do not, under any circumstances, hit, criticize, or make hurtful comments to the children. Relating positively to the students at all times is the primary goal at WIS.