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Early Years Learning Community

ISB’s Early Years program is intentionally designed to allow the children to guide the learning process. Teachers use the pedagogy of listening and the environment as the third teacher, to ensure that learning is personalized, joyful, and challenging. dr. Dustin Collins,  Es Principal

The Early Years Learning Community (EYLC) at ISB sees each individual child as competent, resilient, and capable. We know young children develop through opportunities to explore their environment and begin to develop attitudes  which will help them be successful in the future as they explore and understand the meaning of the world around them. The early years (EY) educators at ISB support our youngest learners by listening to and observing them to create intentional play experiences within the classroom and outdoor spaces. As an inquirer in the Early Years Learning Community, children gain the confidence to question, the inspiration to create, and the passion to learn and grow.

We are excited to introduce our EY2 program for two year olds, commencing August 2024, which is designed to serve our families who may need the support for their younger learners. The program follows our early years philosophy and provides a platform to welcome our youngest Dragons. You can find out more about our EY2 program through these FAQs or by contacting our Admissions team admissions@isb.cn

Early Years Program

Through the EY program, our students are given opportunities to learn through engaging and meaningful activities which make learning joyful and help them develop the skills required to become life-long learners. 

Early Years 2

(2 - 3 years)

photo of EY student investigating with a magnifying glass

Our youngest learners are curious about the world around them. They explore the environment through interactive and hands-on experiences while developing social and emotional skills which allow them to interact with others and start to form friendships.

  • 1 teacher
  • 2 teaching assistants
  • Half day or full day option available

Early Years 3

(3 - 4 years)

photo of two young students cutting cucumbers

Our EY3 students continue to explore the environment using their senses, asking questions, and growing in independence. Areas in the classroom change and develop with the students, sparking new ideas and allowing them to find their own unique way of learning.

  • 1 teacher 
  • 1 teaching assistant 
  • Full day 

Early Years 4

(4 - 5 years)

photo of young student playing with neon paint

Our EY4 students seek answers to their questions through communication and problem-solving. Activities are designed to be joyful but also to challenge their thinking and skills as they find out more about themselves and their place within the ISB community. 

  • 1 teacher 
  • 1 teaching assistant 
  • Full day 

Using our Curriculum Framework 

Our program is guided by the British Columbia (BC) Early Learning Framework and is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. Our EY teachers use on-going inquiries to offer experiences which engage our youngest learners in different encounters, expose them to different ideas and allow them to interact with different materials. Our program is designed to allow teachers to make connections across all areas of learning and to develop learning experiences which meet the needs of all our students. 

Observable Learning Outcomes

Our observable learning outcomes help our early years teachers identify student growth and development over time as students explore inside and outside the classrooms. These are a guide for our developing younger learners and are not used as standards to be achieved at a certain time.

Living Inquiries 

Living inquiries show the process of thinking and learning that happens when children, resources, and ideas connect with each other. At ISB, we believe that these processes are on-going and always changing. Students learn through inquiring into the world around them by questioning, exploring, and experimenting. 

Pathways 

Our students are guided by pathways, at times by adults and sometimes independently, which helps them engage with the living inquiries. The pathways we follow in the EYLC are:  

  • Well-being and Belonging - developing a sense of well-being and belonging supports children as they learn about and investigate the world around them. 
  • Engagement with Others, Materials, and the World - children create meaning as they interact with materials, other children and adults, the environment, the community, and the world. 
  • Communication and Literacies - children communicate ideas, participate in relationships, and make meaning in their homes and communities in many ways. 
  • Identities, Social Responsibility and Diversity - a positive personal and cultural identity is the awareness, understanding, and appreciation of all the parts that make the child who they are.  

Social and Emotional Learning in the Early Years 

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is important during the early years. The students are learning how to interact with others, care for themselves, develop perseverance, and make healthy choices. Our SEL program is explored during Morning Meetings and throughout the school day to help each child to find their place within our community.

Environment as the Third Teacher 

Our state-of-the-art EYLC is intentionally designed to allow our educators and students come together each day to explore, investigate, build relationships, and construct shared meaning about the environment and the world around them.

Freedom to Explore 

Language-rich Experiences 

Trusting Partnerships 

Integrated Arts and Movement 

Joyful Learning Community 

Individual Responsibility 

Beliefs and Values

As an early years program, we value… 

  • a safe and secure learning environment where all individuals feel respected.
  • social and emotional learning which fosters self-awareness, individual responsibility, and engagement.
  • the language spoken in each child’s home.
  • each child’s cultural background and experiences and the unique opportunities offered within the host country.
  • partnership and trusting relationships between school, home, and the broader community.
  • the use of the environment as the third teacher.
  • a joyful learning community which fosters strong friendships and fun for all.
  • the growth of each child to plan, create, and reflect.
  • documentation as an ongoing process to promote and communicate learning.

We believe that early years students learn best when they… 

  • build strong, nurturing friendships and bonds with their peers.
  • are provided language-rich experiences which develop communication skills through the arts, literacy, and movement.
  • discover their own identity within an environment of collaboration, diversity, and mutual respect.
  • collaborate, cooperate, and negotiate with all members of the learning community.
  • engage in a learning environment that is intentionally prepared to cultivate independence, social play, and curiosity about the world.
  • construct their own meaning and make connections from authentic, real-world contexts.
  • have the freedom to explore, discover, create, and engage in playful wonderings.
  • inquire alongside teachers who serve as researchers, nurturers, partners, and guides in learning.
collage of photos showing early years children
Early Years Learning Community

Children gain the inspiration to create.

collage of photos showing early years children
Early Years Learning Community

Young children develop through opportunities to explore their environments.

collage of photos showing early years children
Early Years Learning Community

Children develop the passions to learn and grow.

collage of photos showing early years children
Early Years Learning Community

Young children develop by constructing meaning of the world around them.

collage of photos showing early years children
Early Years Learning Community

We see each child as competent, resilient, and capable.

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