Our Early Years Programme offers a rich, challenging and stimulating curriculum designed to generate an enthusiasm for learning and value it as a life-long process.
International School of Milan endeavours to ensure the development of a strong foundation of skills, knowledge and understanding while meeting the needs of the individual child.
The Early Years Programme is founded on the belief that all children are naturally curious and disposed to learning. They are creative, imaginative, energetic and resourceful. The focus of the curriculum aims to capitalise on these natural dispositions by providing meaningful, authentic activities in which children can become absorbed, committed and successful.
Our youngest children are a fundamental part of our community and make a significant contribution to the educational experience of our schools. The identity of our Early Years Department is constructed around the three pillars of children, parents and teachers. We consider the child to be a bearer of rights who is a protagonist of their own learning experience and who must be supported by the teaching staff to fulfil their potential for this important stage in their life while also preparing them for the challenges of the three programmes of the International Baccalaureate and beyond. As an international school our ethos is one of tolerance, respect and international mindedness and we believe that diversity enriches our community.
Children learn by building relationships with their surrounding environment and our classrooms and outdoor spaces are designed to support this. The carefully planned and stimulating physical environment encourages both autonomy and collaboration between children. Children are given time and space to explore natural and open-ended materials that are carefully chosen by the teachers to support the development of transdisciplinary inquiry based projects.
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As an integral part of the IB Primary Years Programme our Early Years curriculum takes a transdisciplinary approach to learning and is inspired by the philosophy and practice of the world renowned Reggio Approach to Early Years Education. Within a carefully planned curriculum, children are given the time to explore concepts and construct theories together with teachers in a small group context.
Children are encouraged to:
- Explore and elaborate their understanding through all their expressive, creative verbal and mathematical languages.
- Construct understanding by making connections between mathematics, logic, science, digital technology, and the expressive arts.
- Construct relationships within a full immersion English Language context that gives value to each child’s own unique cultural identity.
Literacy and numeracy form an important part of the Early Years curriculum and children are exposed to the written word and number in many different ways within a stimulating text rich environment. Children are encouraged to explore literacy and numeracy skills through different imaginative and symbolic play contexts and through dedicated writing areas and activities in each classroom. As children progress through the Early Years setting teachers support and develop these skills through direct teaching in small groups to ensure acquisition of the literacy and numeracy skills required for the Elementary School.
The flexibility in thinking involved encourages not only the development of proficient language skills but also the creative and lateral thinking skills necessary for success in the 21st century.
Children are exposed to the English language in its written form throughout the Early Years setting within imaginative and symbolic play contexts and teacher led activities. As the child progresses through the Early Years setting this is supported and developed directly by the teacher to ensure the gradual acquisition of literacy skills needed as they move onto primary school.