Curriculum and Activities
Preschool is a time of rapid growth and development. The preschool curriculum is designed to promote the physical and intellectual development of children aged 3 to 5 years old. There are certain milestones that teachers assess to track children’s progress in the following areas:
Practical life is built through activities that teach children to care for themselves and others and keep themselves safe. Practical life skills develop independence, coordination, concentration, self-control, self-awareness, and confidence.
- Self-care (e.g., food preparation)
- Care for the Environment (e.g., cleaning, sanitizing)
- Grace and courtesy (e.g., greetings, manners, social interactions)
- Movement Control.
In the kitchen area of our classroom, we have different setups that enable children to develop practical life skills. Activities include handwashing, sweeping, mopping, cleaning windows, watering plants, getting dressed, helping make breakfast and prepare vegetables, setting the table, peeling, cutting, squeezing, baking and more.
All utensils, tools, and objects are ergonomic for child use and of appropriate weight and size.
We organize activities that are visual, tactile, olfactory, gustatory and kinesthetic to help children develop socially, emotionally, cognitively and physically through the use of their senses.
Language is not an isolated topic. Our ability to communicate through language is what defines us as human beings. The quality of children’s language skills impacts every aspect of their lives as well as their academic progress across the curriculum. Spoken language is based on phonetic awareness and is the foundation for reading and writing.
At Albayan we have created a language-rich environment where children have opportunities for conversations so they can practise and develop their skills. They are introduced to new vocabulary through conversations with adults and by listening to adults read to them.
We encourage children to engage in hands-on, tactile experiences that simultaneously develop their language skills. Activities include:
- Sharing and talking about books
- Singing and reciting rhymes
- Playing with puppets and small world toys
- Role playing. They might be a teacher, a shopkeeper, a doctor etc. experimenting with language appropriate to the roles they play.
- Playing sight word card games
- Matching pairs of rhyming words
- Drawing maps and describing journeys
- Making words with magnetic letters
- Going on alphabet treasure hunts around the garden.
When planning activities, we listen to children’s interests and views. We constantly introduce new and exciting resources that stimulate curiosity and conversation.
Mathematics is a major pillar of early childhood education. It is essential to everyday life and vital for success across the curriculum particularly in science, technology, engineering and finance. Building a solid early foundation in maths is key to developing children’s passion for the subject and fundamental for future achievement.
In preschool maths is taught through hands-on, playful experiences. Here are examples of activities:
- Reading Stories and reciting rhymes that use numbers and mathematical language. For example, ‘Ten Fat Sausages’, ‘Five Little Frogs’ and ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’.
- Counting and adding scores when playing games outside.
- Painting large numbers on a fence with water.
- Rolling a large dice and finding matching numbers hidden in sand.
- Sorting different sized containers in a water tray and comparing capacity.
- Weighing and measuring when cooking or playing shops.
- Naming 3D shapes when playing with construction toys.
At Albayan maths is embedded in children’s daily life and teachers constantly look for opportunities to extend children’s learning. For example, when helping to set out cutlery for lunch a child might be asked, ‘How many more spoons do we need?’ or ‘How many forks have we got altogether?’ As they play with toy cars they might park them in numbered spaces or be encouraged to sort them by colour.
We recognise that as well as developing number skills, maths develops children’s problem-solving abilities and spatial awareness as they recognise and create patterns.
Our method is characterized by providing a prepared environment where each element exists to support the development of the child and provide opportunities to commit to and freely choose interesting work. This results in long periods of concentration and freedom. Concentration skills enable children to live in harmony with others within the small society they belong to (i.e., the classroom.)
We believe that every educator should “follow the child” recognizing the evolutionary needs and characteristics of each age and building a favorable environment, both physical and spiritual to respond to these needs.
Children develop and thrive as they adapt to their environment. Through exploration, they give meaning to the world and construct themselves in relation to the world.
Learning materials have been designed to provide a wide variety of learning experiences to meet the developmental needs of preschool children.
Programmed activities involving handling, manipulating, and working with materials that are proven to be fascinating and absorbing for young children.
When engaged in well-structure tasks, children experience a deep inner satisfaction which leaves them with an overall positive attitude towards school.
We support children to achieve the following outcomes:
- Be responsible in his/her community.
- Collaborate and connect with others.
- Concentrate (activities require repetition to gain mastery).
- Be able to sequence steps and activities.
- Have well developed fine-motors and gross motors skills.
- Be able to communicate effectively with others.
- Be willing to learn new skills.
- Be independence and self-reliant.
In summary, the purpose of our educational system is to help each child develop the habits, attitudes, skills, appreciation and ideas that are essential for a lifetime of creative learning.
The Preschool Environment
Albayan Schools’ preschool classrooms are considered to have some of the highest standards in the country. We aim to create a space in which children feel comfortable enough to try new things, test out their ideas, and carry through with whatever their imaginations can conceive.
Our classrooms continually evolve to include features that benefit the children educationally, socially, and physically. Just some of the features our classrooms enjoy are:
- Teacher desk area and board. This small area is where we keep our sign-in sheets, calendars, student directories, and binders of important information. The white board helps avoid dust and uses different markers to point at different images.
- Bulletin boards that display the students’ accomplishments, class regulations, and information.
- Student cubbies where students hang their backpacks, jackets, and take off their shoes. We also use the cubbies to distribute their communication folders and take-home papers each day.
- Snack area where students have their meals in class under the supervision of a homeroom teacher.
- Workspace and mini library where children can, with a teacher’s help, explore their interests by enjoying a wide variety of print books and audio books.
- Study tables of high quality and design in various sizes, shapes and colors that give students a comfortable place to focus and work.
- Every class is equipped with a TV, recorder, Bluetooth, and other digital equipment where necessary as students learn from what they see and hear especially through digital media.
Our playgrounds and outdoor play equipment offers children the opportunity to get fresh air, play with their friends, have fun, and exercise. We make the playground entertaining and safe for your children by checking equipment for possible hazards and following simple safety guidelines.
Here are our playground safety standards and rules:
- A homeroom teacher is present at all times in the playground to ensure safety.
- Children are taught how to play safely because if they know the rules they are less likely to get hurt.
- No pushing or roughhousing while on slides, seesaws, swings, or other equipment.
- Always check to make sure no other children are in the way before using equipment.
- Use equipment properly — slide feet-first, don't climb outside guardrails, no standing on swings, etc.
- When jumping off equipment or slides, land on both feet with knees slightly bent.
- Leave backpacks and bags away from the equipment and the play area so that no one trips over them.
- Never use playground equipment that's wet because moisture makes the surfaces slippery.
- Check playground equipment in the summertime to make sure it is not too hot for use.
- Wear clothes that don’t have drawstrings or cords. Drawstrings, cords and necklaces could get caught on equipment or accidentally hurt or strangle a child.
- The equipment present in the playground meets the standards of basic safety and is anchored to ground to avoid any sudden loosening.
- The ground is covered with green artificial turf that protects children from harming themselves.
We aim to give your child a well-rounded exposure to the world. From covering a variety of subjects in the classroom to engaging them during school trips, the Albayan early learning years are filled with tangible opportunities for knowledge and skills’ development.
From the moment your child arrives at Albayan, we strive to offer them a journey of learning, focusing on more than just academics. We aim to give them the tools that will enhance their cultural, social, humanitarian and spiritual development.