Specialist Teaching in The Early Years
Taught in small class sizes, by teachers and specialists with a careful balance of teacher-led and child-initiated activities, learning in the Early Years starts to take shape, laying the foundations for the educational journey ahead.
Reading is taught daily through phonics, and writing skills are developed through a range of media appropriate to each child's development. As children gain confidence and master the building blocks of English, this feeds imagination and opportunity in all other areas of learning and discovery including the specialisms of modern language, physical education and swimming, Mathematical concepts are taught through meaningful, practical experiences and are consolidated across the curriculum. Each classroom is equipped with an interactive screen and a range of technology to introduce early digital competency.
With the academic foundations of the English National Curriculum, and ignited by the power of the inquiry-based philosophy of the International Baccalaureate, children learn to be active participants in their education, linking ideas and solving problems as they learn, a solid foundation for critical thinking and meaningful learning in the years to come. They master strong social skills, communicating effectively with both their peers and the adults around them, building warm working relationships and friendships as they go.
Fundamental to thinking, communicating and self-expression, language permeates all aspects of education. We firmly believe that the opportunity to learn more than one language can enhance cognitive development, at the same time encouraging a global focus and fostering international-mindedness.
All students at The British International School of New York experience an enriched language programme in which English is the medium of instruction. French or Spanish is offered as an additional language from the age of three, and 'Native' French or Spanish is also available for any students that have already acquired some competency in the language.
The 'little and often' approach to language learning is especially effective in the Early Years. Frequent dialogue and exposure to vocabulary and syntax promotes seamless consolidation and recall. The use of music and movement to engage and connect students with their second language is extremely powerful, as does connecting the learning objectives in the language with the current unit of study. This approach facilitates a cultural insight and appreciation of the country where the language is spoken, deepening connections and engagement with language itself.
In conjunction with French or Spanish, Latin is also introduced to students in the Middle Years a study that allows a deeper exploration of language and its roots, and an appreciation of the evolution of language.
A variety of additional languages, including Mandarin and Italian are available as after-school options to all students.
At The British International School of New York we recognize the importance of regular Physical Education for all our students, and the specific requirements for those children just starting out in this arena in the Early Years.
Our qualified specialist teachers work with our children to extend natural talent, encourage participation and support progress and growth. In addition to the introduction of key skills and concepts, the structures of team games and the joy that comes from participation in PE, Games and Swimming at all levels are embedded from the earliest stage.
We are particularly proud of our swimming program, a key part of the P.E. curriculum and a cornerstone for young children as they master water safety and confidence in swimming at our on-site and beautifully maintained swimming pool, taught in a supportive and safe environment.
Music transcends all areas of learning for our youngest students bringing new words, ideas and concepts to life. At The British International School of New York we engage a "sound before sight" approach to music education, very similar to learning any spoken language. Within this we use a variety of English and American folk songs, nursery rhymes, song tales, fingerplays, and dances to immerse students in music and help appeal to their natural curiosity and inquisitiveness.
Students first learn basic music skill such as singing in tune and keeping a steady beat before progressing onto to introduce standard music notation symbols to represent music. Movement is a key component of the exploration and discovery of music; many activities will involve creative movement responses to music to help build students' bodily kinesthetic awareness while understanding large scale music concepts such as tempo, dynamics (loud and soft), singing VS speaking voice.
Through music our students are able to access new vocabulary, tap in to new emotions, enjoy the freedom of music through movement and adventure to new cultures.
A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Starting from the Early Years, Art is a fundamental tool of expression and communication for children in the early years and is incorporated widely into children's learning. As well as supporting the unit of enquiry, specific skills in art are explored with the children as well as an introduction to color, shape and form.
From September 2016, instead of visiting the Art Studio for their lessons, children in the Early Years will have their own purpose-built Art and Imagination Center as part of the ground floor.