Early Years Program
The Early Years Learner
Learning in the Early Years (Nursery through Kinder) is inquiry and play-based because children are natural inquirers and play creates a non-threatening environment to learn at their own pace. Additionally, per Reggio Emilia, learning spaces are the third teacher. Therefore, the PYP has given Early Years 4 central features where teachers support learning by:
planning time for uninterrupted play
building strong relationships with students and their families
creating and maintaining responsive spaces for play
offering many opportunities for symbolic exploration and expression
(IBO.The Early Learner)
The school involves research, curiosity; each child looks for the topic that interests them, to explore it on his own; wanting to go beyond.
Early Years Parent
As mentioned in the Early Years section, play is an essential element of learning in the Early Years, together with inquiry, concept-based and transdisciplinary learning. Play provides benefits for cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development for students from all backgrounds. It offers authentic opportunities for exploration and development of the attributes and ATL skills. (IBO. Learning in the early years)
At the American School of Quito, teachers plan learning experiences and spaces that allow students to learn through play. These experiences and spaces also seek to foster language development in students (when collaborating and in role-play). Through indoors and outdoors carefully planned playful learning activities, teachers can observe and document student learning and development.
Multi-Age PYP Program International Section
Our Multi-Age Program transforms a child’s learning experience. Grounded in sound pedagogy, it brings three and four-year-olds together, in one classroom, while offering a more personalized and transformative learning experience.
In our program, we offer a caring environment with the many known benefits to the multi-age classroom, where the teachers put learning at the center, both socially, emotionally, and academically. The older students in the class help teach the younger students by modeling more sophisticated, complex problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
Even being so young, my daughter comes home, she tells me about everything, she communicates all that she has learned, she is happy when she goes to school; she says: 'I love my school'.
Early Years Parent
Language Acquisition and the Literacy Process during the Early Years
At the American School of Quito, we follow a cognitive-linguistic sequence for literacy development; based on the research of Stanislas Dehaene and other Science of Reading advocates. The sequence follows the same order in both for English and Spanish. However, as language development is the cornerstone for this process, there will be variations among grade levels and sections, depending on the student's mother tongue and Section (National or International). Language development (Spanish and English) is the main focus during Early Years. For the majority of students (depending on their home and family languages), the literacy process starts in Spanish -normally by the end of Pre-Kinder- once students have a strong grasp of the language. Formal literacy instruction begins in 1st grade, in English and Spanish.