Our philosophy at The Apple Tree International Kindergarten is based on a carefully constructed combination of the EYFS and the Reggio approach. This means that through observation, inquiry, exploration and first-hand experience, children discover the joy of acquiring knowledge and new skills. In this carefully, skilled approach, each child benefits from personalised learning experiences to ignite their interest and to encourage development at their own unique pace.
For us means using the ‘environment as the third teacher’, acknowledging that children express themselves in a myriad of ways, ‘The Hundred languages of children’ and keeping relationships at the forefront of our decision making.
‘It takes a village to raise a child.’
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Our curriculum draws upon the UK Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. The framework is based upon four distinct but complementary principles, which shapes and underpins our practice and philosophy at The Apple Tree International Kindergarten:
- A Unique Child – We recognise that every child is a competent learner from birth, who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Positive Relationships – Built on the foundations of how children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.
- Enabling Environment – Environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
- Learning and Development – We acknowledge that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates, and that all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.
The EYFS framework is organised into seven important and inter-connected areas of learning and development.
We refer to the milestones in these areas continually, through a carefully planned balance of child and adult directed initiated play opportunities as well as engaging continuous learning provisions both indoors and outdoors.
In our Toddler and Nursery classes, we strongly focus upon the three prime areas of learning:
The Three PRIME Areas of Learning:
- Communication and language involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment, allowing them to speak and listen in a range of situations.
- Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; developing their co-ordination, control and movement.
- Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
As children grow in confidence and ability within the three prime areas, the balance will slowly shift towards a more equal focus on all seven areas of learning.
The Four SPECIFIC Areas of Learning:
- Literacy involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write.
- Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems, describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
- Understanding of the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
- Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
Within each area of learning, there are age-appropriate expectations of the knowledge, skills and understanding that all children will work towards achieving by the end of their learning journey at The Apple Tree International Kindergarten, known as the Early Learning Goals (ELGs). This ensures they are prepared for primary school with strong foundational skills both academically and emotionally.
Learning Through Play
Play teaches children life skills, enriches their development and helps them to make sense of the world around them. Learning through play in our school can include:
- Sand and water play
- Mud play
- Outdoor play
- Role play
- Music and songs
- Sensory play
- Art and much more.
All of these activities enable children to develop their physical, social, emotional, cognitive, creative, communication and language skills. Children are guided by our teachers and support staff to enable opportunities for learning through play. Our teachers encourage development such as helping children to express themselves, to problem solve, to negotiate and acquire important social skills such as taking turns and making friends.
‘Play is the highest form of research.’ Albert Einstein
Extra Curricular Activities (ECA’s)
At The Apple Tree International Kindergarten, we offer a rich variety of co-curricular activities to complement the overall development of your child while making school life an enjoyable experience.
Note: Each ECA class will operate upon demand with a minimum of 6 students required to enrol. Our school will inform parents of the ECA running and fees in accordance with the above.