The Early Years Department at Villa Grimani International School is located in its own separate building within the school grounds.
It comprises of 3 departments:-
Pre- Nursery – children aged 1-3 years
Nursery 1 – children aged 3-4
Nursery 2 – children aged 4-5
The light and airy main room is divided into activity areas allowing the child to make smooth transitions and to be able to follow their own interests. This allows the child, free movement within a structured environment. The building also offers an art and messy area, discovery zone, book area, dining room and sleep rooms.
Use of technology – using an interactive whiteboard (LIM), to enhance the learning experience and prepare children in the use of technology.
The pre- nursery class has its own play and activity room and separate outdoor garden.
An outdoor, grassed garden for the Nursery 1 and 2 classes comprising a tricycle area, and outdoor climbing equipment completes the facilities.
All activities are undertaken in English by mother tongue teachers with a ratio of 1-10 pupils. 1-6 for pre- nursery.
The management and care of the tuition of the early years is taken very seriously. Although the curriculum is presented in the form of play and games, the techniques and methodology behind the activities are well planned, and the objectives proposed by our teachers are of the highest professionalism.
The Early years Philosophy
Early Childhood is the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives. At Villa Grimani International School we believe the early years of a child’s learning experience are crucial to his/her educational development. We aim to provide a positive, caring, enjoyable, active and stimulating environment in which children can feel secure and confident from day one. Through methods of play, exploration and experimentation we provide rich experiences which support, stimulate and structure a child’s learning and which aim to bring out a progression of understanding appropriate to the individual needs and abilities of every child. Opportunities for interaction with a wide range of physical and social contexts are available to all children in order to provide a stimulating and structured environment.
Together with parents’ support we aim to play a fundamental role in encouraging and directing the children in the development of skills, knowledge and the acquisition of new concepts, with an emphasis on the English language.
The curriculum for the Early Years classes is based on various themes, which are presented through a combination of structured and unstructured play and hands on manipulative activities. The children are introduced to English immediately to start them on their internalisation and use of everyday English in school.
The curriculum used, consists of six areas of learning and is adapted to meet the needs of the individual child. The classroom environment focuses on encouraging the children to develop confidence in acquiring new language and intellectual skills, through a variety of theme based activities, songs, stories and games.
Outlined below are the seven areas of learning which will form the basis of your child’s education:
- Personal, social and emotional development
This area focuses on children learning how to work, play, co-operate with others and function in a group beyond the family. They will be encouraged to demonstrate independence in selecting an activity and in dressing and personal hygiene.
- Communication language and literacy
This area covers important aspects of language development and provides the foundation for literacy. Your child will be helped to acquire competence in English as soon as possible. We will focus in particular on speaking and listening and in pre-reading and pre-writing activities.
- Literacy The development of literacy involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters enabling them to begin to read and write. In the Nursery 2 class children are introduced to the “Jolly Phonics” scheme where they are taught the letter sounds and begin letter formation. Children are also given a wide range of reading materials and stories and songs play a big part in igniting their interest.
- Understanding of the world
We will help your child to acquire a basic knowledge and understanding of his/her environment, other people and features of the natural and man-made world.
- Physical development
Our programme will focus on your child developing, physical control, mobility, awareness of space, teamwork, and manipulative skills in indoor and out door environments. The programme includes establishing positive attitudes towards a healthy and active way of life.
- Creative development
In this area we will focus on your child’s imagination and ability to communicate and express ideas and feelings in creative ways through art, music and dance.
- Mathematical development
Your child will be introduced to important aspects of mathematical understanding and will be provided with a foundation of numeric skills. This will be achieved through practical activities, songs and by using and understanding simple mathematical language.
PRINCIPLES WHICH ARE FUNDAMENTAL TO GOOD EARLY YEARS PRACTICE
- Early childhood is the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives; it is not just a preparation for the next stage – it is vitally important in itself.
- Children develop emotionally, intellectually, morally, physically, spiritually and socially, and at different rates. All aspects of development are equally important and are interwoven.
- Young children learn from everything that happens to them and do not separate their learning into subjects.
- Children learn most effectively by doing rather than being told.
- Children learn most effectively when they are actively involved and interested.
- Children need time and space to produce work of quality and depth.
- What children can do rather than what they cannot do are the starting points in their learning.
- Playing and talking are the main ways through which young children learn about themselves and the world around them.
- Children who feel confident in themselves and their own ability have a head –start to learning.
- Children who are encouraged to think for themselves are more likely to act independently.
- All children have abilities which should be identified and promoted.
- The relationships which children establish with adults and other children are of central importance in their development.
- Children who have clear boundaries and rules feel safe and secure in their environment.
- Children learn rules when they receive appropriate and consistent consequences to their behaviour.