Preschool (age 2-5 years)
Early Years Curriculum
At Westminster International School in Tashkent (WIST), all children have the opportunities to be the best that they can be, and enjoy learning, in a safe, caring and stimulating environment.
We have a clear vision for our children, and we aspire to supporting the children in our care to develop the following values:
- Pride in themselves, others, their school and their community
- Happy memories
- Skills for life
- Confidence and self-belief
- Good manners
- Tolerance and understanding
- A positive attitude towards learning
- Aspirations for their future
- Responsibility for their actions
- Background to and aims of this policy.
At WIST we believe that learning is a journey and as such our curriculum is designed to be broad, balanced, inspiring and purposeful.
It enables teachers to drive the highest standards from learners so that they are well prepared for the next stage in their educational journey and the future beyond.
Our curriculum is relevant to children growing up in the Uzbek community but also broadens children’s experiences to enable them to become well rounded individuals.
The curriculum is cohesive and progressive, where skills are built upon year on year; but flexible enough to ensure that it evolves to remain relevant and stimulating.
Teachers ensure pupils are inspired to have a thirst for learning; and through high levels of enjoyment, engagement and fun, children leave WIST with lifelong happy memories.
In the Early Years, we believe it is crucial to provide opportunities for the children to develop their curiosity and resilience as learners in a safe environment.
Our Early Years setting aims to be the best place to learn and achieve socially, emotionally and academically. We believe that in our Early Years setting, there is huge potential to fully engage children in their learning through quality play experiences within a stimulating environment.
Curriculum Planning and Organisation
The school adopts a topic approach to learning from the Pre-school through to Year 6 using both the International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC) and the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). Learning through play is one of the key principles of any Early Years education, and this is at the core of our approach to the IEYC curriculum. At WIST, the curriculum is delivered to the children, balancing direct teaching with scaffolded learning opportunities led by the children’s interests and needs. Weekly lesson plans will identify the intended learning (skill and/or knowledge based). They will also take into account how to engage pupils in the lesson, how pupils will be organised, how the needs of all learners will be met, and relevant success criteria.
Lessons will make good use of curriculum resources, including ICT, the school’s outdoor learning environment and local resources and expertise. Topics will be carefully planned to include and meet the needs of all learners, ensuring pupils are appropriately supported and broadened. Independent learning opportunities are planned to ensure that there are a wide variety of experiences and that appropriate resources are prepared and available for the children. At WIST we foster the belief that creativity emerges when children become absorbed in the world around them.
The Early Years practitioners help the children make connections in their learning by linking their free play to adult led activities. We provide the children with the time, support and resources to explore and develop their initiatives. Children are encouraged to be independent learners, exploring, investigating and developing their ideas.
Practitioners get to know the children extremely well and can support their learning through careful questions and by providing the appropriate resources and an enabling learning environment.
A variety of learning areas are incorporated within the setting:
Role play areas provide a variety of learning opportunities that are linked to the topic. This often allows children to extend teacher directed activities, allowing them to develop their own understanding through self-investigation. The environment and resources encourage the children to explore and be active learners.
The school does not dictate a specific lesson structure and instead allows teachers the flexibility to plan for their individual class’ needs and learning styles. Teachers will make judgements about how to group children to achieve the best learning outcome. It is expected that an effective balance is struck between meeting pupils’ individual learning needs and enabling all children to achieve the same learning intention through use of practical and supportive resources. Teachers will use a range of teaching styles and approaches to ensure learning is engaging and appropriately challenging.
At WIST each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mixture of adult led and child initiated activities. During children’s play, early years practitioners actively interact to stretch and challenge the children further. Next steps from observations are used for forward planning and environment enhancements.
Our school considers accurate and focused assessment as the cornerstone of high quality teaching, as it allows learning to be planned and taught accurately as well as meeting the needs of the requirements of the children and ensuring high levels of expectation and support. The school’s assessment policy sets out how the curriculum is assessed.
Children’s next steps are recorded and used for environmental planning and when completing individual observations for practitioners to support learning through scaffolding and questioning.
Working with parents
The school’s curriculum is published on the school website. As part of the transition into Primary School all children are visited either in their main early years setting. Parents complete an ‘all about me’ document enabling them to share information about their child. Parents are invited to visit to receive more information about the school and IEYC at WIST. At the beginning of Term 1 parents are invited to attend a short meeting with the class teacher. Classdojo will be used as the main communication system. Classdojo allows parents can contact teachers and receive information on their child’s learning. A report will be sent at the end of each term and at the end of the year, a copy of the relevant Learning Journey will be shared with parents. Additionally, parents are invited to join classes for a range of activities throughout the year.
Inclusion and Equal Opportunities
Delivery of the curriculum follows the school policy on Inclusion. Equal opportunities are given to all children, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, attainment and background. The teaching and learning, achievements, attitudes and well-being of every child matters, considering their varied life experiences and needs. All pupils have access to all areas of the curriculum. We monitor the progress of each child through agreed assessment procedures.