The Early Years Program at AISC is an inquiry-based, multi-age program for children aged three and four years old. Children learn through exploration and play while they develop a range of skills.
All children are unique and competent learners who make authentic connections through play. Inquiry and reflective play are fundamental in a young child’s life as they make sense and meaning about the world around them. The development of the whole child is nurtured when they engage in self-initiated play. We believe relationships to be fundamental and foundational to building a strong Early Years community. We work collaboratively with parents and community members to support the child's growth.
The multi-age Early Years Program at AISC reflects a diverse group of learners. The program utilizes an emergent curriculum that is responsive to children’s interests and their inquisitive nature. We observe and document children’s development across different areas that include language, early literacy, early numeracy, social/emotional, and physical development.
The indoor and outdoor learning spaces at AISC make use of loose parts to promote open-ended play and foster a child's ability to make choices and develop a sense of social belonging. These spaces encourage children to be risk-takers while engaging in imaginative and creative play.
The Early Years Program empowers children to be independent, curious, compassionate, and confident young learners while preparing them for their journey.
Children in Early Years begin the school year by visiting the classrooms with their parents for the first two days of school. During the next two weeks, children spend half days at school from 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Following these first two weeks, children begin full days at school from 8:00 a.m.– 3:30 p.m. Children generally have lunch around 12:00 p.m. and then nap for an hour from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
The program welcomes children to bring stuffed animals and /or a blanket to help them feel secure. Children must be toilet trained and the use of pacifiers is not encouraged. Please see the Elementary School Handbook for information about school policies and procedures about the Early Years Program.
Based on years of research, we know that young children learn best through play. Teachers guide children’s learning as they explore, discover, and create. The classroom and Outdoor Learning Center play a pivotal role in how teachers set up those environments to promote opportunities and intentionally build off of children’s ideas and explorations. Teachers engage children in projects that promote language, early literacy, early numeracy, and physical and social-emotional development. Through systematic planning and review of documentation, teachers model and scaffold to enhance children’s development. Teachers carefully listen to and observe children during play to elevate their thinking, provide vocabulary around different topics, and ask questions to deepen their understanding. Please see the EY section of the Elementary SchoolCurriculum Guide for information about our curriculum.