Kindergarten is an important phase in every child’s life. This is where they learn to play and play to learn. They start to explore and get to enjoy every opportunity to discover the things around them, develop social awareness and increase logical thinking.
Kindergarten units of study used at OIST are aligned to the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Skills) which is an international program that proved to be a real effective plan that builds on independent learning strategies.
At Oxford International School of Tunis, we recognize the uniqueness of each child and support them to achieve their fullest potential. We designed our Kindergarten classes to nurture the personal, social, emotional, physical and mental aspects of child’s development. The lessons are carefully planned and outlined to provide a special learning experience which involves a variety of fun and challenging child-centered activities with the use of a wide variety of materials and modern technology.
We offer the basic curriculum: English, Mathematics, Science, Phonics, Writing, Art, Physical Education, Moral and Health Education and languages such as Arabic and French. We also have learning centers that caters to children in kindergarten to provide them with a ‘hands-on’ learning experience to develop their sensory-motor skills and enhance exposure to practical life.
Kindergarten children are also full of energy which is why we, at OIST, also pay attention to the activities that develop gross-motor skills. Therefore, outdoor play areas are viewed as an extension of the classroom and allow daily opportunities for a great variety of physical challenges, social play as well as an exploration of the natural world. Young children learn English naturally and quickly while playing with their classmates and interacting with their teachers. As we all know, many people from different countries can read, write and understand English yet feel hesitant to speak the language. With the help of an English-speaking classroom environment and effective strategies mentioned above, children will become confident speakers of English as well.
Although the focus is academic, we also nurture the natural curiosity and sense of self that can serve as the foundation for a lifetime learning. For children to grow intellectually, they must feel confident in regard to their abilities and secure as in their relationships with their teachers, family members and peers. Thus, we address this by including positive reinforcement as we always reward kindness, persistence, courage, thinking of others first and respecting families, teachers, and other important people in their lives. We mainly tend to implement an education that promotes good citizenship.
Starting up children’s day is very important. Sitting in a circle together with everybody and singing songs, sharing stories are fun ways to start the day. This session helps children organize their day, get focused, and make that all-important transition from home to school. Children learn to sing, dance, listen and respond to music. They also begin to create and re-create moods and experiences in order to express the feelings through increasingly coordinated movement.
Teaching EFL in kindergarten develops language through involvement in a variety of fun, child-centered activities. Children learn vocabulary and sentence structures as they sing, chant, play games, have conversations, take part in physical activities and put on plays.
Mathematic lesson utilizes a variety of materials. Number concepts and operations, patterns, basic shapes, as well as counting numbers are learned through interactive approach and hands-on activities. Critical thinking is encouraged and developed by using puzzles and manipulative. Children will develop observational and problem-solving skills through guided play. Activities are made to provide children with a strong mathematics base for their primary school program.
In kindergarten, children learn about plants and animals and explore the weather and seasons. They acquire an understanding of science through repeated experiences using concrete, manipulative material. Teachers use simple science experiments to introduce children to the process of scientific inquiry. Kindergarteners are now capable of remembering more information and using it to make connections between things. They can separate toy animals into groups, such as those that are found on the land, sea, or sky; or plants that grow on land, in water and thrive on air.
A foundation of beginning skills is taught, as kindergartners learn through guided lessons, direct teaching and the exploration of fundamentals with specific focus on the alphabet and letter sounds, phonemic awareness, and rhyming words. Children learn that letters and sounds go together to form words, and how to identify alphabet letters and their sounds. Game-like activities, decodable stories allow students to explore all possible sounds and blends, creating phonological and phonemic awareness.
Writing serves many purposes in kindergarten. Learning how to hold a pencil and form letters correctly not only serves your child well in the future, but also helps to work on his/her fine motor skills. This will also help to improve your child’s hand and eye coordination as well as to write legibly. Your child will learn to write the alphabet, both capital and lowercase letters, and numbers from at least 1 to 20. Pre-writing drills consisting of different kinds of lines allow students to make the precise movements necessary in forming letters specifically correctly applying directionality and spacing of letters that will help compose three letter words and short sentences.
The kindergarten child needs many ways to express personal thoughts and feelings. Through art, children learn to express their thoughts, feelings and ideas in symbolic ways. They start to mix colours and do painting, paper folding, colouring, and other fun crafts.
MORAL AND HEALTH EDUCATION
These activities enable children to develop a sense of who they are and their own capabilities to establish positive relationships with others. The lessons are carefully selected to help the children be aware of their actions towards their families and others. In addition, this subject teaches children to share, cooperate and participate with others. Lessons in health and safety help children make life choices that will enhance their physical well-being. We teach basic safety precautions for them to use in an emergency.
The physical development and well-being of each child is very important to his overall growth and development. At OIST, we recognize that the young child is still developing his physical stature as well as attitudes toward good health. We provide specially designed movement activities to help children practice and improve their skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement as well as maintain personal space.
Teachers read a variety of poems, stories, and non-fiction books aloud to children. Audio-video clips are also used to make storytelling more interactive for children. Regular visit to the school library is also encouraged to install the habit of reading books at an early age. Many kindergarten children are expected to read words and phrases by the end of the year.