Philosophy and Approach

Vision

At ESF our vision is for every student to be the best that they can be, enabling them to be kind, happy, learning and engaged.

Approach

ESF’s Tung Chung pre-nursery class provides families with a unique experience in which the pre-nursery and kindergarten are integrated in one location. Pre-nursery is an unaccompanied class that supports the transition from home into our school setting for toddlers from the age of two years old. We are proud to offer an adult to toddler ratio of 1:5 and have a highly skilled teaching team who are all certified Early Childhood educators and EDB registered childcare workers.

Toddlers feel a strong sense of belonging through developing responsive and reciprocal relationships with others in the community and with places and things in their environment. They are empowered to learn and grow supported by early childhood specialists who value their contribution and co-construct learning that nurtures their conceptual understanding, holistic development and their well being.

Our pre-nursery programme provides families with a nurturing and personalised experience for their toddlers. Upon arrival, toddlers and their caregiver are welcomed into the school building and our toddlers are encouraged to walk independently through the bright and spacious central area towards their classroom. At the classroom door, toddlers are greeted by the teaching team, encouraged to remove their own school bag and invited into their learning environment to begin the day’s explorations and discoveries. The learning environment is viewed as the third teacher, a space that is intentionally planned, organised and adapted to meet the needs of our young learners.

In our warm, welcoming environment toddlers are invited to explore and actively engage in meaningful inquiry that is rich in learning possibilities. Their learning is enhanced through the strong connections established between home, school and community which is inclusive, values diversity and promotes cultural knowledge and understanding; contributing to the creation of a unique environment for our learners.

Our approach to learning is through play-based theory and takes influence from Te Whariki (New Zealand) and the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (UK) with adaptations to reflect our culture as an international school based in Asia. With further inspiration from the Reggio Emilia Educational Project and Heuristic Play, our environment is a reflection of these practices.

Beliefs and Values

At ESF pre-nursey we believe toddlers learn best when:-

1)  they are regarded as competent and capable learners who:

  • are co-constructors of the curriculum
  • are researchers, filled with curiosity and with the ability to form their own theories about their world 
  • have the desire to develop relationships and communicate with others
  • express their needs, wants, feelings, ideas and experiences in various ways 
  • are influenced by the social and cultural context in which they live

2) parents are recognised and valued as a toddler’s primary caregiver and educator who:

  • have a wealth of knowledge and understanding of their toddler and are abled contributors to their learning 
  • give the toddlers a cultural foundation on which to build their life-long experiences

3) teachers are reflective, co-constructive educators who:

  • facilitate opportunities that provoke thought, wonder, investigation and exploration
  • observe, notice and respond to the toddlers interests and needs, remaining open-minded and non-judgemental
  • research and prepare documentation of their journey working with the toddler
  • view themself as a lifelong learners, learning alongside the toddler
  • always work in collaboration with other adults
  • support toddlers by being attentive to their interests and providing opportunities for both new and repeat learning experiences 
  • support language learning through conversations, stories and songs in which the toddlers play an increasing part 
  • acknowledge and respect toddler’s rights to have increasing agency 

 4) the learning environment is viewed as the “third teacher” which:

  • is welcoming and inviting to toddlers and their families ensuring a sense of belonging and respect
  • is intentionally planned so as to promote encounters and convey messages to toddlers 
  • remains  flexible to allow the opportunity to adapt spaces to best support the toddlers and programme
  • is full of discovery and challenge, with a richness of open ended and natural materials that encourage the toddlers to research, develop their own ideas and test their theories
  • provides opportunity for the toddler to be part of a group or spend time as an individual on their own
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