Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC)
Our curriculum is based on the ideology and principles on Finland’s National Core Curriculum for Early Childhood Education and Care 2016 because of its universality and core values it envisions for a progressive, competent and noble community.
The Finnish methodology is formed on phenomenon-based learning, where the learning expands from a phenomenon observed near us to gathering new information about the surrounding world. The skills and knowledge learned in early years are strengthening – not only the child’s cognitive skills – but the child’s participation and active involvement in the society.
- The early participation in decision making in matters related to the child, nourishes the child’s feel of empowerment and assurance of his/her value in society.
- The focus on cultural understanding supports this value even further and while child accomplishes understanding and respect for one’s own and other cultures, he/she will be competent in effective interaction with all people in the society.
- The additional focus on multiliteracy and life skills ensures the child to be a future enquirer and lifelong learner.
ECEC is based on an integrated approach to education and care. The essence of early childhood pedagogical practice is to provide integrated care, education and teaching to all the children, equally in a caring and conducive learning environment.
Our child-centered approach to education caters to each child’s interests and learning styles. By providing a rich environment and a variety of educational choices, we help children direct, develop and expand their own interests and unique talents. We recognize and encourage the development of a balanced personality.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PLAY
Finnish methodology underlines the intrinsic value of play for the child and its pedagogical importance
in learning and in the overall development and wellbeing of the child.
Play as a teaching method
The educators’ role is to secure the preconditions for playing, supervise the play in a suitable way and ensure that each child gets an opportunity to participate according to their skills and capabilities. The learning activities, environment and teaching methodology is kept flexible and open for new interesting learning experiences.
The child or children initiate play and it evolves into a direction, where the educator can initiate more questions and more wondering, present resources to explore the phenomenon, gather information and make conclusions. Sustained play requires time, space, ease and appropriate toys and materials available for the children. Observation of play increases the educators understanding of children’s thoughts, interests, emotions and experiences.
The educator initiates play by introducing a phenomenon, presenting variety of different resources, letting the children unfold their natural enquirers and allowing the play to expand even further. While engaged in an activity, children are encouraged to ask questions, interact, express, explore and solve problems in group or independently.
KEY LEARNING AREAS
Play incorporated with learning areas
Learning areas describe the key objectives and contents of pedagogical methodology. They guide the educators in planning and implementing versatile and integrative pedagogical activities together with the children.
Rich world of languages
Children play with words and letters through sensory play art activities, such as molding, drawing, singing. They will play with basic rhythm and sounds incorporated with the phonics. They explore the books and produce their own stories.
Diverse forms of expression
Children explore and observe the art forms around them and produce their own expressive art through music, movement, molding, drawing, painting or building. Information and communication technology are utilized to create and store children’s versatile art forms.
Me and our community
Children explore the community by playing in the community or playing with the people from the community. Children will play the characters of the community by using their imagination and imaginary play resources. They can retell and play the stories from the community.
Exploring and interacting with my environment
Children explore their environment and find the mathematical structure in daily surroundings. They will play with mathematical resources, experiment versatile science activities and use various means of measurements while playing.
I grow, move and develop
Children will practice self-care and healthy eating through role play, imaginary play, cooking classes and a part of a daily nursery routine. They will be engaged with various physical activities, such as sports, movement, dance, climbing and outdoor play.
OUR LEARNING ZONES
Our aim is to provide a learning environment which will guide children’s curiosity, interest and learning motivation and give them opportunities for play, other activities, as well as for rest and silence. These zones include child supervised and free play, exploration, physical activity as well as experience of an expression through art. Children are guided to avoid sitting for long periods and are encouraged to be physically active within the zones. Their well-being is promoted by providing them with an opportunity for calming down and resting. We believe engaging in sufficient daily physical activity supports children’s thinking and learning. Our environment is created to promote taking care of one’s self and managing daily life through activities such as getting dressed, eating meals independently, taking care of personal hygiene and possessions and strengthening their skills related to well-being and safety.
Our learning zones have been set up within the classrooms and activity room meeting the needs of the various age groups:
- Imaginative and Creative
- Audio Visual Zone
- Mindfulness Corner
- Practical Life Skills
- Construction Corner
- Social Science
National Identity and Arabic Program
Arabic, as well as the national identity and local culture of the country, is well integrated into the curricula activities of our Nursery Program. Our Arabic curriculum has been carefully crafted and developed providing opportunities for developing language skills and learning of the local language.
Arabic language sessions follow activities consisting of simple talk, storytelling, songs, games and interactive sessions with active participation of the children and the educator. Beyond language development, it is also intended to strengthen cultural identity, positive attitudes and cognitive skill acquisition in our children. We provide opportunities for developing language skills of foreign language speaking and plurilingual children as a part of supporting linguistic and cultural identities and self-esteem.
The toddlers will go on outings on their pushchairs and access the outside areas in a time slot separately to that of the older children.
The nursery group and preschool classes will have direct access to the nursery garden throughout their dedicated free flow time. They also go on regular trips and walks, including the local park and places of interest.