Early Years and Foundation Stage
‘The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.’
During the inception of King’s College India, the school was instrumental in resourcing a wide selection of Montessori equipment for the Nursery to engage children’s curiosity and exploration of a broad range of sensorial and fine motor activities as precursors to mark-making, scientific and mathematical thinking.
To further this excellent foundation, both the Reception classroom and the new Nursery Playroom are equipped with additional resources from both the Montessori tradition and from the wealth of hand-crafted games and toys of India. As far as is possible, King’s College India continues to source all our durable equipment from companies and collectives who adhere to a sustainable and environmental friendly ethos. Though there is some recourse to plastic-based equipment for Art and Water play, the majority of toys, games and resources are made from recyclable materials such as clay, wood, fabric and plant fibres in order to allow our children as wide a range of textured and sensorial play experience as possible.
There is also an emphasis on recycling, especially with regard to sculpture from packaging; and in using socially responsible Art materials (i.e. recycled and hand-made paper, beeswax, chalk and oil pastel and non-acrylic-based paints).
Our sensory play relies on natural and recyclable substances which do not pollute the environment (i.e. flour and water paste, playdough, salt dough, clay, tapioca, soap nuts, natural food colouring and pigments).
By creating a physical and mental consciousness about resources in our youngest students, we hope to instil in every child in our care a respect for and acknowledgement of the wider environment; and our impact upon it with a view to understanding the finite and infinite possibilities of our precious Earth.
In addition to our socially and environmentally responsible resourcing, the EYFS department at King’s College India aims to ensure every child has a positive and fully engaged experience of the world around them. As our sister school, King’s Hall in Taunton promotes a day a week of outdoor ‘Forest School’, so too at King’s College India do we aim to introduce our children to horticulture, outdoor creative play and gross motor activities best suited to the great outdoors.
We are equally keen that our children develop their scientific curiosity and wonder by closely observing the natural world around them and bringing their experiential understanding to bear on their academic studies.
To this end, a designated ‘forest school’ is under discussion at King’s College India. Weather, in particular the intense heat of the summer months will be our greatest challenge: our ‘planting for shade’ programme hopes that our children will be able to spend some of the cooler hours learning out of doors, even during the hot summer months.
The Early Years lends itself very readily to a cross-curricular, multi-disciplinary approach, assessed as it is in seven areas, three prime (Emotional, Social and Physical) and four additional (Literacy, Numeracy, Creative and Exploratory). To integrate and enrich these existing criteria, King’s College India Early Years adheres to a new Creative Curriculum project every five to six weeks which aims to link all areas of children’s learning through thematic songs, stories, stories, games, artwork, images and activities. Parents are invited to contribute to these projects by coming in to school to talk about fields of relevant expertise and to attend related assemblies.
Parents are also invited to explore creatively and extend their children’s learning at home, sharing experiences of note with staff and their children via the online Tapestry journal every child will develop throughout their Early Years journey at King’s College, India.
At the beginning of each half term, a ‘What’s Happening’ letter and visual Medium Term Plans will be mailed to all our parents in preparation for the half-term’s project (or projects). Parents will be sent regular updates on their child’s progress via Tapestry in the form of detailed observations; and at the end of each term via a written summative report.
We believe we are the only school in India currently using the Tapestry Montessori Assessment scheme and linking this to the regular EYFS assessment criteria in order to ensure each child in our Early Years class is accessing as broad a curriculum as is vitally necessary at this critical stage of development. The personal learning journey of every child charted via the Tapestry journals will be available in hard copy for parents to treasure at the end of their child’s time in the Foundation Stage (Reception).
New parents are warmly invited to come in and ‘get a feel’ for the Early Years Department. Parents with children already attending Nursery and Reception classes are invited to attend annual Curriculum Days and termly Parent-Teacher meetings to discuss their child’s progress and successes in detail with Class Teachers.
We look forward to developing a wonderful future together for you and your amazing child!
‘We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing’
George Bernard Shaw