The only organ that is not fully developed at birth is the brain. It works according to the relationships, experiences, and circumstances. Child development is not predetermined, it is dynamic and an interactive process. Emotion, language, vision and so much more are at their development peak during the first 2000 days of a child’s life. The early years of a child set the foundation for all the years that follow. You can take a look at our earlier article Why the first 2000 days matter in a child’s life for more details around this subject area.
Hence, early childhood education is encouraged for healthy development and building a strong foundation during the early days of a child’s life. So during this crucial development phase, it is essential to give an environment where the learning and development of your child happen with utmost care. Because toddlers are not like other students. Their needs are unique. There are many things that have to be considered such as what motivates a very young child, how to hold a toddler’s interest to be in the school, how to make learning fun for them, helping them with the transition, and most importantly laying the right foundation for their future success.
1. Parent partnership leads to student success
At Oakridge, learning is a three-way process which involves teachers, students and parents. Parent involvement in their children’s learning, not only improves a child’s morale, attitude, and academic achievement across all subject areas but it also promotes better behaviour and social adjustment. At Oakridge, parents are involved openly in all major activities, especially during the early years. There are many ways the process happens at the school such as parent guest lectures, Annual Expectations Meeting, Student-Led Conferences, etc.
- Annual Expectations Meeting
During the phased induction, the parents, students and teachers together discuss and plan what is required for their child. They together understand the gaps and bridge with the lesson plans that are customized and offers individualized programs. These programs challenge every child with their level to the next level.
- Student-Led Conference
At the end of an academic year, EYP students demonstrate their knowledge in learning through a formal student-led conference. In addition to the concepts learnt, various skills like communication skills, social skills, attitudes like confidence, respect and time management, collaboration is presented by students to parents, peers and teachers. This assessment gives an in-person experience to parents on their child’s overall development. Students lead parents through the presentation of their learning, depicting their academic progress. They take ownership of explaining their learning process to them, which increases parent involvement and participation in school.
2. Well structured and age-appropriate curriculum for the Early Years
Unlike formal teaching methodology, Oakridge, India’s top International School provides an international learning environment that is tailor-made, teacher-guided, and child-centered. The approach to IB EYP (Early Years Programme) balances the stages of each child’s social, emotional, physical and academic development. To instill a love of learning for lifelong in children, we foster their curiosity, creativity, confidence, and independence. Here toddlers are able to grow socially, and personally, developing skills like creative and critical thinking, problem-solving, self-management, communication, listening, social, cognitive, logical-thinking, etc.
Let’s know how…
- Students study a sequence of trans-disciplinary units of Inquiry
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn,” said Benjamin Franklin.
In the Early Years Programme, kids are engaged in interactive and motivational activities that help them develop a deep level of understanding. Rather than a teacher telling students about what they need to know, students are actively involved in any material they are learning to connect things with life in real-world. They are encouraged to explore, ask questions and share ideas. It uses different approaches to learning, including small-group discussion and guided learning. Students better understand and recall material by actively engaging with it and making their own connections. For instance, on a central theme of “Climate affects lifestyle”, kids study the various lines of inquiry, like types of weather, food habits in different weather conditions, causes of weather changes, and so on.
- Experiential learning methods that include fun learning activities
It’s all about learning through play for the EYP students! Through this method, students develop knowledge, skills, and values from direct experiences outside a traditional academic setting. One of the fun learning activities is the virtual and in-house field trips that give prospects to their learning. The main focus behind this is to guide them on “How the world works”, which they would experience and learn.
For instance, field trip to biscuit factory. They see how the biscuits are being made, the hygiene levels maintained and also get to taste the biscuits from the factory as part of the experiential learning. Likewise, in connection with their topic of farm animals, sometimes the toddlers are taken to a nearby farm to help them develop stronger connections with the concept. In some instances, the school organizes a farm festival in the campus itself. They not only get to see the farm animals but it also allows them to experience the farm life inside the school.
- Inculcating habits of greatness as a part of the learning in the Early Years Programme
A child’s mind is innocent and believes in whatever they see or being told by elders. Hence we understand that it’s important to develop good habits before they reach their teens. At Oakridge, we incorporate habits of greatness as a part of their learning wherein kids develop many good habits at the school during their Early Years Programme.
For instance, the 21-day “Night-time Brushing” challenge which taught them a healthy habit for a lifetime. “Give Way to Ambulance” initiative that taught them to be kind, compassionate and responsible citizens. Oak Gullak is another activity recently introduced wherein we aim to inculcate the habit of saving and fostering a tender human spirit in them.
3. Mindfully crafted learning environments for engraving healthy learning habits
The balanced environment of Oakridge, one of the best schools in Hyderabad is purely focused on making children future ready. It’s built on international standards keeping the multi-faceted needs of the children in mind.
- Outdoor and indoor play zones for exposure to multi-level activities
The school environment should encourage exploration, investigation, and play in order to learn about themselves, others and the world around them. The EYP segment of Oakridge schools has been created using safe and flexible material. There is a spacious play den for kids to play freely using their own imaginations.
Children’s recreation park is a major highlight of the school which provides kids an environment to play and enjoy.
At such an early stage they get an exposure to learn life skills such as they get to learn the basics of swimming at the beautiful splash pool in the school.
The toddlers are also getting trained to skate in their Early Years in a thoughtfully done skating rink with proper guidance and observation. Unique facilities like SCIENCE PARK and Tree House also add to the learning attraction the school has to offer.
- Well-lit, ventilated, temperature-controlled rooms, maintained in alignment with stringent safety and hygiene standards
The school provides a safe, secure and stimulating environment that focuses on individual learners and their strengths.It has spacious, airy multi-facility classrooms with cutting-edge multimedia facilities equipped with three-level seating facility including chairs, mats and swings for EYP children. They get access to various fun learning corners with interactive facilities such as Toddlers Town, well-equipped Toy Library, etc.
In addition to the facilities, we have a quality-controlled kitchen to serve nutritionally-balanced, dietitian-planned snacks and lunches for the kids. For student’s safety, we have GPS tracker buses which can be tracked by the parents and are equipped with school bus speed limiter. Also. the school has CCTV cameras and its own infirmary which manage first aid and emergencies.