Teaching Pre K Children
A pre-K school should be a centre of creativity and innovation, generating new ideas, creating new designs for stimulating the minds of the young learners, enthusing them to explore, discover, make connections, create, wonder at the beauty of nature and its fascinating mysteries, do and learn. Well equipped learning areas with child friendly resources and well trained staff are vital for this. And of course, a warm, safe and caring environment.
Yet, most people see the Pre K as just a space for ‘kids’ to have some ‘fun’, be looked after for a few hours-‘pass the time’ as they wait to join ‘the main school’.Shiuli Ghosal
Pre K is the first step to formal learning and acquiring key life skills and thus a very important stage in a child’s life.
I have been a Principal in pre-schools for over fourteen years and have had experience of all aspects of the running of a successful Pre K school. Working as a Centre Head at RISEKIDS, Ghaziabad, a school for learners of ages 2-4 years, has only strengthened these ideas. RISEKIDS is a welcoming and positive school where there are high expectations for learning and behaviour. The children are offered a wealth of opportunities to spark their interests, feed their enthusiasm and extend their creativity.
The RISEKIDS curriculum is a blend of the best international and national practices to stimulate the minds of young learners. Our children are engaged in a range of learning opportunities with emphasis on the development of their communication and mathematical skills with focus on the developmental domains – social, emotional, cognitive, physical, language and awareness of the world. The aim of the programme is to foster autonomy within the child, and to build a strong feeling of self worth and esteem. This feeling of competence and self worth is inculcated, not through the approval of adults, but through the joy of self directed exploration in an environment rich with potential. Stress is on
- language development and communication, not on mere literacy.
- math concepts, not on rote counting or mere recognition of numbers.
- helping children to make meaningful connections between what they experience in the world around them and what they learn in school, not on just gathering facts.
- making children independent and confident, socially competent and sensitive to the world around them, not just passive followers.
We achieve this through doing and not merely telling.
We believe a child does not need to learn to play, but a child does need to play to learn. For us, Play is the key to early learning; it is how children learn to make sense of the world. Anita Wadley, the poet, aptly says about the significance of Play for early learners: ‘Today, I am a child, and my work is play.’
The school is well known for having a caring environment that enhances personal development; supportive staff take care of each child’s progress; quality teaching and learning across the curriculum prepare the child for the future. Our children are exposed to a variety of activities throughout the year like-puppet shows, festival celebrations, field trips, sports day, fancy dress, rhyme recitation, etc.
A key focus area is visual and performing arts. This assists the children in developing their confidence, self-expression, creativity and self-esteem. The children love to perform especially at our school gatherings and at community events including celebrations and fairs. This enhances their communication skills, helps them gain confidence and helps to develop their core values.
RISEKIDS classes use state-of-the-art interactive technology in age appropriate and developmentally appropriate ways. This combined with hands-on manipulative activities, enable the little learners to develop early familiarity and confidence with technology.
Art and Aesthetics play a key role in a pre- school. The creative arts are integrated in our curriculum which give children opportunities to appreciate beauty in simple everyday things.
Environment Education and a deep understanding of the importance of sustainable practices are vital for our young children becoming responsible citizens in the future. Thus, environment education plays an important role at RISEKIDS. We provide hands on experiences that help children to make meaningful connections between what they experience in the world around them and what they learn in school, not on gathering facts. In addition, children are encouraged to adopt good habits, moral values, hygiene, sense of responsibility.
Along with academic excellence, we provide a platform to the children to showcase their individual talents in all spheres of life. We have plans in place to encourage all the children to develop in their special field of interest through activity based learning.