Experiences during the Early Years lay the foundations for all future learning.
It is our responsibility as educators to recognize the importance of our work with children during this crucial stage of development and learning. Considering the diverse community we work with, the development of international-mindedness is of key importance and permeates all areas of our work with the children.
To this end, we are committed to the development of specific attributes that are further developed in our partner school, the Berlin International School (BIS). These attributes have been adopted from the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) and encompass the values and ethos of the Berliner Bildungsprogramm as well, thus offering a unique opportunity at the intersection of two curriculum models.
The State Curriculum for Early Childhood in Berlin, the Berliner Bildungsprogramm is a holistic programme that has the development of well-balanced children at heart. Its focus is the development of children who are resilient, independent and aware of their rights and role in the community. The Berliner Bildungsprogramm outlines the following 6 areas of learning:
- Social and cultural life
- Communication: Language, Written Culture and the Media
- Art: Artistic expression, Music and Drama
- Nature, Environment and Technology
These areas of learning are addressed through our Programme of Inquiry, which takes elements from the IB Primary Years Programme and facilitates the development of children’s competencies in all 6 areas of learning.
IB Primary Years Programme (PYP)
As a framework of inquiry-based education, the PYP offers us an opportunity to connect with the curriculum of the Berlin International School, whose Dahlem campus we share. We share the Primary Years Programme’s vision of developing internationally-minded children, and the IB Learner Profile outlines the attributes that we strive to cultivate in our community.
Our programme meaningfully differentiates between our older children (4K and 5K), where the age and level of development allows for more focused and sustained work on units, and our youngest children in the 3K groups. These inquire into two broad units over the course of the entire year, enriched by spontaneous inquiries that reflect the interests of the children at any given time and highlight the best of developmentally appropriate practice.
The main language of communication at Kita International is English, both in communication between parents and staff as well as in our daily work with the children. As our community is made up of many different cultures and nationalities, we place great emphasis on developing a shared language of communication that is inclusive for everyone. Children frequently join Kita International with no or very little prior knowledge of the English language. Our dedicated educators and teachers are familiar with the needs of children who learn English as an Additional Language (EAL), and children’s English language development is fostered within the group setting.
As the host country language, German plays a big part in our Kita. Every child receives German lessons, and this can take many different forms to cater for the needs of young children.
With both languages, our staff are well aware of the processes involved in young children learning new languages and offer an exciting and inspiring programme that allows for differentiation and consideration of the varying needs within each group.
Haus der Kleinen Forscher
Originating from a German government initiative, Haus der Kleinen Forscher, literally translated as ‚House of Little Scientists’ is a concept that places emphasis on developing scientific thinking and inquiry through a cooperative and child-centered approach. Our educators have participated in extensive training and workshops in order to achieve the status of a Haus der Kleinen Forscher.