WELCOME TO THE IAS PRESCHOOL
Preschool (PreKG & KG) in a school such as ours spans from ages three and half to six. As a child grows from shy first-day preschooler to athletic kindergartner, incredible changes will have taken place within that student. The IAS “small school” recognizes the very unique needs and challenges associated with early childhood and it is well-equipped to gracefully support the physical, emotional and social development of its students as they transition into upper academic levels. The IAS Early Years Program is committed to maintaining both an atmosphere and academic tradition that is conducive to following best practices in the areas of early childhood and international education.
Students are encouraged to be inquisitive, creative and analytical in all areas. The early years curriculum is designed to guide and support students, allowing plenty of room for hands-on learning, teamwork and individual exploration. By the time that the students move on to the “Big School” they will have had ample opportunity to develop both their English and Polish skills, their understanding of complex scientific and mathematical concepts, as well as a keen awareness and sense of self. This well-rounded approach provides grounding for the upper grades and beyond.
Located close to the Main Building of the International American School, the Early Years School, situated at 12 Dembego St., welcomes children from the Pre-Kindergarten level to Kindergarten. The Preschool at IAS is specifically designed to create an intimate and comfortable learning environment for young learners. Small class sizes and an average 5 to 1 student-teacher ratio translate to students receiving individual care and attention both in and outside of the classroom. The Preschool is adapted to the learning needs of young learners, both in the layout of the school itself and the design of the purpose-built playground. Overall, the school is a colorful and cheerful site where teachers and students alike contribute to the warm atmosphere that promotes learning and personal growth.
SMALL SCHOOL PROFILE
Our school caters to the children of diplomats, business people and locals alike. Students come from Poland, throughout Europe, and the far reaches of the globe. The multicultural nature of the small school is perhaps its greatest offering, and its supported in a variety of ways by a caring staff.
- 3.5 – 4.5
- 4.5 – 6
*Classroom placement depends on age at the actual time of enrollment as well as other factors, such as language skills, special needs, academic background, abilities, etc.
Our curriculum combines the best practices and varying aspects of the Polish and American education systems.
- Language Units in English
- Physical Education
- Circle Time
- Nap Time
The preschool and kindergarten curricula reflect a play-based approach to learning, following the belief that children learn through experience. Above all else, the preschool years are child-centered and child-directed. By encouraging and supporting curiosity and participating in preschool, students become more active and inquisitive kindergartners.
This belief in child-centered learning and inquiry is carried through into early elementary school, where it is transformed from imaginary dramatic play to experiential learning through more structured exploration. During the early years, teachers act as facilitators of learning by creating hands-on experiences that engage the five senses and foster a lifelong love of learning.
PreKG is a very precarious time for our students. PreKG at IAS ranges children from 3.5 years till around 4.5 years of age. This is their first step into school life. We are aware that this is a very delicate time for children as they leave their home and enter a completely new world and a new environment. The transition and immersion from home to school at this stage is integral and we make sure that children take baby steps when they meet their peers and their teachers.
As children begin their lifelong journey, we help children with the basics of phonetics, the English language, interacting with other and be communicators through the system of “play”. As an example, we use Our Circle Time a class meeting that consists of music, stories, and group discussions. During group discussion, we talk about matters that the kids are interested in and wonder about. We talk about topics that they have noticed recently or things that have happened. We have a daily literacy activity using the Jolly Phonics method. Circle time is also an activity that is creatively used as a method of play to engage in math games or explore science. English and phonemic awareness activities are used as simple as a game, a chart, a finder play, rhyme, or a song. We break this time up throughout the day, and do a little at a time, so the children do not have to focus for long periods of time.
The KG are the leaders of the IAS Lower Elementary School and with that they take on a whole new array of responsibilities and adventures. They are the role models to all the younger children, taking care of them, teaching good manners and modeling proper behavior. Time in the KG is a moment where we focus on forming close bonds with classmates. During the year, students develop advanced social skills, become more adept at understanding and share jokes and riddles with friends. Students learn to work in groups by cooperating and depend on one another in various academic and social environments. KG children work on their social skills progress and on their academic skills. Developing rich vocabulary, accelerating reading speeds and comprehension, as well as evolving writing skills with an emphasis on grammar.
After-school clubs give teachers and students alike the opportunity to get to know one other even better. Each teacher in the Lower School leads a club based on their personal interests and expertise. This gives each student the opportunity to get to know both students and teachers from other classes as well as explore an extracurricular activity in a friendly environment. Club offerings change yearly based on interest and availability. Clubs typically include offerings such as: arts and crafts, foreign languages, dance, music, science, and sports.
The development of the curriculum each year is often put on display when it comes to the friendly academic shows and competitions that take place throughout the year. During this year’s Science Fair, for example, there were displays devoted to environmental science: from mountainous winter animals to the underwater environs, each grade’s display was more elaborate and deeper than the last. Other school wide events, such as the Math Competition and Earth Day recycling craft projects, give students the ability first to work together to show off what their class has learned, and to show appreciation for the work of their schoolmates.
Field trips and short excursions are designed to make the community a part of the classroom. In each grade in the early years teachers follow lesson plans that introduce relevant and useful topics to students.
Workshops in locations such as Ujazodowski Palace, the Ethnography Museum and local theaters bring the arts alive. Such experiences give students an introduction to the art and music created by other cultures, as well as the opportunity to harness their own creativity and engage in traditional musical or artistic pursuits.
Excursions to locales such as the Copernicus Center, local gardens and the famed Lazieki Park give teachers the freedom to run science lessons and experiments beyond the walls of a classroom.
IN-SCHOOL ARTS WORKSHOPS
From dedicated parent volunteers who devote their time and expertise to our development, to specialists in a variety of fields, our students enjoy numerous opportunities to learn from members of the community without even leaving the school.While each class enjoys regular art and music classes taught by our very own specialist teachers, the lower elementary program is devoted to providing its students with a diverse experience of the arts. Therefore in-school workshops are led by local specialists as often as possible. These workshops enrich our program by allowing students to fully engage in the arts being offered; in addition to listening to the artists discuss their projects, or demonstrate finished works,the artists lead the students in exercises which help them explore their own artistic sides. Visiting workshops and performances have included: musicians, sing-a-longs, dance parties, hip-hop workshops, ceramics workshops, and martial arts and drama presentations.
Both Polish and international holidays are celebrated in style in IAS’s early years program, giving intellectual development and academic celebrations equal weight. Annual holidays such as Halloween and Carnival are delightfully spooky and colorful celebrations in our school. Such themes provide ample opportunity for both celebration and exploration in every grade level.