The start of your child’s wonderful adventure.
Smiling’s Early Years classes mark the beginning of a truly wonderful adventure for your child. They learn and develop new skills in an international context of cultures, languages and food. At the beginning of the school year, our main concern is to ensure that the younger children feel welcome and at ease in their new surroundings. At the same time, we give support to the older children to help them settle back into the school routine smoothly. We encourage them to follow the rules and to play sensibly with their friends, old and new.
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All Early Years classes work on an annual project. This aims to stimulate the children’s physical and emotional well-being as well as their intellectual development. The daily routine develops the children’s ability to sequence the day and also offers emotional security.
Throughout the year, the school organises excursions within the surrounding area, such as walks, museum trips, theatre shows and farm visits.
The Early Years children follow a bespoke curriculum, based on the Italian and UK educational programmes. Our international staff enhance this with their ideas too.
Each child’s progress is carefully monitored by the teachers, who create projects to promote each child’s development. We encourage child-initiated play (gioco libero), supported by the structure of a lesson. This is based on the following:
- Personal and emotional development
- Social development
- Language, alphabet and communication
- Numerical competence
- Knowledge and understanding of the world
- Creative development
- Physical development
Development and Growth
Observations are an important part of what our teachers do. Each day, they note the progress of each child and use photography and notes to document their development stages. We then adapt lessons, according to individual needs and interests.
Work is displayed on boards around the class for the children to see and feel proud of their achievements. These displays are also used as a tool for recalling events, sharing experiences and for developing language skills.
When displays are changed, the children can proudly take their work home and show their family. Photos are also put into a private class photo gallery for parents and children to look at together at home. This encourages children to share school experiences and create a link between home and school.
Teachers are available each week for individual parents’ meetings to discuss each child’s personal development and to work together with their family to support their child.
Interactive Smartboards are an integral part of daily life in the Beehive, Caterpillars and Butterflies classes. Numerous possibilities are available for learning, through interactive games, Smartboard presentations and the possibility to explore the world from the classroom.
All Early Years classes have one hour of music lessons per week, divided into two thirty minute sessions. The music lessons are taught by an English music teacher, who strives to link activities to celebrations and cultural projects.
Children go to our gym regularly to participate in a variety of activities, such as races, obstacle courses and ball and hoop games. They develop a wide range of skills such as climbing, pushing and pulling, crawling, balancing, catching and throwing.
The children learn to move in different ways, to music and rhythms, with imagination and safety. With time, they increase control, balance and co-ordination using large and small equipment. The gym is also used for drama, dance and road safety activities, which continually develops skills for listening to and following instructions.
From the very start of the school year we aim to build a special relationship between home and school. We build in time for the parents to meet with teachers.
At the beginning of the year, individual parents’ meetings are organised at the end of August before school starts. These are important meetings where both parents and teachers can exchange useful information about the child and the start of school to help him/her settle in happily.
In October, there is a General Parents’ Meeting for all the Early Years parents. The teachers present the year’s planning, projects and other notices. Class representatives are also elected during this meeting.
In March, there is another General Parents’ Meeting for all the Early Years parents in which the end of year trips will be presented along with other general notices. Parents can also learn about their child’s class progress and be kept up to date with class projects and other class news.
At the end of the year, we hold individual parents’ meetings to discuss your child’s school experience.
Throughout the year class teachers are available each week for individual parents’ meetings. Appointments can be made at the office.
Early Years Morning Coffee: During the first week of September, all parents, classes and smiling staff of children are invited to school for coffee in the school garden. It is a good opportunity to get to know each other over a cup of coffee and a snack.
Christmas show: an event not to be missed for all parents, grandparents and friends!
International Week and Book Day: see the work prepared by all the Smiling classes, the garden becomes an interactive place with craft stalls during this exciting cultural week, celebrated in both our campuses.
Sports Day: school event that takes place in late May. The whole school, from 2 year olds (Happy Hedgehogs) to 17-18 year olds (12th grade) are involved. On this day we all gathered for a delicious lunch all outdoors to compete against the parents!