Early Childhood Curriculum

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Early Childhood Curriculum Overview

The Early Years program at the International School of Kigali, Rwanda, aspires to be a leader in early childhood development, which nurtures individual expression and love of learning.  Our students will develop in self-discipline and personal responsibility as members of the ISK Rwanda and global communities.

The Early Childhood Section, years 2-6, is a non-profit division of the International School of Kigali. We promote student centered learning, critical thinking, problem solving, intercultural experiences, and creativity through a diverse academic program taught in the English language. 

Students in the Early Years program will:

  • Appreciate and respect the unique experiences and backgrounds of their peers
  • Develop a love of learning and sense of wonder
  • Respect, care for, and live in harmony with the environment
  • Explore and develop an interest in various facets of science
  • Develop an appreciation for the Arts through experiential learning
  • Demonstrate proficiency in learning to speak, listen, read, and write in English
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm for language learning
  • Develop an appreciation for reading
  • Understand and respect the Rwandan people and their culture as the host country
  • Be fully prepared to successfully transition into elementary school

International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC)

The IEYC is an innovative research-based program, recognising global best-practice and the developmental needs of 2-5 year olds. It supports key areas of learning through holistic enquiry and play-based approaches encompassing all curriculum areas including personal, social and emotional development.

International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC) is taught in EC2-Kindergarten. All students participate in the same thematic units, and units rotate between Year A & Year B to provide a  variety of topics.

The curriculum contains themed Units of Learning. These are sequenced through the IEYC Process of Learning. This captures children’s natural curiosity as a starting point and, within an enabling environment, balances child-initiated and teacher-scaffolded provision.  

Each child will have their own unique learning journey through the IEYC. How children learn and develop will depend on the IEYC Units of Learning that are implemented, and learning that is driven through the children’s own interests.

Whilst each IEYC unit clearly states what children will experience and learn about in each unit, child-initiated learning is also taken into consideration. For example, an IEYC activity may include several experiences drawn from one or more of the four IEYC Learning Strands, but a child may extend this learning through experience linked to his or her own curiosity and enquiry.

Children are not the only partner in the learning relationship; families, too, are invited and encouraged to become involved in their child’s learning journey at every step of the way.

Through a home learning-link, we can, for example, find out what children’s passions and interests are and tailor their learning accordingly.

Families can actively contribute to children’s knowledge, skills and increasing understanding through their individual Learning Journey. Teachers and those at home jointly reflect on what has been learned, evaluating the progress that has been made and considering the next steps. (International Early Years Curriculum, 2018).

Kindergarten Mathematics & English Literacy

In addition to using IEYC as a backbone for the philosophy and daily activity planning, the Kindergarten curriculum also follows AERO (American Education Reaches Out) standards for English Literacy and Mathematics.  These can be found at projectaero.org. AERO standards are aligned with Common Core Standards used in the United States but provide a more international approach. These standards are used in the Elementary grades at ISKR and provide Kindergarten with a smoother transition to the academic rigor necessary for Grade 1.

Co-Curricular & World Language Academic Program

Kindergarten students will participate in French, Physical Education (PE), Library, Art, Drama and Music Movement.

EC4 students are offered French, Physical Education (PE) and Music & Movement. EC3 and EC2 students participate in Physical Education (PE) and Music & Movement. All other areas are provided by the classroom teacher.