The Early Years stage is for children aged 2 years – 5 years and covers the years they spend from the beginning of Playgroup/Nursery to the end of the Reception Class.

Playgroup & Nursery

At ISZ we believe that purposeful play which is well-planned will engage children in the learning process. Key skills such as listening, speaking, concentrating and working cooperatively are developed.


In Reception, purposeful play continues to be an important vehicle by which young children learn. Teaching and learning begins to become more formalized for the students who are ready.

Early Years Philosophy and Curriculum

Our Early Years program offers a high quality, caring educational environment for our students. We follow a “play” based approach to learning and a strong emphasis on teaching care and concern for others, respect for cultural diversity and for ourselves. The Early Years curriculum supports our own philosophy that children learn through active involvement with their environment.

Our quality, well-trained, and caring Early Years team ensures that the children are happy, successful and thriving. We work together to achieve the best for the child. We provide a safe and nurturing environment with spacious and well-equipped classrooms and play areas, as well as a spacious playground with a covered sandpit, swing, slide and climbing frame to encourage development of the child’s gross motor skills. We pride ourselves on the dedicated areas in and around the classroom for the different Learning and Developmental Areas

The Curriculum is organised according to four Themes and Principles:

  1. Every child in a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
  2. Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
  3. Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or guardian;
  4. Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The curriculum covers 7 areas of learning and development as well as guidance on the characteristics of effective learning.

Curriculum Areas of Learning and Development

  1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
  2. Communication and Language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
  3. Physical Development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop coordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
  4. Literacy developments involve encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems and other written materials) to ignite their interests.
  5. Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.
  6. Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
  7. Expressive Arts and Design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
Playing and Exploring engagement
  • Finding out and exploring
  • Playing with what they know
  • Being willing to “have a go”
Active Learning – Motivation
  • Being involved and concentrating
  • Keep trying
  • Enjoying what they set out to do
Creating and Thinking critically – thinking
  • Having their own ideas
  • Making links
  • Choosing ways to do things

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