Early Childhood Education at the Yew Chung International School of Beijing sets the foundation for our youngest children’s learning. Through discovery- and play-based learning, students in our ECE learning section are encouraged to be curious and creative. Our recently renovated Learning Community is an amazing resource at our international school that lets us implement this model more effectively than ever before.
Designed by master education architect firm Fielding-Nair International (FNI), our ECE Learning Community features flexible and open learning spaces that foster activities aligning with our teaching philosophy. Everyday routines led by our co-teachers promote good habits in learners as well as begin providing children with the soft skills they need to thrive.
Play: A Child’s Work
A common misconception for parents, and more traditional educators, is that playtime is wasted time. At the Yew Chung International School of Beijing, we believe that play is invaluable for preschool-aged learners. In our ECE classes, we believe play to be a child’s natural learning style; it involves invention, discovery, and research, all skills to becoming a successful 21st century learner.
Play-based learning also allows children to pursue their own bourgeoning interests, whether it be arts, crafts, literacy, numeracy, science, technology, construction, and more. Messy play further enhances their creativity and physical motor skills. These play experiences contribute to skills and knowledge across all developmental areas, providing a solid foundation for future learning as children move on to Primary School.
Together Time: a Lesson in Collaboration
Thanks to the space’s collapsible classroom walls, our teachers have been able to implement a new daily routine called “Together Time” each morning. This is an opportunity for students to have an open learning session with all their ECE classmates; instead of students starting the day off in their individual closed-off classrooms, they have the chance to play with their friends in other grade levels. A multi-age classroom is a valuable tool that gives older children an opportunity to act as leaders and guides to their younger peers while also giving the younger learners the opportunity to form important bonds with the older students.
Beyond collaboration, Together Time enhances a variety of other soft skills in students through play, including positive attitudes, confidence, flexibility, and communication. Teachers strive to ensure that students learn to be independent but team-oriented at the same time.
Circle Time: Co-teaching in Action
One of the most important pieces of our ECE mission is bilingual language acquisition, which we accomplish through bilingual curriculum enhanced by our unique co-teaching model. Circle Time is perhaps the clearest representation of this style of learning. During this time, students gather together in a circle to sing songs, hear stories, and play games. Led by both our Chinese and Western co-teachers, the students alternate seamlessly between Chinese and English, singing songs following stories in both languages.