Learning By Doing.
The Kindergarten Section of Haque Academy follows the High Scope Approach where children learn by actively ‘doing’. The implementation of the High Scope approach began in 2005 and our journey towards understanding how children grow and learn continues. High Scope Curriculum integrates all aspects of young children’s development. It uses research-based strategies to enhance growth in cognitive, language, social-emotional, physical, and creative development. By using this system effectively we aim to make a significant difference in a child’s life.
Through direct, hands-on experiences children try out, organize and integrate new information, ideas and concepts to build their understanding of the world. Active Participatory Learning – whether planned by adults or initiated by children – is the central element of the High Scope Preschool. A key strategy for adult-child interaction is sharing control with children. Even when activities are planned by adults around specific concepts, adults encourage children’s initiatives and choices. Trained adults who understand child development and how to promote a positive supportive climate in the preschool years offer guidance and support.
Our teachers support children’s active learning by organizing the environment, establishing a consistent daily routine; establishing a supportive social climate; encouraging children’s interests and activities, problem solving, planning small-and-large group learning experiences; and interpreting children’s actions in terms of the High/Scope key developmental Indicators.
While learning in these content areas prepares children for later schooling, High Scope takes the learning process beyond traditional academic subjects by applying methods that promote independence, curiosity, decision making, cooperation, persistence, creativity, and problem solving in young children.
Classroom Arrangement and Materials
The Kindergarten’s premises and layout are refreshingly different. The Kindergarten classrooms are purpose built and have been designed by a professional interior design company.
To support the High Scope Approach and our philosophy, classrooms are arranged with distinct, well-equipped interest areas or learning corners, to promote and support active learning. The interest areas are organized around specific kinds of play; for example, block area, home area, table top toy area, book area, sand-and-water area, and art area.
Based on the needs, interests, and abilities of students, teachers make periodic changes to the environment and materials.
Each day, children engage in a consistent routine that allows time for children to plan, carry out, and reflect on their own learning as well as time to engage in small-and-large group activities. Central elements of the preschool daily routine include work time, small- and large-group times, story time, music time, and outside time.
One way that our teachers can understand and assess children’s development, interests, and needs within the context of the kindergarten classroom is through observation and documentation. Through systematic observation over time, and use of a variety of methods like anecdotal records, running records, checklists and work samples teachers are able to capture and record meaningful details that take into account all aspects of children’s development; allowing for a more complete view of the “whole child”. For example, when observing three children stringing beads and talking together about the shapes and colors of the beads, a teacher observes the children’s fine motor skills while also observing their cognitive, language, and social skills.
These observational records give teachers the information they need to select right materials, plan appropriate activities and enhance classroom routines and instructional practices in ways which are natural and meaningful for children. While formal assessment methods are required from time to time, systematic observation is the main tool used to gather information about the learner and to respond to their needs.