Above and Beyond
Whether on the playground or in the school’s outdoor vicinity in the mountains, the children’s interaction with nature awakens their senses, stimulates their curiosity, stirs their imagination, and establishes healthy bonding as they explore the natural world. Our outdoor vicinity in the mountains is raw nature that undergoes noticeable changes during each season and stimulates children’s wonderings. We have two outdoor educators who facilitate the children’s learning of the natural world.
The Atelier is a physical space within the school that embodies a way of being. It brings an appreciation of beauty in all its forms to the attention of adults and children. The Atelierista, Artist In Residence, brings the practice of art and the sensibilities of the artist into our school environment. The Atelierista supports the exploration of different languages of expression, and the investigations involved in project work as well.
Serving the community teaches children responsibility not only for themselves but also for other people. Through community service, children understand that their actions impact other families. Opportunities to serve the community expand children’s social circle and teach them empathy, caring and compassion.
Every year, the EY classes embark on either short or year long community service projects. They organize fundraising events like bake and rummage sales to generate money, or donate and collect items and supplies like food, clothes, books and toys.
We have embraced the team teaching model in our Early Years classrooms since 2012. In every Nursery class, we have 3 co-teachers, and in every KG1 and KG2 class we have 2 co-teachers. Each class teaching team works closely together; they share expertise, insights, and responsibilities, and challenge one another. They learn with and from each other, communicate openly and share feedback with one another. The co-teaching model has contributed to the teachers’ acquisition of the growth mindset and resulted in a richer learning experience for the children.
Partnership with Parents
We believe that parents are our partners in their child’s education. As communication is key to developing this partnership, teachers and parents work closely together for the benefit of the child’s wellbeing and learning. Consistency in beliefs, approach and practices between home and school is crucial for the child’s growth and development. We share our practices and approach with parents through weekly communications from teachers and principal, monthly parent-coffee sessions, and regular meetings and workshops. We share information regularly in order to develop a shared understanding of our program. Parents are invited to join their child’s class to share reading and cooking sessions, Celebration Days, and Open House events. We build relationships with parents to help them feel comfortable in joining and supporting the learning journey with their child.
Early Years as Part of the Larger School Community
We acknowledge our role and our responsibilities within a larger learning community (Nursery-Grade 12) in preparing children to access further learning. ACS follows the American Education Reaches Out (AERO) standards.