Through its almost two decades of early childhood education, Keys School Manila is proud to have created a unique method of curriculum and instruction that allows children to be children while encouraging learning. At Keys, we employ multiple learning philosophies that allow children to grow and learn while never losing their wonder for the subjects they study.
Childhood is a period of discovery for children, and this is most true in early childhood. In the Keys Pre-K and K programs, we encourage wonder and discovery by:
We lay the foundation for pre-literacy skills through self-initiated activities and provide experiences where children get to practice foundational skills in numeracy and literacy - counting, creating patterns, forming letters, and learning letter sounds.
The classroom is equipped with loose parts or open-ended materials where children explore and play. Children intrinsically discover concepts such as creating patterns, sorting, and number correspondence.
Coupled with these self-initiated activities are guided sensory activities, like water play in 2s and 3s, which open and build on nerves in the brain that help develop language formation and comprehension.
Allowing students to develop in their own capacities (their individuality) while connecting them to the world
Establishing a strong foundation in our curriculum is encouraged through learning with meaning. It is done with small, consistent steps that the children build on as we move along. Our activities center on what is significant to the children. For example, before they can really write, read, or solve number-related problems, they should first see the relevance of words and labels around them and how this can be used in their work and play. In the same light, something as simple as setting up a table for their toys during pretend play builds on their math skills as they learn one-to-one correspondence and estimation.
Having learning start from the child
Our child-initiated and child-focused activities stem from their interests. Learning truly starts from them and is nurtured by the teachers. This is a process that is not rushed. It entails teachers and members of the school to listen, observe and interpret what the children like to talk about, what they play with, and how they play.
By allowing children to play, explore, wonder, and discover their environment on their own and at their own pace, we embrace each child’s individuality and uniqueness. Through their own curiosity, children both learn and learn how to learn. This gives them plenty of room for growth and flexibility, leaving much room for the unexpected.
A typical day in the Keys Pre-K and K classrooms will show children working with and exploring open-ended materials or loose parts, always discovering new materials and things, working together, and connecting with the outdoors (learning is not confined to the classroom). Early childhood learners at Keys are encouraged to go through trial and error processes to make mistakes that will help them navigate their learning. They are also encouraged to ask questions and discuss their ideas about the things they’ve created, discovered, or observed.
As the children grow, the curriculum and instruction grow and evolve with them because it is designed to support all types of learners. The children themselves become witnesses to their development and/or the timeline and evolution of their work, an observation that also encourages them to learn even more.
Finally, children are also made aware of the kind of learner they may be, and in doing this, become exposed to different ways of learning. Some of the learner types include:
- Active participants
- Community Builders (Those thank think of others)
Early childhood is a wondrous time, and at Keys School Manila, we know we have found ways to maximize that wonder so that children will feel the magic of learning and take that spirit with them into the next stage of their educational journey.