At GAA, we develop the whole child in a happy, play-based learning environment through the Primary Years Programme (PYP).
Through inquiry, we provide student-led learning in an engaging and collaborative process where children learn at their own developmental pace through the International Baccalaureate (IB) learner profiles, attitudes, and concepts.
In an environment that promotes exploration, innovation, respect, fun, differentiation and creativity, our students become internationally minded global citizens who are able to communicate, reflect and interact effectively with the world around them.
We aim to support students on their journey to construct meaning from the world around them. The Kindergarten 1 curriculum is developed within a framework of four transdisciplinary units of inquiry and the Kindergarten 2 curriculum is developed within a framework of six transdisciplinary units of inquiry (UOI). These units encourage students to inquire into globally significant issues that address a central idea where students can apply their knowledge in a real world context. The foundation of our curriculum lies in our belief to educate the whole child. To this end, we focus on five specific skill sets throughout these units:
- Mindfulness practice is intertwined in our day through MindUp curriculum.
- Through the Zones of Regulation, students develop their self-management skills.
- Inclusive practice with the student support team, ensures every child has access to an outstanding education.
Through a play-based learning approach we have:
- 17 kindergarten classes: 8 KG1 and 9 KG2.
- 25 early childhood specialized teachers.
- 22 educational assistants.
- 1 Counsellor, 1 Early Years Inclusion Specialist.
Innovation and Technology:
- Our research-based approach ensures learning agreements remain current.
- Makerspace in every classroom ensures that students use design-oriented thinking to plan, create and build their ideas.
- The provision of iPads in the classroom include a range of educational applications and understanding how to use technology responsibly.
- All classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards and Apple TVs to accommodate all learning styles in a fun and engaging way.
What does a typical day in Kindergarten look like?
Our day begins at 7:30 am and ends at 2:45 pm. Recess and snack/lunch are woven throughout our day.
Homeroom Class Students are welcomed to school and greeted in their homeroom class. Teachers facilitate student learning by cultivating a trusting community of learners. We know that each child arrives in our classroom with different sets of experiences and progresses at their own rate; no two students develop in the same manner. As such, teachers plan for a variety of engagements to target the needs of each individual student. Children with a preference for auditory, visual, or tactile learning will all have their needs met through individualized and small group instruction.
Our main pedagogical approach is inquiry, which moves students from their current understanding to new understanding by actively building connections between experiences and knowledge. Students become responsible for their learning by asking questions, carrying out investigations, and reflecting on their observations and processes in order to make a conclusion. Kindergarten classrooms are full of enriching, play-based engagements. Students manipulate the environment around them in order to explain and make sense of the world.
Kindergarten curriculum is a blend of the IB-PYP scope and sequence and AERO/Common Core standards.
GAA has implemented the Readers and Writers Workshop program from KG2 - Grade 5. In KG1, students develop pre-literacy skills, which prepare them as early writers. In Workshop, all students are looked at as young authors with a full capacity to become a confident reader and author.
Students also inquire into the following mathematical strands: number, data handling, measurement, patterns and functions, and shape and space. Students develop a strong number sense by representing numbers in variety of ways and are provided with hands-on opportunities to express their thinking.
Alongside the classroom engagements, our Kindergarten students experience various specialist subjects. These include: P.E., Kitchen Lab, Performing Arts, Arabic Language, Islamic Education, Library and Makerspace. Students expand their learning beyond the classroom doors to experience swimming, gymnastics, Makerspace, coding, healthy eating, and more! Purposeful facilities support learning:
- The Kitchen Lab cultivates science and inquiry as well as hygiene and safety practices.
- Students develop techniques in aquatics and safety in the swimming pool.
- Our outdoor learning areas enhance gross motor skills and fosters an active learning.
- Early literacy skills and a love of books is promoted in the KG Library.
- The Auditorium brings us together as a community to celebrate our learning.
We have enrichment opportunities throughout the year for students to share their learning, such as Arts Festival and Sports Day. Each class participates in community shares, student-led conferences, and end of unit celebrations; these are times when students communicate their learning to parents either in the classroom or in the auditorium.