Open Sky International Bilingual School methodology is based on active learning. Children learn through observation, personal experience and exploration. Play is essential. Children learn ideas through play and while they are having fun they progressively acquire knowledge of the physical and social world. Safe environments, appropriate materials, equipment and role models, planned and appropriate outdoor environments, carefully planned curriculum make children enjoy learning.
The classroom is a busy place where children observe and explore different areas set up by the teachers. Children manipulate different objects in the prepared environment. When they arrive, children are grouped together, this is a group time. After, children can move into different areas of choice. They may be working on their own or with other children or in a small group with a teacher.
The classroom is divided into areas of focus:
- Group time,
- Practical life,
- Culture & Science
Materials and skills corresponding to each area of focus are introduced and practiced in the same classroom. Children are aged from 2 and a half or 3 to 5 or 6 year old. There is a teacher and an assistant in the classroom.
In primary school, children are 5 to 11 years old. They are supervised by a teacher.
50% of courses are in French and 50% in English, allowing children to perfectly master the two languages.
Group time includes a variety of engaging circle time activities. Circle time is important because it teaches cooperation, increases confidence, and raises self-esteem. Children will do a variety of engaging circle activities which are teacher-directed such as:
- Calendar and weather activity: helping children to learn the concept of calendars, months, weeks, holidays and to discuss what the weather is like, what the temperature is outside...
- Songs: Music offers many benefits to children. Helps to increase vocabulary and more.
In the art area the goal is to have children learn about creativity and themselves. The finished product may not look like art but the whole creativity and discovery process is a valuable learning process.
- Use a variety of art materials for experience and exploration
- Have the opportunity to experiment with shape and texture and colour with wet and dry, with sticky and smooth.
Children will do workshops on a variety of topics that will be presented to parents. Some of the scheduled topics are:
In this area, children manipulate materials and do activities that play an important role in the development of their senses. These senses include sight, sound, touch, taste and smell, which, when combined, result in body awareness. These activities are very important during the earliest years, the period that the nervous system is still forming.
While working on this area, children will:
- Gain an understanding of basic concepts withing the environment: colour, lenght, volume, width, weight, shapes, textures and smells.
- Begin to explore the number system.
- Gain a concrete sense of geomery and geometric solids.
- Explore relationships between shapes and learn to create patterns.
- Develop critical thinking by using materials to compare and contrast, graduate from biggest to smallest.
In the language area, the development of the spoken and pre-reading and writing at early age is influenced by having a child listen to stories read aloud. Through exposure to appropriate materials such as phonic books, language tray card, sand paper letters, letter template, identifiying sizes & shapes, literature materials in a form of songs, poetry, stories, children acquire culture without effort.
A child is exposed to physical skill development activites, mental and social skills important in developing:
- Fine motor skills that can be practiced in activities such as: cutting, placing and pasting, tracing and coloring self-care skills...
- Large motor skills such as balance, body awareness, laterality, major muscle
- Co-ordination, spacial orientation...
- Verbal communication, awareness of emotional self-control and empathy.
- Interest in number activities, alphatet play, matching & sorting
- The understanding of common shapes, primary colours
Practical life materials and activities are introduced to assist children to acquire independence. A child learns skills of daily practical living. These activities provide the foundation for coordination of movement, independence and sense of order, concentration, and care for himself and the environment.
The main divisions of the practical life exercises are:
Grace and courtesy: the child learns how to:
- Introduce oneself
- Await one's turn and not interrupt
- Make requests politely
- Apologize when in wrong
- Resolve conflict
Self care activities like:
- Washing Hands
- Tying Shoe laces & Ribbons
- Putting on buttons
- Dressing - T-shirts & Jackets
- Care of clothing
Classroom rules: teachers take time to teach children step by step, basic rules of the classroom:
- Tidying up to complete a cycle of work,
- Looking after classroom pets and plants,
- Taking care of books with a sense of caring for public properties,
- Preparing and serving refreshments,
- Carrying and handling materials,
- Walking across the class without clashing onto someone else,
Materials used in the cultural area include early science processing skills as an integral part the classroom activities as children investigate concepts and evaluate their learning.
Children will learn to:
- Observe - notice different properties of objects and events using the senses
- Classify - grouping objects and events according to their properties
- Measure and to Use Numbers - be able to:
- Describe quantity using physical attributes such as length, weight size, temperature
- Record data with the help of teachers or by themselves with drawing and other tools
- Understand Spatial relationships
- Communicate - using language, drawings and other tools to describe observed events and relationships
- Infer and predict - making predictions of what might happen based on past observations and experiences, including cause and effect relationships
- Experiment - explore, manipulate, investigate to find what happens
Mathematics can be found in different activities that solve real problems in the classroom and on the playground, as well as stories, block building, dramatic play, animals in the classroom and so on. In many activities children learn about emerging mathematical concepts that encourage them to develop how to: observe, record, explore changes, make predictions, ask questions, and find ways to test out their hypotheses.
Children will learn basic concepts or ideas of mathematics through:
- Number: counting and meaning of numbers.
- Shape: identify and construct 2 and 3 dimension shapes; their properties.
- Putting together and taking apart: promotes exploration of adding and subtracting, and relations between sets and subsets
- Spatial relations: exploration of relations such as in front of, behind, above, below, left-right which are important to navigating their surrounding and the world
- Measurement: explore quantity and physical attributes such as length, weight, temperature and money
- Patterns and predictions : introduction to patterns such as shapes, numbers, and sounds
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