Early Education is naturally holistic, as any visit to a nursery class will demonstrate. Children do not divide their play into subjects – their play meanders through all subject areas and through social and emotional domains continually. In holistic Early Education the whole child is considered important: health, physical and mental, feelings, thinking and spiritual aspects. Play is central to this holistic philosophy, where children have time to explore in depth ideas, emotions and relationships.
The European Schools Early Education Curriculum (EEC) focuses on supporting children’s learning and development over a 2 to 2 1/2 year cycle. Children enter the Early Years at 4 years of age and transition to the Primary when the requirements are met. The curriculum is harmonised across all of the language sections and is differentiated to support the learning and development of each individual child, recognising that each child will develop at his/her own pace.
The EEC and the various syllabuses for mother tongue education (Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian and Spanish) form the basis of teaching at ESH. Teaching is organised using themes based on the objectives of the EEC and mother tongue syllabuses. Within a theme, attention is paid to the physical, mental, social, cognitive and emotional development of the children. The children’s different development levels are accommodated by offering a variety of activities. The Early Years class teachers jointly plan and elaborate a detailed programme on these themes. Parents are informed about the various topics.
The Early Education Curriculum consists of four main areas which supports and monitors children’s physical, psychological, social, language, cognitive and emotional development: Me and my body, Me as a person, Me and the others and Me and the world.