welcome to eis
early childhood center!
As Principal of the Escuela Internacional Sampedrana Early Childhood Center, it is my pleasure to welcome you to our school. In the ECC, you will experience the energy and enthusiasm of our young students for learning. Entering preschool is one of the most exciting moments in your child’s life, and we are proud to be part of this journey. Our teachers work hard to provide a rich educational environment for all our students as we believe each child is unique. We try hard to meet each of their needs; we strive to challenge each student to grow in their social, emotional, and academic abilities, building long-lasting and meaningful relationships that help support this growth. Our EIS Pups learn through authentic projects or playscapes, representing opportunities for children to apply their learning in real-world contexts. Children constantly make sense of the world around them, forming ideas about how different pieces of their world fit together based on their experiences. Much of their “sense-making” is through sensory input, where each of their senses is engaged, giving them a unique perspective and personal understanding of their environment. We encourage parents to come to join us in this adventure and be involved in many of the exciting things we will do every year. We genuinely believe that the more directly parents are involved in their child’s education, the more successful the child will be in school. Sincerely, Lilliam Nasser ECC Principal
our portrait of a bulldog pup
ECC is one great school where learning builds steadily from Early Childhood to High School. Our ultimate goals for our young learners in the ECC are expressed in our Portrait of a Bulldog Pup, in which we describe the characteristics of the young learners who have experienced our ECC Learning Ecosystem.
our pathways to the
portrait of a bulldog pup
We work intentionally to build the qualities described in our Portrait. Our approach to learning can most simply be described as Foundation + Application = A Balanced Learning Experience.
We believe deeply that the ECC provides the foundation for all future learning success. We have a clear Definition of Learning that we share with all of EIS. It’s known as the 3 Cs and it means that we develop your children’s Conceptual understanding, Competencies, and Character. To put it another way, your children will be learning experts: good with ideas, good with skills, and good people! They will learn to be experts in basic literacy in Spanish and English, experts in early mathematical and scientific reasoning, experts in creativity and innovation, and experts at building positive, constructive relationships with other children and with adults. To ensure that these basics are mastered, we have adopted the best available learning programs and built an expert team of teachers and co-teachers who are skilled in the use of these programs: Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, Linda Mood-Bell, Handwriting Without Tears, Mathematics, Physical Education, Music, Library & Values Education.
We also know that children remember their learning best, and enjoy it more when they are engaged in authentic, real-world experiences that mean something to them. So, each semester, our Bulldog Pups apply their foundational learning in exciting, play- & inquiry-based Learning Modules that we call Playscapes. These Playscapes engage all children in active, play-based learning where they learn to build, create, think critically, collaborate, make decisions and then share and celebrate their learning in an exciting celebration, the Exhibition of Learning. We offer three (3) Playscapes per year and all parents and other family members are warmly invited to the Exhibitions of Learning. To make sure that parents enjoy the Exhibitions to the full, we provide a Parent Playbook for the Exhibition, that explains all our Learning Goals, shows examples of the children at work, and also provides parents with ideas about how to discuss the children’s work with them in interesting, and meaningful ways to ask questions. Through a focus on both a ‘traditional’ emphasis on building the foundations of learning success and an innovative, play-based set of Playscape experiences we ensure that every child has the optimal start to their learning Life. In the ECC, Foundation + Application = A Balanced Start
Our Teachers and Co-Teachers
We ensure individual support and attention for every child through a very generous allocation of dedicated teachers and co-teachers. Group sizes can be small, ensuring that we know every child and what s/he needs to progress steadily and happily. All of our teaching and co-teaching faculty are fully qualified and engage in regular professional development so that they remain current on the latest research in early childhood development.
Our Parent Community
We see parents as our learning partners, as they are their children’s support system, while they also support our own efforts to provide the very best early learning experience for every child. There are regular opportunities to learn about your child’s progress in different ways. We operate an open-door policy when it comes to raising concerns or suggestions, so please feel free to stay closely in touch with us about any and all aspects of your child’s education in the ECC.
The ECC classroom is organized in small areas. Dramatic Play area, Writing and Art, Math, Science and Exploration, Circle Time or meeting area, Sand and Water, Loft, and Building Blocks are some areas you will find in our classrooms. Throughout the ECC, children move around the areas following a teacher-designed structure and common goals.
Playhouse, restaurant, and doctor’s office.
Writing & Art
Painting, creating cards or posters, writing a letter to a friend, modeling with clay, creating special designs with different materials: popsicle sticks, pom-poms, glue, paper, clay, etc.
Science and Exploration
Observe plants grow, play with a shell rock collection, record what changes on a plate when we add food coloring to the water, etc.
circle time or meeting area
Children gather for morning meetings, shared reading and writing of the morning message, sing songs, read stories, and play with rhymes and chants. The benefits of a structured ‘circle time’ session as a vehicle for teaching and learning with young children cannot be underestimated, especially after a year of very little social contact for many
Sand & Water
The importance of sensory exploration, even when potentially perceived as ‘messy’ and unstructured, cannot be overstated. Child-led learning at the sand & water table leads to sensory and manipulative play and to inspiring and interesting learning experiences for the children. The ECC has a clear focus on the full potential of the learning possibilities offered by the unstructured activities, we intentionally design and plan for.
The use of a Loft in the classroom brings with it great new opportunities for social play and learning. As well as adding extra storage and visual interest to any classroom corner, classroom lofts are designed to present new challenges to help children develop their gross motor skills and spacial awareness while learning. The loft’s versatile shape also means that it’s great for role-play learning, literacy, numeracy, and much more – which encourages the growth and development of vital social and communication skills, creativity and the ability to share play with others.
Hallways & Central Spaces
The ECC hallways are non-traditional, flexible learning spaces. Spaces for inquiry-based, experiential-based learning, are the natural progression for this kind of student-led learning, without replacing the classroom. Instead, every learning space is determined by the school’s pedagogy and by learning opportunities outside of the classroom, which evolve over time, and are aligned with our students’ individual learning styles and socialization skills. We create learning environments in hallways and central spaces that in actuality become the students’ third teacher. ECC hallways are also used for the purpose of snack time, and celebrations. Our building’s waiting area at the entrance is an area for parents to mingle, and an ideal spot for our active PTA to share treats during celebrations.
As play is charged by curiosity, play naturally improves the social-emotional, cognitive, and physical well-being of our students. Our playground is of increasing importance as we learn for the development of social-emotional awareness, and cognitive abilities necessary to gain self-confidence and self-esteem, such as healthy risk-taking, coping with situations that pose challenges, resilience, curiosity, problem-solving, risk-taking, and for nurturing a natural sense of independence. Children also expand their vocabulary in both Spanish and English through the wide range of free interactions they engage in. It is in the school playground where, through free interactions, children make fond memories of adventures created with peers. There are always at least two teachers per group of children, to ensure safety and security. Our playground is enhanced on a yearly basis to ensure that we provide new and safe experiences for our students at all times.
The kitchen is an extension of any classroom with multi-purposes. Students and teachers enjoy making recipes that help children learn about measuring, sharing, developing a second language, etc. The best part comes at the end when everyone gets to eat the yummy food!