At Hopscotch all teachers are native English speakers (also bi-lingual) and will communicate with the children in English. We also provide Spanish classes for non-native speakers. We reference the UK based Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework to structure our children's learning. Below is a breakdown of the seven core areas of learning.
Personal and Social Education
We use routine and positive reinforcement to provide children with a framework to build healthy habits. We encourage children to recognise consequences for any negative behaviour, use good manners and be thoughtful and kind to one another. Through carefully structured play children learn to interact in group, distinguish their own needs and build a sense of the difference between right and wrong. Our play based environment helps them develop their cognitive, conflict resolution, problem solving, and self-control skills. We focus on emotional Intelligence and the development of empathy and respect for others and the confidence to challenge and question. By focusing on effort over ability we encourage our children to develop a healthy balance of self esteem, independence and confidence.
“The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, from birth to the age of six.”
— Maria Montessori
Communication and Language
Listening and responding to verbal and social cues is a key component in building good communication skills - children are provided with opportunities throughout the day to improve these skills in a range of play based situations. We use Letters and Sounds for children to gain sound recognition, with acute listening skills children can learn to read more effectively due to being able to distinguish between certain sounds and noises. Language is developed as a powerful means of expression through songs, stories and conversation with both peers and adults.
At a young age, physical development is extremely important. We motivate our children to use their bodies in an independent, challenging and interesting manner through such activities as daily Yoga sessions. These can enhance flexibility, core strength, co-ordination and body awareness and in addition improve their concentration and sense of mindfulness. We have a professional trained dancer on staff, delivering lessons once a week to the children. Our indoor and outdoor space has been carefully designed to encourage children to push boundaries, take risks and develop movement. Using natural play equipment children will be given the opportunity to discover their environment and learn about the importance of keeping healthy, active and in tune with nature.
We have excellent results in pre reading and letter recognition.We use Jolly Phonics, a world-leading English literacy method that teaches children how to read and write using phonics in a fun, multisensory way.
Interacting with oral story-telling and books encourages children to develop a sense of narrative, builds on their ability to structure sentences correctly and strengthens their skills of recall. Nursery rhymes and songs develop an awareness of rhyme and rhythm (an essential component for good spelling in later life). All these elements don´t mean much in isolation but, combined with an enthusiastic and entertaining narrator, they ignite a lifelong love of literature that in turn motivates a child to learn to read as soon as they can.
To develop mathematical understanding and thinking children first need to develop a strong sense of pattern – this can then help them to recognise the different sequences involved in counting. Here at Hopscotch we have staff who specialize in maths training who also lead workshops for parents on the best methods to support their children’s learning. We support early number sense through daily routines, action rhymes and songs, circle games and through the use of concrete objects. We also use technology to introduce coding on iPads and Tangram puzzles to develop problem-solving, critical thinking, spatial skills, and an intuitive sense of geometry.
Expressive Arts and Design
We are committed to providing a learning environment that encourages children to experiment with their natural creativity. We offer opportunities for children to express themselves through art, dance, movement and role play and believe that artistic expression is about process much more than it is about product. As an Eco school we prefer to use recyclable and natural materials and to re-use as many items as possible from project to project.
Music builds overall brain development and creates pathways in the brain that improve a child’s cognitive functioning. Language, reading and mathematical abilities, in particular, are developed through music activities. At Hopscotch we have a music specialist on staff dedicated to creating a music rich environment where the children both listen to and make music.
Understanding the World
Our objective is to support children in their quest to make sense of their surroundings – locally and globally. Children’s natural curiosity will be encouraged to question the sources and origins of the food they eat, the objects they play with and the environment they explore. They are encouraged to learn about and understand their own differences and to explore diversity as a beautiful part of their world.