“The first child years are the formative years. Everything they learn at this time is of great importance for their future development.”
The nursery is therefore the basis of a European School education. So what is the nursery at EES all about ?
It’s about 101 children, originating from 36 countries ; it’s about 4 class teachers, 3 classroom assistants, 1 voluntary assistant and an LS team, coming from as near as Strasbourg and as far away as Michigan, USA.
Our shared objective ? To make the EES nursery a safe and welcoming place where everyone takes care of each other ; where school is about having fun and learning through discovery and flights of imagination ; where everyone is proud of what they achieve and happy to share their achievements with each other.
How do we do this ? Firstly we ensure that there are no barriers between the children so that everyone can have 100 friends if they choose. European hours on Wednesday mornings were introduced for this specific purpose – the 4 classes of children are mixed and each child spends 6 weeks with all of the 4 teachers and children from the other language sections. The children learn that it is okay not to understand all the words and that through trying to communicate in different ways we can make new friends and learn new things about each other.
Secondly, we ensure that there is cohesion within the teaching team. Weekly meetings and shared updates, resources, ideas and teaching methods help towards this. The team supports each other, offers advice and assistance, and, most importantly, keeps a close eye on all of the nursery children together.
Thirdly, we have shared events to celebrate the children’s success and extend their knowledge. This is done on a weekly basis at the Friday morning assembly and on special occasions, including “Tag der Wiedervereinigung”, “World Book Day”, “Approchant”, the European Day of Languages, St Nicholas Day, Father Christmas’s visit, Europe Day and the M2 graduation ceremony and party. Depending on our projects, we take trips to places as varied as the planetarium, the local market, the fire station and the ‘Flams’ restaurant to make tarte flambée.
And finally, we look towards the future. What kind of citizens do we want the children to become ? How can we help them on their way ? How can we work with their parents to ensure the children are as happy, fulfilled and successful as they possibly can be ? The answer to that is found by having a shared behaviour code in the nursery ; by working together, with the children and their parents, to raise educational standards and respect cultural differences ; to develop the European School ‘Early Childhood Curriculum’ to offer the best learning opportunities for the children.
If you would like to find out more, come along for a visit – we are always happy to welcome new faces with a new story to share.
The teachers of the European School of Strasbourg use a curriculum based design in pre-school years.