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Preschool Curriculum

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Our Preschool program was designed with a holistic approach that is designed to take every child’s individual development into account. Hisar Preschool offers a qualified education program based on effective learning methods and it is aimed toward fostering 21st century skills.

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Designed in the USA by David Weikart and his colleagues, HighScope education model is a learning program that promotes children’s development on all levels. Its success is proven by various scientific studies that span over long years, monitoring students who were taught with this model until their forties.

Based on Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget’s cognitive development theory and Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory and scaffolding method, the HighScope model is a child-centered education program containing elements that closely match Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. When it comes to measuring academic and general success, this balanced model based on an Active Learning philosophy delivers more meaningful and positive results than completely teacher-driven or completely child-driven programs.

The program supports children’s various developmental processes and skills through Key Developmental Indicators. These skills are aimed at different developmental areas and are aligned with children’s age groups. Key Developmental Indicators improve and foster the skills that children already have and are in the process of developing by addressing these skills comprehensively and provide long-term benefits.

Key Developmental Indicators:

  • Approaches to Learning
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development and Health
  • Language, Literacy, and Communication
  • Mathematics
  • Creative Arts
  • Science and Technology
  • Social Studies

One of the most significant segments of the High/Scope daily routine is the Plan-Do-Review sequence. In this three-part sequence, children have the opportunity to make plans based on their interests first, then carry out their ideas, and finally reflect on what they have done during the planning and implementation processes. This way, children see that they can plan, implement the decisions they have taken, review the challenges they faced, and reflect on how to solve a problem next time if they could not solve it the first time. As a result, their self-confidence and sense of responsibility increase, which fosters independence. Children carry out their studies on a creative and individual basis since they are not expected to provide an absolute outcome or a single correct answer. The role of the adult is to ask children thought-provoking, open-ended questions that will support their learning, help them to develop problem-solving skills and, on occasion, to carry this skill into the next level.

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Preschool Information Technologies Course focuses on technology, research skills and information fluency, a very important life skill to have, which means knowing how to find and access information. Technology is integrated into both English and Turkish programs as a tool that supports teaching and learning. Students investigate and independently use tools and technology. In every classroom, there are interactive whiteboards that can be used by teachers and students. Students are provided with an iPad that they can use to play coding games, number games and word games during the lesson. By using technology, students have the opportunity to develop preliminary skills to find answers to the questions that come to their minds.

Information Strategies Policy

Hisar School believes that when used efficiently, technology provides numerous and invaluable opportunities and experiences for the users (student, teacher, staff). When technology is structured and used to support education programs, it will help students to gain 21st-century skills…  Read more

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Questioning and curiosity are natural inclinations of children. Preparing proper environments that foster students’ observational skills, ability to estimate possible results, make conclusions based on experimentation and observation will ignite their curiosity and help them develop the life skills they will require to conduct their future scientific experiments. At Hisar Preschool, students formulate an idea about the interactions between objects and evolution of objects, collect information about the natural and physical world and develop an understanding of processes as part of our English and Turkish programs. Science lessons taught at the Preschool level focuses on keeping students’ interests alive and nurturing their natural curiosity.

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MindUP

As part of our English program, we implement MindUP program every couple of weeks. This program combines teaching how our brain works, mindfulness, social and emotional awareness, and how to foster these practices. The content of the program is deeply rooted in positive psychology. The program aims to create positive learning environments in schools and classrooms, mitigate stress and form better relationships. In order to help students understand the socio-emotional areas and their effects, it combines different curricula focused on arts and stories in particular. The program aims to improve students’ self-regulatory skills by creating awareness on different parts of the brain.

English Language Acquisition Approach

Our English program is a half-day program that implements High/Scope approach in parallel with our Turkish program. We use a teaching method in which students are placed in a number of natural environments where only English is spoken. Students learn English in the same way they learn their mother tongue. Language is acquired through a theme-based approach; students learn within the context of themes. Every unit refers to all of the areas covered in our program. Students’ comprehension is supported by visuals, songs, games, stories and activities. Teachers asses their students’ existing English knowledge and support their individual needs. The methods used to achieve this includes differentiated questions and discussions, repetition, peer support and focusing on students’ areas of interest to raise their motivation.

Phonics

In our English program, we take a synthetic phonics approach for early literacy learning. In this approach, each sound is taught individually in a certain order and then children use this information to read whole words. Students learn the sounds for letters and how to identify lower case letters that correspond to these sounds. As soon as they learn some of the letters, they start to read three-letter words. The program’s objective is to teach sounds and reading instead of writing. It especially focuses on teaching students the difference between how English and Turkish letters sound and encourages them to learn the letters that are frequently mistaken, and recognize frequently used words, which underlies fluent reading.

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Mathematics has a place in all aspects of life, and in our Preschool curriculum, Math skills are also covered in each of the daily routine activities, both in English and Turkish programs. Students are provided with the time and opportunity and encouraged to use basic math concepts and skills to solve real-life problems.

The Preschool Mathematics curriculum focuses on mathematical relationships in everyday life and aims to help students to develop basic math skills by teaching concepts such as sizes, shapes, patterns, counting and matching, recognizing numbers, telling the time, and measuring quantities. Students use natural and standard measurements to form cause and effect relationships through their experiences and compare their data in numerical charts. They get the opportunity to practice mathematical sub-skills by classifying and sorting objects.

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One of the primary objectives of the Social Studies program is to equip children with the necessary information and skills regarding the needs of an individual as a part of society and society’s expectations. In our Preschool curriculum, the Social Sciences course is included both in the English and in the Turkish program and it aims to help our students understand that people have different characteristics, ideas and interests and to be aware of the fact that they may create a difference in the world. Learning to accept and respect differences is the first step of becoming a world citizen.

Activities in the program can be listed as Geography, History and Ecology. These subjects help them to understand that people different roles and functions in society. Every year students choose and work on a project for two weeks. Global issues are discussed in large group times within the program and students are encouraged to search for solutions. They are offered opportunities to work out these solutions in real life. Through these efforts, students take a step toward becoming responsible individuals.

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Students use language to express their ideas, needs and feelings. Listening to narratives and speaking about personal experiences help them develop effective communication skills. Good command of language makes learning easier.

Instead of teaching our students how to read and write at the Preschool level before they are ready, we aim to equip them with basic pre-literacy skills. Making up tales, rhymes, songs, poems and riddles as part of the daily program helps the children use the language fluently and improve their vocabulary. Teachers initiate curiosity for literacy in the learning environment by using a variety of written materials and books. Recognizing the sounds and symbols of letters, noticing the sounds in words and paying attention to written materials all build a foundation for literacy. Thanks to these skills, when students start Primary School, they can easily move on to their literacy studies in 1st Grade.

Library Skills

In order to help children develop good reading habits and a love of books, our Preschool curricula for both English and Turkish programs include reading hours that are actively carried out in our classrooms and library. Each classroom has a reading corner with low bookshelves accessible to the children, containing books written in both languages and feature a wide range of themes. In addition, each class visits the library once a week. Students can read and borrow from a selection of Turkish and English books, magazines and encyclopedias which are age-appropriate. This activity promotes students’ ability to take responsibility while improving their reading skills. Families can visit our library after school hours. The primary objectives of this activity is to raise students’ interest in written materials and help them develop good reading skills. This is best achieved by letting them enjoy the books as they look at the pictures, turn pages, and listen to stories.

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Preschool Physical Education course promotes basic skills such as staying in balance, coordination, flexibility and controlling objects. Students improve their strength, flexibility, balance and timing skills by using their gross muscles while they improve their hand-eye coordination by training their small muscles. They become more aware of their own bodies by taking part in a variety of individual and group activities.

The program aims to develop students’ fundamental movement, physical and motor skills as well as their cognitive, linguistic, socio-emotional and self-care abilities and to help students maintain a lifelong involvement in physical activities.

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Movement Training course taught at the Preschool level is a significant element of the learning experience that aims to support and develop kinesthetic intelligence. The program, which focuses on experiencing and defining movement, aims to teach students how to concentrate on their own bodies and realize their artistic creativity through movement.

Thanks to the opportunities provided for movement training at Preschool, students not only improve their movement skills but also develop a better understanding of themselves and the world around them. They gain awareness and self-confidence about their own movement skills.

Balance, coordination, physical fitness and concentration exercises that students do to prepare their bodies for sportive activities can be listed as some of the key learning outcomes of the Movement Training course.

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Preschool Visual Arts course helps students develop their knowledge in arts. In this course, children develop fine motor skills, learn to visualize their creativity by using different techniques and tools and improve their self-expression skills.

Students learn to use colors, patterns, and painting techniques throughout the year. They get familiar with the types of equipment used in visual arts. They meet artists from around the world and learn about their colorful lives. They get to see and comment on various pieces of art by different artists. They mold objects out of clay, shaping it by squeezing and pounding with their own hands. They develop a perception of three-dimensional structures.

Thanks to this program, each student learns to give voice to colors and express themselves like an artist by discovering the world through exciting topics, inspiring techniques and materials. In the Visual Arts course, we follow an approach that encourages students to create original pieces of art by using different materials.

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The Preschool Music course follows a curriculum in which students acquire musical skills in groups, learn how to use their voices and move their bodies in harmony with the music by accompanying the songs they sing with matching movements.

At Hisar Preschool, students express what they observe, think, imagine and feel through music. Children in the early childhood period are open to create, hear and move in harmony with the music.

While the Music course shows students how to enjoy music, its main objective is to help them distinguish between sounds and use this basic musical knowledge in their daily life. Students discover music by moving in harmony with the music, listen to and identify the sounds around them and discover music by playing simple instruments.

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