Early Years (K1 and K2)
The Early Years Phase at Harrow Hong Kong focuses on building strong foundations for our youngest pupils.
The Early Years Centre is a purpose-built space which accommodates two classes of K1 and three classes of K2 children, ranging in ages from three to five years old. The Centre provides a large shared area, used for dining, hosting special events, performances and meetings for parents. Additionally, there is a multi-purpose room used for assemblies, group work and specialist Music lessons. A secure outdoor space can be accessed from each classroom, which pupils and teachers use for playtimes and some outdoor lessons. The space has designated areas to engage the children at play, for example:
- The Gardening Area
- Sandpit with Sand Kitchen
- Water Station
- Bikes and Trikes Area
- Maths Area
- Creative Area
- Reading tables
- Drawing walls
- Messy Play
- Physical Development courses
The Early Years Phase follows the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum. The curriculum sets the standards to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
The four guiding principles of the EYFS are:
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents;
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
Broadly speaking, the year is divided into six half termly themes that drive the focus of the curriculum. The class teacher teaches the vast majority of the curriculum including PE. In addition to this, a specialist Music and Swimming teacher also teaches all pupils in the Early Years throughout the course of their week.
The Early Years day is a full programme from Monday to Friday. It begins at 8.00am and finishes at 2.00pm. The day is interspersed with regular breaks and opportunities for pupils to interact and socialise.
Lunch is provided at School and the pupils sit in ‘family type’ groupings under the supervision of the staff and there is also a mid-morning snack. Parents are welcome to enter the Early Years Centre to drop-off and collect their children. This is also an effective way of ensuring lines of communication between teachers and parents are frequent.
The purpose-built Early Years Centre houses a variety of age appropriate facilities that support the curriculum in all manner of ways. The EYFS is based around a strong philosophy of indoor and outdoor exploration and play and the Centre boasts a generously proportioned outside terrace that spans the length of the building and provides every class with instant access to the outdoors. A variety of sand and water play resources are available for the pupils to use, as well as large construction equipment and tricycles. In addition to this, the Early Years pupils have access to whole School facilities, including the astro-turf and swimming pool.
K1 and K2 pupils are housed in dedicated classrooms. Each classroom has its own interactive whiteboard and access to laptops and iPads. The rooms are equipped with an abundance of educational resources that support the delivery of the curriculum.
Each class has a low adult to pupil ratio, which ensures quality interactions that move learning forward:
- K1 – Class Teacher and Teaching Assistant (16 pupils maximum)
- K2 – Class Teacher and Teaching Assistant (18 pupils maximum)
There is a dedicated Music room and a large multi-purpose shared area for activities such as indoor PE, assemblies and productions. Outside, there is also a shared adventure playground facility that Early Years can use for PE lessons or for their break times.
This combination of a robust curriculum and excellent facilities serves to provide the children with solid foundations in readiness for their transition to Year 1 in the Pre-Prep School. The experience in Early Years enables pupils to explore in a safe, secure and stimulating environment and sows the seeds for impending development of the Leadership for a better world characteristics.
Mrs. Susan E. Lessiter (Liverpool Hope University) from Dulwich College, Seoul, South Korea)
Mrs. Lessiter trained at Liverpool Hope University for four years and completed the Bachelor of Education (Hons) in Mathematics. She taught in the UK for 11 years. Prior to joining Harrow Hong Kong, she was the founding member of the Early Years school of Dulwich College, Seoul, where she took on the role as an Early Years Coordinator between 2010 and 2015.