The pre-primary program at Ekya, for 2.5 to 5.5 year olds, has two approaches – Kindergarten and Montessori. Both work on the shared principle of stimulating young minds through inquiry. While Montessori students learn through doing rather than instruction, the Kindergarten students use play and a nurturing environment to enhance their natural skills and gifts.
In the case of both approaches, Ekya believes in learning through curiosity by constantly encouraging the young ones to boldly ask questions and delve deeper into concepts.
Keeping play and creativity as the center of their lessons, Ekya Early Years program includes a wide range of learning areas such as physical education, visual arts, performing arts, sand-play, gardening and puppet shows. These give the young ones extensive opportunities to express themselves, learn through observation and become more self-aware. The quest programs cover varied topics like my city, me and my family, mammals, personal safety and animal movements. Through the quest topics, students take on different roles to be thinkers, inquirers, researchers and risk takers. Each topic offers different knowledge and inquiry skills through the activities and lessons planned during the week. Students are given a gamut of experiences to explore and experience the topic with peer interactions, incursion and excursion visits during the learning process and growth.
The pre-primary program builds a resilient foundation for the 21st century learners.
Here is an overview of our Montessori and Kindergarten methods at Ekya Early Years.
Montessori Method | 2.5 to 5.5 years
Under the guidance of special Montessori-trained teachers and enveloped in the warmth of their individual attention, Ekya students work with stimulating materials to develop concentration and a love for learning.
Children are divided into the following categories on the basis of their age – Montessori Sub-Juniors, Montessori Juniors and Montessori Seniors. Each section is called an Environment which has a cohort of mixed ages. A daily routine of prayer time, brain-gym time, rhyme time, work time and play time, is established.
The Montessori system develops a sense of responsibility and independence in children. Activity based learning is at the core of this methodology.
Playtime: To improve motor skills and focus on the importance of play and learning, our Montessori children spend a designated amount of time at the school sandpit. Gardening is also a vital part of the weekly schedule.
Exercise of Practical Life: Practical Life activities are at the heart of the Montessori classroom. Through these activities, students are given the chance to refine their motor skills, hand-eye coordination, hand strength, balance, concentrations and the ability to do things independently. The program focuses more on the practice than the result. Through repetition of these exercises, children pick up practical skills that will serve them for all their lives.
Love for Reading: Great emphasis is laid on developing a love for books through the school reading program. Special time is allocated for reading, storytelling and related activities to build students comprehension, spelling and appreciation for the written word
Sensorial activities: These help shape and refine a child’s perspective of qualities like colour, size, shape, length, texture, smell, taste and sound. Through sensorial activities, they become acute observers and make a better judgement of the many stimuli in their environment.
Special Days: Festivals, events, annual days, grandparent’s day and other appreciation days are also observed according to the school calendar.
For a detailed curriculum breakdown of our Montessori programme – click here
Kindergarten Method | 3.5 – 5.5 years
At Kindergarten, children transition to more complex social interactions with changes in physical development and the emergence of language skills and number sense that are relatively still nascent. The Kindergarten teachers respond to these changes in social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development, with appropriate lessons to support each child’s growth and emerging capabilities.
The Kindergarten curriculum shares a dynamic relationship with the day to day activities. While each area emphasizes specific skills, they are still relevant while exploring other learning areas. This kind of relationship between different areas of curriculum enhances children’s natural interest and enthusiasm.
Our curriculum covers basic number concepts, geometric shapes, letters of the alphabet, color identification, oral topics, clay activities and various literacy-based activities. These help develop a student’s skills of language, listening, social interaction, fine motor skills, and an enthusiasm towards learning.
Environment: Students are provided with a physical environment that promotes autonomy and work-spaces that encourage independent thinking. As children grow, the classroom materials grow with them in the sense that older children use the materials to explore the curriculum in new and deeper ways.
Activity time: Kindergarten students are given time to explore and work with educational materials during the day. This time allows for hands on activities and teaches essential social skills of sharing, peer interactions and communications.
Reading program: The reading program addresses essential pre-literacy and reading skills that are required at the Grade 1 level. Teachers use unique activities and reading worksheets in our progressive reading program. Sight words are taught using active learning methods designed for long-term retention.
Learning Styles of students: Every student is unique and learns through specific learning methods and styles. Teachers understand each child’s unique strengths and needs through Howard Gardner’s framework of multiple intelligence.