Education |

Do children benefit from early childhood education?

Education | 4 August 2016

When it comes to setting the foundation for the future of their children, parents are striving to give them the best opportunities possible. There is a prevailing discussion to whether children should enter early childhood education programs or not.

Research has shown that the human brain undergoes a rapid development in early years. The learning in that age is especially effective. Children build their cognitive and character skills, they grow social-emotionally and their motoric skills and impulse control to problem solving are improving quickly.

Yet does that mean we should send our children to school in that early age?

P1 - Bali Island SchoolA study from Tennessee released last September showed that children who attended a statewide pre-kindergarten program performed worse in grade 3 than children who hadn’t. Yet there are multiple studies stating the opposite.

One of the most notable studies is the long term “HighScope Perry Preschool Study”, conducted in the United States. Researchers started looking at children in 1962 and again 40 years later to measure long-term benefits. They found that children that had a formal early education were more likely to have higher earnings, to hold a job, to graduate from high school and have a more stable marriage than those who did not have a formal early childhood education. Other studies looked at various programs – designed to stimulate the children’s brain in various activities, both recreational and academic – and found that children that underwent early childhood education have been proven to excel in academic achievements and better social adjustments compared to children without formal education.

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The answer to the question if children benefit from early childhood education is - it depends on the program. While the children in Tennessee were educated in a statewide program, the Perry Preschool Study looked at children attending a very high-quality education program.

For your children to have higher earnings, a stable marriage and a better perspective for their future, you should choose a high-quality early childhood program. High-quality programs look at the individual child and encourage learning processes during playing. Having other children around strengthens their social skills.

Looking at the child’s perspective:  children enjoy being with their peers and experiencing different forms of playing and learning, especially in an early age. Being naturally curious, children love having a variety of possibilities to explore.

EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMME AT BALI ISLAND SCHOOL Bali Island School – formerly Bali International School – offers an Early Childhood Programme, which is carefully designed to meet the specific developmental needs of the youngest learners. A team of teachers, teacher assistants and specialist teachers follow the Primary Years Programme (PYP) Early Years philosophy to develop a safe, happy and engaging learning experience for each child. The teachers are outstanding international practitioners who are well versed in differentiating teaching and learning to meet the needs of children with different interests, learning styles and levels of readiness. The children also benefit from a team of Specialist Teachers who integrate their expertise through Modern Languages, Music, and Physical Education. In addition to this, student needs are carefully assessed, monitored and addressed by an Early Intervention Teacher, a Counselor, a Learning Support Teacher and an English as an Additional Language Teacher.

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The campus provides genuine opportunities for young children to uncover their learning. The early childhood classrooms have multiple stations, including different play material, books, a mini stage for performances and a technology center.  Facilities include multiple playing fields and courts, a swimming pool, a multi-purpose hall, a comprehensive library/media center, a community center, a well-resourced music studio as well as outdoor play equipment and gardens.

The respectful, collaborative learning community is grounded by core values. The attributes BIS tries to nurture and model help individuals and groups to engage purposefully within and beyond our school walls. Parents are highly involved in their children’s learning. They are also highly committed towards developing an inclusive, dynamic school environment.

Four domains of learning are used to observe, support and assess early learners’ development at BIS: Personal, Social and Emotional Development: To nurture within each child a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behavior in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

Physical Development: To provide opportunities for each child to be active and interactive; to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement; to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food. To develop fine motor skills; skills that require the small muscles of the hand to work together to perform precise and refined movements such as writing and cutting.

Cognitive Development: To facilitate experiences that allow for each child to process information, make meaning, construct new knowledge and come to new understandings. Cognitive skills are mental processes such as memory, logic, reasoning, problem solving, spatial reasoning, critical thinking, decision making, concentration, attention, perception, imagination and creativity. Children are also encouraged to think about thinking and learn about learning; how to ask questions and how to process information into understanding. All these skills lay the foundation for the ‘traditional’ subjects of Mathematics, English, Science and Social Studies

Creative Development: Involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, design and technology.

Bali Island School (BIS) celebrates its 30-year anniversary this year: Bali International School opened in September 1985 and was renamed in accordance with the Ministerial Decree on Education in 2014.

BIS engages and empowers globally-minded, confident learners to reach their utmost potential in an active, creative, and respectful learning community. BIS is the oldest school in Bali and is the only school on the island authorized to offer the full International Baccalaureate Programme continuum from Preschool to Grade 12 ( Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma Programmes).

Bali Island School Jalan Danau Buyan No.4, Sanur, Bali P: +62 361 288 770