At Silicon Valley International School (INTL) the Early Years lay the foundation for all future learning. INTL’s holistic approach focuses on the development of the whole child: as an intellectual, physical, social, and emotional being. As teachers co-construct meaning with their students through developing opportunities for the ongoing mastery of skills and competencies, and in supporting the acquisition of deep, conceptual understandings, they are also very intentionally, both explicitly and implicitly, fostering and prioritizing the development of our foundational C.O.R.E. values. Below are some examples illustrating what these look like in the classroom.
We respect, support, and collaborate to achieve results greater than we could ever reach individually.
Children in the Lotus class collaborate to collect data through a survey regarding tastes and preferences. This collaborative mathematical inquiry fostered skills in working as a team, handling data in a group and also building a growing awareness of the likes and dislikes of their classroom community. In teams the children were then able to analyze the data to learn more about one another.
Students in the Sequoia classroom were visited by INTL high school students, who had shared what they had learned about indigenous peoples’ traditions and histories. High school students imparted their knowledge about indigenous agriculture, and engaged Early Years students in age-appropriate discussions about origins, history, and usage.
We appreciate different cultures and perspectives by communicating honestly and without bias.
In the Lotus class, parents are wonderful partners in learning. For example, one parent came to share the festival of Diwali with the children, sharing the traditions and meaning in "signifying the start of a new year." The children showed appreciation for learning about the traditions of Diwali, expanding their perspectives and delighting in the vibrant colors.
In the Rainbow class, the children and teaching team prepared for the German celebration of Laternenfest by visiting other classrooms to share about the traditions behind it and collaborating closely with colleagues across language programs. Additionally, the class participated in the French celebration of the Galette de Rois and Chinese celebration of the Lunar New Year. The exchange among the language programs allows the students to learn about other cultures while building a great community founded in open-mindedness and respect.
We accept challenges, commit to overcoming them, and learn from our mistakes.
When working through physical challenges, building skills in spatial awareness and gross motor development, and learning more about what their bodies can do the Lotus students cheer for one another, offering support and encouragement to meet the challenges that lie ahead, to try a new way forward and to persevere.
We strive to understand each other and to treat everyone with care and kindness.
Lotus students proudly shared their home responsibilities with their peers. They reflected on how they show kindness and care in their family in a great range of ways such as through chores, demonstration of manners, connections with various family members and more.
In the Rainbow class the children show their empathy by supporting each other to feel better. When someone in the classroom injures themselves, you’ll often find the peers asking what they can do to make their friend feel better. For example, they may sit beside their friend as they ice their bumped knee, giving them time and companionship to feel better and rejoin the play again.
The C.O.R.E. values are embedded in the academic, social and emotional learning of our Early Years students. By placing value on these attributes, naming them, highlighting them, and providing opportunities for evidencing and reflecting, the Early Years teachers are exemplifying the school’s bilingual, inquiry-based mission in demonstrating integrity and sensitivity across cultures.