The IICS Early Years team were invited to present their important work on personalising learning to an international audience of educators at the  ECIS (European Council of International Schools) Early Childhood Conference held on March 20-21 at Zurich International School.

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using iPads to record student progress

With skills honed from igniting the curiosity of young learners our Early Years team– represented by Duane Smith, Rebecca Richardson and Charaine Poutasi– impressed the international community with their presentation, engendering much discussion and interest in their work and in the approach being taken by IICS. Focussing on the journey the team experienced in implementing change and innovation as well as sharing the actual practices established, the presentation was a significant contribution to current thinking about best practice in Early Years and what this looks like in reality.

The team’s work centered around managing the complexities of both allowing children to follow their interests and self-direct their learning (child-centred learning) but also ensuring they are developing essential skills, being challenged to explore all areas, try new things and engage deeply with big ideas.

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using smartboards for interactive learning

A tall order indeed, but one for which technology offers a great support. Working with the IICS technology expert Brycen Davis the team developed an in-the-moment assessment tool which allows staff to capture the students learning as it happens, building up that all important image of child and even more significantly, established a way for the students themselves to document their development using an age appropriate tool, Easyblog junior. The large amount of meaningful data collected allows teachers to plan for each individual child’s next steps and ensure the opportunities they need are created, any additional support or challenge is provided and their interests and motivations better understood.

You can view the presentation here and do feel welcome to discuss the content or ideas with any of our EY team – they are passionate about what they are doing and love to talk about it!

This presentation was the culmination of over 18 months of work by the Early Years team within their Professional Learning Community (PLC). Supporting teachers in their professional development by facilitating action research groups, or ‘R&D’ teams is one of the ways we at IICS are working to ensure we fulfill our vision of being forward-thinking and exceptional.