“Zhōngwén zhèngzài kāishǐ, Zhōngwén zhèngzài kāishǐ!”
The Pre-Kindergartners in Mrs. Boyd’s class cheerfully started chanting along to these words, which translates to ‘Chinese is starting,’ with Ms. Hong as she entered the classroom to begin their daily Mandarin lesson.
Daily Mandarin and Spanish lessons are essential for Pre-Kindergarten students and are taught all through Lower School. Exposure to other languages and cultures outside of their own is a major factor in the IB Primary Years Programme at Lausanne and is implemented when a student enters Pre-Kindergarten.
“Beginning the PYP in Pre-Kindergarten helps develop skills from an early age that will be necessary to promote life-long learning,” said PK teacher Peggy Boyd. “PYP learning at Lausanne extends to the outside environment with hands-on learning and also enhances literacy and numeracy at an early age.”
Along with their daily language lessons, Pre-kindergartners participate in four Units of Inquiry throughout the year:
“My favorite unit is How the World Works,” Ms. Boyd said. “Not only is it a year-long unit, but it’s very hands-on. Each PK class has a different gardener every day so the responsibility of watering the plants and tending the garden is shared equally. We also use flowers and produce from the garden in the service learning portion of the PYP.
By starting the PYP in Pre-Kindergarten, students are fully prepared for what is to come during the rest of their lower school years.
“I think it is great for a student to start the PYP in Pre-Kindergarten,” said lower school head Kara Barbour. “To be exposed to a leading academic system from the time a student starts their education until they graduate will be extremely rewarding for our students.”