Early Years




The Early Years Department offers a dynamic educational programme to children aged 2 to 7 years. For the academic year 2015/2016 we currently have 12 classes, 2 streams each in Nursery, Pre-School, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.

Our classrooms are spacious and well-resourced and we have 3 extensive playgrounds with exciting and challenging play equipment. Each Early Year's class has a teacher and a teacher’s assistant. The maximum class sizes are 16 in Nursery (1 teacher and 2 teacher’s assistants), 20 in Pre-School, 22 in Reception and 26 in Year 1 and 2. Every class from Preschool to Year 2 has a teacher assistant in each room.

Children are enrolled into age appropriate classes based on their age on 1st September of the academic year and are assessed if required by the Learning Support Department from Year 1 before being admitted. Students in Nursery should be potty trained. The appropriate age for each class is as follows:


NurseryAge 2+
Pre-SchoolAge 3
ReceptionAge 4
Year 1Age 5
Year 2Age 6

The school day for students is as follows:

Nursery8.00 am to 12.00 pm
Pre-School to Reception7.45 am to 12.30 pm
Year 17.05 am to 12.45 pm
Year 27.05 am to 13.10 pm
We have 2 breaks of 20 minutes and 30 minutes respectively during the school day.

In Year 2, the children are invited to join the Upper Primary after-school activities programme which includes a variety of sport and art-based activities. The Year 1 students begin after-school activities in January. We have a Learning Support and English Second Language programme which starts from Year 1 up. There is a school nurse available throughout the school day.

All of the Early Years attend specialist lessons. In Nursery and Pre-School, the children go to Physical Education twice a week (1 lesson is dedicated to swimming) Music, Art, Library and Zambian Studies. Both classes have IT in class and use Learn Pads, an award winning classroom tablet uniquely designed for education. From Reception onwards, the children begin French and Spanish lessons as well as IT lessons in the lab and Learn Pads in class.

We have a weekly Early Years Assembly where each class performs and shares their learning about their current Unit of Inquiry. Our assemblies are used to highlight Specialist performances and the Learner Profile. We also have an elected Student of the Week from each class and celebrate birthdays.

The Curriculum

ISL is an authorised school for the Primary Years Programme (PYP). In the Early Years programme, children are involved in hands-on learning experiences in Language, Mathematics and Units of Inquiry, enabling them to learn at their level and in meaningful ways. We build on what the child already knows and develop this through active learning and inquiry.

In Language and Literacy, we provide all children opportunities to become both readers and writers. Each child is treated as an individual and the teachers are skilled at identifying where a child is and supporting them to take the next appropriate step. In Mathematics, young children work with real objects to build an understanding of number, shape and measuring. The children have extensive opportunities to work with manipulative equipment before recording what they have done using symbols.

Our Units of Inquiry include aspects of Science and Technology, Social Studies, Personal and Social education, Mathematics, Art, Drama and Language. Children are involved in active learning with meaningful experiences aimed at developing their understanding of important concepts in our world.