Parent Curriculum Handbook
Pre - Nursery
WISS Mission Statement
WISS cultivates healthy, balanced, confident and ethical people; striving to challenge and stimulate students to inquire, wonder, discover, and
create each day. We aim to send into the world brave, compassionate, internationally minded global citizens with the skill and intellect to help
shape the future.
IB Mission Statement
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more
peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of
international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other
people, with their differences, can also be right.
I feel privileged to be a part of this special time in a child’s lifetime, when they are growing, changing and learning about themselves
with each new experience brings imagination, creativity, exploration, discoveries and wonderings. These moments come together
to shape your child’s understanding of the world around them and all the questions that follow are a way for children to express
their natural curiosity. By working together in a close partnership with parents, we are able to develop the foundations for a lifetime
of learning that are just the beginning of a very exciting journey.
The PYP encourages this natural curiosity and inspires children to be knowledgeable and caring young people and have the skills
to inquire into and shape the world around them. This guide will provide you with more insight into the PYP curriculum and how we
work to embrace this as a community; parents, students and staff together.
- Fiona Morris
Early Years Principal
The PYP years are an exciting time for students as they learn who they are as learners and as people. As a PYP School, we strive
to facilitate each student into becoming active, caring, lifelong learners who respect and contribute to the world. In the primary
school, students learn through an inquiry-based curriculum which integrates traditional subjects like English, Mathematics, Chinese,
Social Studies, and Science as well as subjects taught by specialist teachers to include Art, Music, PE, and Swimming. Students
attend lessons in beautiful facilities to include our science/cooking room, The Jungle, and the engineering and robotics room called
DaVinci’s Innovation Space. But the absolute best part of the Primary School is our warm and caring community. Our very talented
teachers and staff, enthusiastic students, and supportive parents form a community that I am very proud to be a part of. I invite you
to learn more about the PYP at WISS and to come by for a visit to see how we approach learning.
- Doreen Garrigan
We encourage all children in Pre-Nursery to begin to understand and exhibit the attributes described in the Learner Profile.
Inquirers They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to I am an Inquirer. I am curious and I ask
Knowledgeable conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They questions about the world. I enjoy learning and
actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout discovering new things.
Thinkers their lives.
Communicators They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global I am Knowledgeable. I can use what I have
significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop learned wisely.
Principled understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.
They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to I am a Thinker. I can solve problems and make
Open-minded recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical good decisions.
They understand and express ideas and information confidently and I am a Communicator. I am able to talk, draw,
Risk-takers creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of write and use my body to show people what I
Balanced communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with know and how I feel.
They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice I am Principled. I am fair and honest. I follow
and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They rules.
take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that
accompany them. I am Open-minded. I know that people are
They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, different from me and I try to understand them.
and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals
and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range I am Caring. I say and do things that make
of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience. people happy. I also take care of my
They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and environment.
feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to I am a Risk-taker. I have the courage to try new
make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment. things.
They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and
forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas I am Balanced. I make time for work and play. I
and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs. have different interests that make me happy.
They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional I am Reflective. I think about the way I learn and
balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others. where I need to try harder.
They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience.
They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in
order to support their learning and personal development.
Pre-Nursery - Areas of Learning and Development
Communication, Language and Literacy (CLL):
Listening and attention; Understanding; Speaking.
Children develop confidence and competence in communicating in their home language and in English, speaking and listening, listening to
stories and exploring the different ways that they can communicate thoughts and ideas.
Numbers; Shape, Space and Measures.
Developing a growing understanding of problem solving and numbers, through stories, songs, games and play. Children develop an
awareness of numbers in the environment as well as becoming familiar with the use of mathematical language such as 'heavier than' or
Creative Arts (CA):
Exploring and Using Media and Materials; Being Imaginative
Developing imagination and creativity in art, music, movement, dance, imaginative and role-play activities.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED):
Making Relationships; Self-confidence and Self-awareness; Managing Feelings and Behaviour.
Developing a positive sense of self and respect for others; developing independence skills including dressing, undressing, eating and
washing, as well as having an enthusiasm for learning.
Understanding of the World (UW):
People and Communities; The World; Technology.
Learning to make sense of the world by exploring the natural environment and inquiring into their own culture and that of others. Using tools
and different materials to make things and exploring ICT.
Physical Development (PD):
Moving and Handling; Health and Self-care.
Children will be helped to develop skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement and to understand the importance of a healthy
diet and lifestyle.
Pre-Nursery Programme of Inquiry
Within each of the inquiry units, the students will work within the following areas of learning:
CLL M CA PSED UW PD
Changing Seasons: Autumn to Winter Families
The activities in the first of our seasonal units provides This first unit enables each child to transition and grow into their new
opportunities for children to observe and comment on the physical learning environment, whilst nurturing and enriching the partnership
changes that take place in our environment during this time. Together between home and school. Children develop confidence to communicate
we will explore the way that animals behave in the lead up to winter their existing understandings and knowledge of their own family with new
as we are introduced to the concept of hibernation and migration. friends as they introduce their own family and learn about the families of
Moving into winter we will experience the changes that we as humans others. Routines and practices within each family are explored as
make in order to stay warm and healthy during winter time. We continue children and families share their interests, cultural practices and special
these inquiries through our exposure to seasonal fruits and vegetables as memories as the similarities and differences between families are
we discover and make foods which are associated to the seasons and celebrated.
the role they have in the cultural celebrations of our own families.
Changing Seasons: Summer
Colours Our final seasons unit enables students to build upon their seasonal
In this unit children will explore stories and songs revolving around the discoveries as they work together with the Pre-Nursery team to develop
subject of colours. The main learning objective of the unit is to recognize their understanding of the similarities and differences between summer
and name colours, discovering how colours can be mixed together as well and activities that take place during this season compared with the other
as identifying that new colours can be made through a variety of science seasons in the year. Students will be encouraged to take a more active
explorations. These activities will extend into Mathematics as we match role in leading this inquiry based unit as they become more confident and
and sort objects by the attribute of colour as well as using colour to effective communicators.
identify and extend colour patterns in our environment.
Changing Seasons: Spring and growth During the inquiry children will explore how animals are grouped and
Our second seasonal unit enables the children to build upon their classified as pets, farm animals and animals in the wild. They will be
previous seasonal discoveries as we investigate the similarities and introduced to animal patterns, textures and camouflage, as well as
differences moving into warmer weather by exploring and interacting with exploring animal habitats through a variety of non-fiction texts and
the environment. We will investigate growth by planting seeds, observing documentaries. The children will begin to understand how animals live
what happens to these seeds and exploring the ways in which we can and move, recreating these movements while at play. While exploring
monitor and record the changes which are observed in our natural world. different animals, their sounds, similarities and differences, the children
will be looking at the first stages of classification.
Communication, Language and Literacy
Communication and Typical Behaviour
• Listens with interest to the noises adults make when they read stories.
Listening and Attention • Recognizes and responds to many familiar sounds, e.g. turning to a knock on the door, looking at or going to the door.
• Shows interest in play with sounds, songs and rhymes.
Understanding • Single channeled attention. Can shift to a different task if attention fully obtained – using child’s name helps focus.
Speaking • Selects familiar objects by name and will go and find objects when asked, or identify objects from a group.
• Understands simple sentences (e.g. ‘Throw the ball’.)
Literacy • Identifies action words by pointing to the right picture, e.g. “Who’s jumping?”
Reading • Understands more complex sentences, e.g. ‘Put your toys away and then we’ll read a book.’
Writing • Understands ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’ in simple questions (e.g. who’s that? What’s that? Where is?).
• Developing understanding of simple concepts (e.g. big/little).
• Copies familiar expressions, e.g. ‘Oh dear’, ‘All gone’.
• Beginning to put two words together (e.g. ‘want ball’, ‘more juice’).
• Uses different types of everyday words (nouns, verbs and adjectives, e.g. banana, go, sleep, hot).
• Beginning to ask simple questions.
• Beginning to talk about people and things that are not present.
• Uses language as a powerful means of widening contacts, sharing feelings, experiences and thoughts.
• Holds a conversation, jumping from topic to topic.
• Learns new words very rapidly and is able to use them in communicating.
• Uses gestures, sometimes with limited talk, e.g. reaches towards toy, saying ‘I have it’.
• Uses a variety of questions (e.g. what, where, who).
• Uses simple sentences (e.g.’ Mummy gonna work.’)
• Beginning to use word endings (e.g. going, cats).
• Has some favourite stories, rhymes, songs, poems or jingles.
• Repeats words or phrases from familiar stories.
• Fills in the missing word or phrase in a known rhyme, story or game, e.g. ‘Humpty Dumpty sat on a …’.
• Distinguishes between the different marks they make.
Mathematics Typical Behaviour
• Selects a small number of objects from a group when asked, for example, ‘please give me one’, ‘please give me two’.
Shape, Space and • Recites some number names in sequence.
Measures • Creates and experiments with symbols and marks representing ideas of number.
• Begins to make comparisons between quantities.
• Uses some language of quantities, such as ‘more’ and ‘a lot’.
• Knows that a group of things changes in quantity when something is added or taken away.
• Notices simple shapes and patterns in pictures.
• Beginning to categorise objects according to properties such as shape or size.
• Begins to use the language of size.
• Understands some talk about immediate past and future, e.g. ‘before’, ‘later’ or ‘soon’.
• Anticipates specific time-based events such as mealtimes or home time.
WISS Chinese Language Learning Outcomes – Pre-Nursery
Reading Conceptual Understanding
Learners show an understanding that print represents the real or the imagined world. They know that reading gives them
knowledge and pleasure; that it can be a social activity or an individual activity. They have a concept of a ‘book’ and an
awareness of some of its structural elements. They use the visual cues to recall sounds and the words they are ‘reading’
to construct meaning.
Shows an interest in books.
Is exposed to some simple Chinese characters.
Shows some understanding by pointing to pictures.
Writing Conceptual Understanding
Learners show an understanding that the world around them is full of visual language that conveys meaning. They are able
to interpret and respond to visual texts. Although much of their own visual language is spontaneous, they are extending and
using visual language in more purposeful ways.
• Learning to hold a writing implement properly in order to make marks on a page
• Exposed to the idea that marks are made in a certain order
• Shows an interest in the act of writing; makes marks on paper that represent “writing”
• Begins to explain what they are “writing”
Speaking Conceptual Understanding
Learners show an understanding of the value of speaking to communicate. They recognize that sounds are associated with
objects, or with symbolic representations of them. They are using language to name their environment, to get to know each
other, to initiate and explore relationships, to question and inquire.
Engages by pointing and through 1-2 word answers with some teacher support.
Repeats simple words (1 or 2 characters) with teacher support.
Participates in grade-level rhymes and songs
Tries to use clear pronunciation, errors may hinder understanding
Listening Conceptual Understanding
Learners show an understanding of the value of listening to communicate. They recognize that sounds are associated with
objects, or with symbolic representations of them. They are using language to name their environment, to get to know each
other, to initiate and explore relationships, to question and inquire.
Is able to understand 1 or 2 word instructions with one step such as: stand up, sit down, line up, listen, look, etc. with
Is learning to listen attentively for a short period of time.
Understands names of basic things with 1 or 2 words such as: mom, apple, dog, color etc. with showing real objects
Responds appropriately to simple classroom prompts with teacher support.
Creative Arts Typical Behaviour
Exploring and using
media and materials • Joins in singing favourite songs.
• Creates sounds by banging, shaking, tapping or blowing.
Being Imaginative • Shows an interest in the way musical instruments sound.
• Experiments with blocks, colours and marks.
• Expresses self through physical action and sound.
• Pretends that one object represents another, especially when objects have characteristics in common.
• Beginning to use representation to communicate, e.g. drawing a line and saying ‘That’s me’.
• Beginning to make-believe by pretending.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Personal, Social and Typical Behaviour
• Explores new toys and environments, but ‘checks in’ regularly with familiar adult as and when needed.
Self-confidence and • Gradually able to engage in pretend play with toys (supports child to understand their own thinking may be different from
Managing Feelings and • Demonstrates sense of self as an individual, e.g. wants to do things independently, says “No” to adult.
Behaviour • Separates from main caregiver with support and encouragement from a familiar adult.
• Expresses own preferences and interests.
• Seeks comfort from familiar adults when needed.
• Can express their own feelings such as sad, happy, cross, scared, worried.
• Responds to the feelings and wishes of others.
• Aware that some actions can hurt or harm others.
• Tries to help or give comfort when others are distressed.
• Shows understanding and cooperates with some boundaries and routines.
• Can inhibit own actions/behaviours, e.g. stop themselves from doing something they shouldn’t do.
• Growing ability to distract self when upset, e.g. by engaging in a new play activity.
• Interested in others’ play and starting to join in.
• Seeks out others to share experiences.
• Shows affection and concern for people who are special to them.
• May form a special friendship with another child.
Understanding the World
Understanding the World Typical Behaviour
People and Communities
• Has a sense of own immediate family and relations.
• In pretend play, imitates everyday actions and events from own family and cultural background, e.g. making and
• Beginning to have their own friends.
• Learns that they have similarities and differences that connect them to, and distinguish them from, others.
The World • Explores objects by linking together different approaches: shaking, hitting, looking, feeling, tasting, mouthing, pulling,
turning and poking.
• Matches parts of objects that fit together, e.g. puts lid on Teapot.
• Enjoys playing with small-world models such as a farm, a garage, or a train track.
• Notices detailed features of objects in their environment.
Technology • Anticipates repeated sounds, sights and actions, e.g. when an adult demonstrates an action toy several times.
• Shows interest in toys with buttons, flaps and simple mechanisms and beginning to learn to operate them.
• Seeks to acquire basic skills in turning on and operating equipment.
• Operates mechanical toys, e.g. turns the knob on a wind-up toy or pulls back on a friction car.
Physical Development Typical Behaviour
Moving and handling
Health and Self-care • Runs safely on whole foot.
• Squats with steadiness to rest or play with object on the ground, and rises to feet without using hands.
• Climbs confidently and is beginning to pull themselves up on nursery play climbing equipment.
• Can kick a large ball.
• Turns pages in a book, sometimes several at once.
• Shows control in holding and using jugs to pour, hammers, books and mark-making tools.
• Beginning to use three fingers (tripod grip) to hold writing tools.
• Imitates drawing simple shapes such as circles and lines.
• Walks upstairs or downstairs holding onto a rail two feet to a step.
• May be beginning to show preference for dominant hand.
• Feeds self competently with spoon.
• Drinks well without spilling.
• Clearly communicates their need for potty or toilet.
• Beginning to recognize danger and seeks support of significant adults for help.
• Helps with clothing, e.g. puts on hat, unzips zipper on jacket, takes off unbuttoned shirt.
• Beginning to be independent in self-care, but still often needs adult support.
Adapted from the document: UK Department for Education, Early Years Outcomes, A non-statutory guide for practitioners
and inspectors to help inform understanding of child development through the early years.
© Crown copyright September 2013, Reference: DFE-00167-2013