A child’s learning journey begins as soon as they are born and continues as they grow, following them through all stages of their life. At Huili Nursery, our main priority is to develop the whole child and we would like to share with you the advantages of our educational philosophy in the next two articles we publish.
This piece will give an insight into how we as a Nursery team build the solid foundations of a child’s educational journey through an immersive bilingual learning experience.
Our academic framework combines the best of Western and Chinese educational approaches, blending the British Early Years Foundation Stage framework with the Chinese Early Years curriculum. The two systems share many similarities meaning that our bespoke framework provides Huili pupils with the best educational experience possible.
Learning opportunities offered in each year group cover seven areas and are tailored to meet the emerging developmental needs of children as they grow:
Personal, social and emotional development
Communication and language (English and Chinese)
Literacy (Chinese and English)
Understanding of the world
Expressive arts and design
Our framework, and the way in which it is practised in the classroom, emphasises that every child is unique and that they will navigate towards the endpoint of their Nursery education in different ways.
From the very first time children enter into the building we seek to provide them with a safe, caring environment which is full of inspiring learning opportunities.
The seven areas of learning, as outlined in the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage), are separated into prime and specific areas. Prime areas are identified as personal, social and emotional development, communication and language and physical development, and can be regarded as a foundation on which other areas of learning are built.
For example, when a child has confidence in themselves and their own abilities, he or she has the skills to communicate effectively and is able to make and maintain friends, they will be far more likely to succeed in the more academic areas of learning.
Throughout their time in the Nursery, children are supported with their development of the three prime areas but this is possibly most evident when the children first start in EY2.
At this age, it is particularly important for the children to build relationships with the new adults and children in their class, begin to communicate their needs and to develop a range of movements. These invaluable skills will help the children to settle into a new environment and begin to explore and learn with support.
In addition to following a bespoke framework for learning, Huili Nursery provides our pupils with a fully bilingual experience. The children are exposed to Chinese and English consistently in all of our learning spaces, helping them to acquire levels of a second language which eventually lead to bilingualism. This process takes time and is definitely not something that can happen overnight!
When children first come to the Nursery in EY2, most have had very little exposure to English in their daily lives. This means that in order for the children to feel settled, safe and confident in their new environment, the majority of interactions and conversations take place in Chinese.
If a child is missing their mum or asking when it’s time to go home, their questions need to be answered in a language that they understand, enabling them to be fully aware of what is happening and why.
It is completely normal, and understandable, for children to feel hesitant to communicate with a member of the team who is speaking in a language they find difficult to understand. Even as adults we tend to use the language with which we are most comfortable; after all communication with others happens to share ideas or pass on messages and we want to do this is the most effective way possible.
By playing alongside our pupils, they come to realise that all adults surrounding them care very much for them and are also fun, regardless of the language they are speaking. This leads to the children choosing to interact with all adults; to show them what they have done, ask for help or to turn to them for comfort.
Children are exposed to more and more English as they move through the Nursery and begin to use their second language as a means to communicate with others.
Levels of language acquisition can look very different, whether between year groups within the Nursery or between individual children in the same class, but our focus always remains the same; to allow the children to acquire language in the most natural way.
By the time children leave the Nursery, after having spent 3 or 4 years with us, most will have developed the fundamental skills of listening and understanding in both languages as well as the confidence to use the words they know in English by themselves.
After introducing the Nursery’s framework and model of bilingual learning, we will talk in our next article about how we use the key person principle to help children settle into a new environment and how we track the progress they are making.
Telephone：177 1485 5368
Founding Office Address:
China-Austria Eco-Park, Su-Xi-Tong Science and Technology Industrial Park, Nantong
66 Haide Road, Su-Xi-Tong Science and Technology Industrial Park, Nantong, Jiangsu