Early Childhood is a very specialized area within education, requiring very special teachers. All of our native-English speaking PreK teachers are certified and trained in Early Childhood education and are assisted by our Minburi-trained Instructional Aides. The PreK teachers and instructional aides work together to meet each child’s developmental needs. Our teachers have been trained in the Reggio Emilia approach to learning and continue their studies with ongoing professional development. RIS Ruchapruek believes in a low teacher-to-student ratio, and this is especially important for our PreKindergarten students. PreK 2 classrooms are limited to 12 students with 3 adults in each room, PreK 3 classrooms are limited to 12 students with 2 adults in each room, and PreK 4 is limited to 14 students with 2 adults in each room.

Philosophy and Curriculum

The Early Childhood program at RIS reflects the Reggio Emilia approach in its belief that all children have an interest in constructing their own knowledge and that they interact with everything the environment brings to them. Our teachers follow the children’s interests to shape the units of investigation. Each group of students is unique, with unique interests. So while the content may vary from year to year, it follows a learning and development continuum that is based on Early Childhood standards.

Our PreK curriculum is based on the District of Columbia’s Common Core Early Learning Standards that define what preschool children should know and be able to do before they enter kindergarten. These Early Learning standards direct our teachers’ instructional planning through developmentally appropriate guidelines that meet our children at their current developmental stage. 

A Typical Day

A typical day in PreK starts with a warm welcome from the teachers as children say goodbye to their families and start their transition from home to school. Each classroom has a series of morning routines that children begin to learn on their first day of school. These may include exploring a variety of learning encounters organized by the teacher to guide children’s thinking. Once the children have settled into the classroom, they gather with their teachers for a morning meeting. This is an important part of the day as it brings the classroom community together and offers a moment for direct instruction.

Lessons include literacy, math, and social and emotional topics that might come up in their young lives. These lessons are presented through hands-on demonstrations,  visuals, and lots of singing. The children then choose and rotate through interest centers, such as role-play, writing, science exploration, light and shadows, and construction, to name a few. Our PreK children also attend specialist classes throughout the week including music, art, computers, library, physical education, and Thai. Students have a healthy snack in the morning and eat lunch in a separate canteen purposely built for our youngest students. The day ends with nap time in the classroom and an afternoon snack before returning home.