Early Childhood (Pre-School - Kindergarten)

The Early Childhood program at the American International School of Lagos is committed to developing the whole child by providing learning activities that are developmentally appropriate in a stimulating, challenging, and creative environment. In our Early Childhood program, each child is appreciated and accepted at the level of his or her own maturity and ability. The children are given the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop in a climate of genuine affection and warmth, in their own time and in their own unique way.

Grounded in the DC Early Learning Standards, our program seeks to foster each child's intellectual, physical, emotional, social, cultural, and aesthetic growth. Our basic philosophy is that children learn best by doing. Their learning is concrete and is based on experimentation and discovery with hands-on materials.

We believe that play is “the work” of the young child and is an essential component of learning in our Early Childhood Center. Through purposeful play as well as explicit instruction, children acquire skills that enable them to explore and connect with their environment, solve real problems, develop their language skills, work cooperatively with others, and achieve social and academic success. In order to achieve this goal our teachers structure the environment so that learning from play is purposeful. Our program provides the most eager learner with a strong foundation in early literacy, language, math, science, and technology, while encouraging personal and social development.

Pre-School, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten at AISL are considered a partnership between the school and home. Teachers work in collaboration with parents, communicating regularly to build mutual understanding and to ensure that children’s learning and developmental needs are meet. Our program has a place for every child regardless of prior learning of the child. The school program provides a “family-like” atmosphere that fosters the love and respect of a home while preparing children for the school environment.

Emphasis is placed on maintaining a safe, healthy, and non-threatening learning environment with careful supervision. Teachers work hard to bring each child’s home culture and language into the shared cultural of the school so that children feel accepted and gain a sense of belonging. The daily schedule is organized to allow for alternating periods of active and quiet times, adequate nutrition, and rest/quiet periods for the younger children. Children are provided opportunities to plan and select many of their own activities from among a variety of learning areas and projects that are made available, based on program goals, themes, and information gathered on the children’s varying needs, interest, and abilities.

The Early Childhood program provides opportunities for growth in the following areas of learning:

Learning Through Play

Recognizing the value of working and playing collaboratively, teachers provide many opportunities for children to work in small, flexible planned and purposeful play groups that children informally create or the teacher organizes. The teacher monitors the play activities and provides the appropriate stimulating resources that help children achieve specific learning goals.

Language and Communication

Talk is the basis for literacy and the Early Childhood program is rich in language activities. Teachers encourage children’s developing language and communication skills by talking with them throughout the day, speaking clearly and listening to their responses, providing opportunities for them to verbally express themselves, encouraging them to ask questions, and to talk to each other. Children learn about their reading and writing by observing adults. The teacher provides the model and motivates the children to discover the functions and features of print.

Personal and Social Development

In the Early Childhood program, children are provided a variety of experiences so they will:

  • acquire a positive attitude toward themselves and others
  • develop independence and responsibility
  • participate actively in daily physical activities
  • solve problems and complete tasks
  • become aware of health and safety choices make choices and decisions


Children begin to develop an understanding of the skills and concepts of mathematics through hands-on experiences with concrete materials in all the five mathematics strands:

  • number sense and numeration
  • measurement
  • spatial sense and geometry
  • patterning, data management, and probability

Science and Technology

Children are encouraged to develop curiosity and a willingness to explore and experiment. They will learn to recognize and use some common forms of technology.

The Arts

The Arts provide children with opportunities for expressing their ideas and feelings, while learning some basic art forms. Children co-operate and collaborate with others on artistic projects in music, art, drama, dance, and movement.

Physical Education and Health

Research has shown that physical education is extremely important for young children at an early age in order to sustain a healthy lifestyle later in life.Our developmentally appropriate curriculum for early childhood children provides experiences in which encourage development in the psychomotor, affective, and cognitive areas. The Health curriculum focuses on self-help, health, and safety skills. Children will develop the skills necessary to take care of their personal needs, helping to care for the classroom and their belongings, and keeping oneself healthy and safe.

As an American International School, our standards conform to the best practices in the United States. You can learn more about our Early Childhood Curriculum by reading this PDF about the standards for early childhood education in the Washington, DC area.