ECE Approaches to Learning

Our children’s basic instinct is to play at an early age. Taking the tendency for play in mind, it’s crucial to incorporate play into their learning in the early childhood education years. Across the BASIS International Schools network, play-based learning in Early Childhood Education (ECE) keeps our students engaged while laying a solid foundation for future success in primary years. How we incorporate play into learning can be seen through many different applications in and out of the classroom.

I Can Statements & Play Schema

Nicole Sittie, Vice Head of School & Head of ECE, BASIS International School Guangzhou

Student’s “I can” statement

Student writing his name

During onsite training and continuously throughout the year, we challenge teachers to connect I can (learning) statements to play schemas. For example, I can skip count by 2’s + Trajectory play schema = students throwing and catching balls counting 2,4,6,8 each time they catch the ball.

ECE Parent Play

Ms. Kim Jenson, Chair of ECE, BASIS International School Guangzhou

A collaborative partnership between parents and teachers is essential in any Early Childhood Environment. Having a community built on support and trust, all working towards a common goal of quality childhood growth is our top priority at BASIS International School Guangzhou.

Enhancing this partnership, the ECE division created ‘Parent Play’. Parent Play is a wonderful chance for parents to come onto the campus and have the opportunity to teach a lesson to their child and their child’s classmates.


The parent is responsible for planning, preparing the materials, and delivering their chosen topic to the students, collaborating with teachers on the subject and developmental appropriateness. A few examples of past Parent Play are painting teddy bears, making flower baskets, making a puppet dragon, building towers with paper rolls, and combining household ingredients to create a volcanic eruption!

Parent Play gives the parents an insight into the daily life in the classroom, and, most importantly, experiencing the joy the teachers feel when the children are excited and engaged in learning!

Sequenced Curriculum, Effective Play-Based Program

Ms.Conchita Kennedy, Head of ECE, BASIS International School Hangzhou

Ms.Concita Kenedy, Head of ECE, BASIS International School Hangzhou

In BASIS International School Hangzhou’s Early Years, we consolidate the perfect synthesis between a carefully sequenced curriculum and an effective play-based program.

We know that young children are brilliant learners, and we want to give them the foundation they need to become well-rounded, healthy individuals equipped with a solid education and essential life skills. For this reason, we designed a program where they will have meaningful experiences and develop critical metacognitive and executive function skills. We want to prepare our children for life and intentionally augment their passion for learning, becoming lifelong learners, starting from the concrete to the abstract, acquiring literacy and numeracy skills, and achieving great readiness for the Primary Program. Teachers at BASIS International School Hangzhou frequently laugh at themselves, saying they have to “rack their brains” to come up with diverse play-based activities. As a result, our teachers’ highly engaging and appealing classes are evidence of their devotion and hard work to education and our student population.

Play-Based Learning Applied Outside the Classroom

At BASIS International School Bangkok, Prek2 students went on a field trip to their local Swensen’s Ice Cream shop located in the nearby neighborhood of Central Rama 2. This trip was an extension of their learning in the classroom where the students have built their very own classroom Swensen’s. Sparked by students’ pretend play, the children have been engaged in writing their own ice cream menu (with some pretty interesting flavors), exchanging money, and practicing taking and making orders. In the early years, teachers build on student interest and create meaningful experiences that engage them in literacy and math learning.

ECE Themes Take the Stage

At BASIS International & Bilingual School Chengdu, a spectacular summer musical and art exhibition embraced the Early Childhood themes of the academic year. Our youngest students displayed excellent performance and artistic abilities through multilingual greetings, continent exploration, melodies about bees and flowers for life cycle learning, and social and emotional themes.

An Inside Look At Teaching Early Childhood Education at BASIS International Schools

Hear from members of the Early Childhood Education department at BASIS International School Nanjing about the curriculum and benefits of teaching early education students at our schools.

For more information about teaching early childhood education with BASIS International Schools visit our careers website

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