Welcome to
Early Years


Shona Gastaldi
Head of Early Years & Primary

The Early Years at SISD provides the ideal environment, care and academic provision for our young students to embark upon a successful school experience. Our 3 to 5 year-olds enjoy state-of-the-art Early Years classrooms, carefully designed to create a love of learning and inspire curiosity,  both indoors and outdoors. We are committed to enabling young students thrive and become knowledgeable inquirers and confident communicators.

Our dedicated staff are committed to ensuring our children embark on their learning journey in an environment that provides stimulating and exciting experiences, nurturing curiosities and where the strong pastoral ethos helps the children feel safe, secure and happy to learn.

A programme designed to encourage inquiry-based learning

The Early Years programme at SISD follows the IBPYP framework and has been carefully designed for inquiry-based learning.  Students thrive in a multilingual and multicultural environment that provides a wide range of opportunities academically, culturally, socially, emotionally and physically. Learning occurs across subjects and emphasizes a development of key skills for all students; social, thinking, self-management, research and communication. 

Our Teachers design an inquiry-based learning environment that plans for meaningful and engaging learning through play, student led and adult facilitated experiences. With a 3D curriculum in place the development of student knowledge, understanding and skills is at the heart of every experience with an emphasis to enable students to apply what they have learned through meaningful contexts and experiences. 

Learn more about Early Years at SISD here.

Learn more about Early Years IB PYP Programme here.

Group 503

Das IB Early Years Programme ist so erfrischend – spielerisches Lernen, viele Möglichkeiten für meinen Sohn, herauszufinden, was ihn interessiert und wie er gerne lernt. Die Lehrer reagieren brillant auf die unterschiedlichen Lernstile jedes Kindes, ihre Sprachfähigkeiten und schaffen es dennoch, jeden Tag viel zu lernen und weiterzuentwickeln.


Learning Streams

Overview of Bilingualism

Two classroom teachers, speaking English and French, or English and German, co-teach the Primary Years Programme. There is an emphasis on learning language through meaningful contexts, play and social interaction. Specific language instruction targets the development of the correct language forms in reading and writing.

Children in the programme continue to learn according to the values of the PYP. The various Units of Inquiry are taught in both languages with the aim of developing learner autonomy, tailoring the curriculum to learners’ interests, giving them space to follow the learning paths they choose, and creating a learning environment of trust where children can make mistakes and enjoy learning.

Research (PYP bilingual education research, 2018) shows that a bilingual instruction is particularly appropriate for an IB School as the abilities developed match “learning by doing”, a core education strategy of the PYP in general. Neuroanatomic science has shown evidence that studying a second language increases brain functioning and flexibility. Improved memory can lead to better academic achievements, strong social skills, enhanced performance in creative thinking and problem-solving skills, making learners better not just at other languages, but across other academic domains.

Bilingualism in Early Years

SISD offers a distinctive bilingual programme in the Early Years and Primary School (ages 3 to 11), where English and French/German are given equal value, and where, from their earliest years, children learn simultaneously in these two languages. Additional language support is provided in English as well as in French/German to all students depending on their needs and abilities. 

Our co-teaching approach 

A co-teaching model: two teachers speaking one language each and sharing responsibility for pastoral care and academic achievement. The French/German and English teachers plan together to develop an integrated curriculum and ensure that content taught in each language is complementary.

Click here to read more about our unique co-teaching model.

Als Familie mit doppelter Staatsangehörigkeit ist uns das lernen beider Sprachen sehr wichtig. Die Möglichkeit, dass unsere Kinder in beiden Muttersprachen lernen, ist super.


English - French/German | BILINGUAL

At SISD, we currently offer two fully immersive bilingual streams: English/French and English/German. We define bilingualism as the regular use of two or more different languages in daily life. Therefore, a bilingual person is able to communicate, think and reflect in (at least) two different languages, even if one of the languages remains dominant. Bilingualism is designed to offer learners the chance to develop international-mindedness, to broaden their skills and capabilities and to acquire the information needed to access other cultures.

Teaching and learning across the grades:

KG1 & KG2


In addition to our Bilingual stream we offer an IB STEAM stream. In these class English is the language of instruction, whilst students have the opportunity to acquire French or German as an additional language. There is an increased emphasis on the arts, math, science and design, embedded into the design of the learning environment and learning experiences. 

An Overview of a Day in Early Years


Students emotionally learn in a multilingual and multicultural environment that provides a wide range of opportunities academically, culturally, socially and physically. Students explore their environment and learn about their world through an inquiry based approach. Learning is hands-on and students are therefore given the freedom (in a prepared environment guided by the teacher), to inquire into and learn about the world around them. This encourages social interaction and teamwork.  

Students begin their day with an emphasis on reading and story telling – reading with friends, the teacher or independently. As a class when lessons begin they come together as a community to share experiences and develop key social and communication skills. Throughout the day students participate in a balance of adult facilitated, student led and free flow learning experiences that allow them to progress at their own pace, develop independence and move between indoor and outdoor areas. 

Students take part in specialist classes such as Music, Physical Education and Arts. We aim for our students to learn real life skills to enable them to succeed in today’s ever changing environment. We encourage children to be independent thinkers, develop excellent communication skills and become principled, open-minded individuals.

Find out more about the IB Primary Years Programme.


In Early Years we value the importance of play and students are able to inquire, explore and discover within different areas both indoors and outdoors by doing free flow, student led and adult facilitated experiences.  Throughout the week, children experience learning in:

  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Personal Social Education
  • Physical Education
  • Creative Arts
  • Arabic

Je suis ravie que ma fille ait la possibilité de continuer à parler sa langue maternelle et d'apprendre l'anglais simultanément. C'est une éducation et une opportunité unique pour elle.


Learn more about other programmes