There’s a large and growing early years sector in Saudi Arabia including both government-run (public) and private pre-schools/kindergartens, and it is diverse in both pedagogy and curriculum. So, how do you make the right choice? As well as deciding between a standalone nursery or a pre-school attached to a school, you need to consider which pre-school curriculum is right for your child – the UK’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), Montessori, the IB’s Primary Years Programme, or the International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC).
Many of Saudi Arabia’s most popular international schools offer nursery and kindergarten classes in a self-contained early-years’ centre with its own community of classrooms, learning pods and recreational areas.
Children can benefit from being part of a larger school environment with all the opportunities that an all-through school can offer. These can range from access to sports and arts facilities to after-school activities and bilingual programmes. They often have lessons from specialist subject teams, such as Arabic, swimming, music, dance and PE, and have access to outstanding facilities that smaller nurseries simply cannot offer.
Parents also have the choice of a standalone pre-school, where it can be easier for children to have that feeling of belonging – this can be harder to deliver in a school that has hundreds of students as old as 18 years. Pre-schools within international schools cannot always match the small class sizes, low teacher:student ratios, and intimacy of a standalone nursery – and they will often only offer pre-school childcare during term-time. Also, parents may simply prefer the charm and warmth of a small nursery that has a genuine village feel.
One of the many joys of living in Saudi Arabia is having such a wide choice of curricula. But the more options you have, the more difficult it can be to settle on one. WhichSchoolAdvisor.com guides you through the different pre-school curricula offered in Saudi Arabia to help you take that big step for your little one.
Read on to learn more about the following curricula offered to students aged three to five years:
Next: Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)