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A kindergarten girl holding a chicken and smiling
We provide a supportive community, so your child can discover the world beyond it
ZIS Bilingual Program, two Kindergarten girls in the playground looking out through a wooden window.
We encourage students to try new things, so that they can discover who they really want to be
Two Kindergarten girls sitting on top of a climbing frame
Our goal is to ensure that every child leaves with a love of learning

Early Childhood Program (ages 3-6)

The Early Childhood Program at Zurich International School caters for children aged 3 to 6 years (Early ZIS to Kindergarten International and Bilingual Pathways).

Play is at the heart of our Early Childhood approach, allowing children to discover the world around them and supporting the development of the whole child. Through play, children develop an essential set of skills and dispositions, including language acquisition and self-regulation. Children are inspired by their own ideas and innovations and are nourished as creative thinkers. They begin to develop as readers, writers and mathematicians, and a sense of wonder is fostered as they grow socially, emotionally and academically. Play sparks joy, imagination and curiosity; allowing children at their varying stages of readiness to connect ideas and learn.

Values and Practices

Kindergarten in the garden

Environment and Materials

  • Spaces and natural materials that stir imagination and thinking
  • Organization that allows choice, freedom and ownership
  • Learning outside of the classroom walls; in the forest, the garden and within the community
Early Childhood students in the classroom around a large sandpit with seashells

Time and Space

  • Uninterrupted play time and space for children to leave unfinished work to be continued





Early Childhood students in the forest with their teacher, exploring flora and fauna

Individual Learning Journeys

  • Adults guide learning by interacting, observing and listening as children play
  • Children are supported to grow as learners based on developmental readiness
  • Thinking and learning processes are visible in learning spaces

Creativity and Imagination

  • Adults join in with the children as they wonder and play
  • Unhurried time to explore child interests and wonderings; respecting the process over the product
Early childhood students sitting in a circle with their teacher, as one child writes on a board



  • A nurturing environment that supports risk-taking
  • Caring, strong relationships between adults and children
  • Supportive, respectful partnerships between school and home


Early childhood students outside in the garden looking at Sunflowers

Children are unique

Children come with their with own story. They learn in different ways and at their own pace. Individual backgrounds and experiences are embraced.

Children are curious

Children make sense of the world around them by engaging with open-ended materials and environments and exploring their own theories.

Children are social

Children are co-constructors of knowledge and skills, learning with and from one another.

Children are capable

Children are self-managers, inquirers, and problem solvers. They make choices about what and how they learn.