Early Childhood Program

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

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

Time and Space
  • Uninterrupted play time and space for children to leave unfinished work to be continued
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
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
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
  • A nurturing environment that supports risk-taking
  • Caring, strong relationships between adults and children
  • Supportive, respectful partnerships between school and home
Kindergarten in the garden
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.

Early Childhood Story time