Early Learning Center (PK-K)
The TASIS Early Learning Center (for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten, or Year 1, students) is a state-of-the-art program specializing in nurturing young minds and developing cognitive and social skills.
Guided by caring and attentive teachers, our students begin their learning in a supportive, playful, and engaging community. Our culturally diverse early years program trains our youngest students to become physically and mentally active people prepared for success in school and in life. We know that transitions from early years programs to Year 1 (Kindergarten) can be challenging, so we offer lots of outdoor learning and a play-based approach.
Montessori + Traditional Teaching
We believe that effective pedagogy involves a range of techniques, including whole-class and structured group work, guided learning, and individual activity. Montessori teachers give individualized instruction that enables each child to progress through the curriculum at their own pace. The traditional teaching method is designed to teach the whole class and provide focused differentiated activities.
At the Early Learning Center (ELC), these two approaches will be linked: we provide focused direct teaching for individuals and groups, as well as whole-class learning opportunities. All teachers will be close observers, assessing individual children's needs and planning next learning steps for each child.
Having the means to provide focused groups and individualized teaching enables us to provide differentiated activities and focus on the needs of each child’s unique developmental level, learning style, and interests.
Two Full Time Teachers Per Class
Each class of up to 22 children has two full time Montessori- and traditionally-trained teachers plus a learning support assistant. The children benefit from this great blend of teaching experiences and so do the teachers, having ample opportunity to learn from each other and participate regularly in professional development opportunities.
The Montessori method for learning is derived from the natural development of each child; it's a place where creativity, innovation, and individuality are valued as much as concentration, motivation, and persistence.
This approach to effective lifelong learning skills is embedded in our daily routine through a variety of experiences including, stories, growth mindset activities, and circle time.
Age-Grouped Classes and Mixed Play
The TASIS Portugal Early Learning Center has separate age-grouped classes starting at age 3 and continuing to age 6. That said, the children have the opportunity to learn and play with children of all ages though our outdoor learning and forest school program. This mixed-age group environment creates an atmosphere in which children learn to help and be helped by others, gain an appreciation for their achievements and the accomplishments of others, and are naturally challenged by their peers.
Dr. Montessori came to the conclusion that the human mind is constructed to organize and learn from the environment. Each area in the ELC was thoughtfully planned to help build a relationship between human development, learning, and the environment.
We believe that children learn by doing and should have the opportunity to move freely around their learning environment. The Early Learning Center is designed to enable children to move among the outdoor learning area, class libraries, and sensory and multi-purpose rooms.
Each class contains learning areas for children to navigate and participate in a variety of directed and child-centered learning opportunities. We feel the structure of this learning environment helps children develop organizational and time management skills that lead to independence.