Dar Al Marefa is a school that starts from the child, working together in partnership with parents in the child’s best interests. We believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and is entitled to the support that will enable them to fulfil their unique potential.
Our approach in Early Years is shaped and influenced by the International Baccalaureate® Primary Years Programme (IBPYP), that provides a framework within on which we develop quality learning experiences.
We believe that each child, while unique, is capable of constant learning, capable of being resilient, confident and self-assured. We believe that children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships and that children learn and grow best in empowering environments where the offered learning experiences respond to individual needs and where authentic and active partnerships are established between educators, parents and children.
We believe that every child develops in different ways and at a different pace and aim to ensure that each child is provided with the opportunity to experience and represent the world around them in their own unique way, developing their understanding through direct and practical experiences.
The Importance of Play
Play is the primary means through which children learn, find stimulation, establish their own wellbeing and happiness. It is their route to growth – physical, intellectual and emotional – and is the most important activity that a child can undertake in the pursuit of learning.
Our Early Years programme offers a play-based learning environment, that is designed to meet a child’s needs for all types of play, both indoors and out, providing them with valuable first-hand experiences upon which their future learning will be built.
The Learning Environment
Building strong positive relationships between educators and students is a key element to our success. Our students feel cared for, listened to, and secure in a safe learning environment.
Much focus is placed on the development of social skills, including effective speaking and listening, to provide children with a solid base from which to begin their lifelong learning journey.
Our KG Department prides itself on its innovative and effective methodology, at the core of which is a highly successful bilingual approach to learning. Students are exposed to both Arabic and English equally throughout the week and, through play, are able to enquire, investigate and cooperate together in both languages.
What we teach
The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is grounded in constructivism, inquiry and concept-based learning, promoting a system of learning and teaching that develops critical thinking skills and contributes to the development of the whole child.
At the heart of this system is the concept of transdisciplinary education, an approach that addresses the skills and attitudes required to be developed as part of a child’s early developments.
The PYP framework consists of six transdisciplinary themes:
- Who We Are
- Where We Are in Place and Time
- How We Express Ourselves
- How the World Works
- How We Organise Ourselves
- Sharing the Planet
Students in Pre-KG and KG1 explore four of the PYP transdisciplinary themes, while KG2 students explore all six.
A cross-curricular approach to learning allows us to transcend strictly departmentalised areas, allowing the development of a broad base of knowledge and skills, grounded in areas including:
Communication and language development
Personal, social and emotional development
Understanding the world
Expressive arts and design