Kindergarten Three's and Four's (K3 and K4)

The YCIS Shanghai Kindergarten Three’s and Four’s (K3 & K4) is our whole day programme, offered five days a week for preschool children aged three to five.

Two YCIS Shanghai teachers using a smartboard with a kindergarten boy

Our Unique Co-Teaching Model

The children in our K3 and K4 classes benefit from an optimal bilingual learning environment through the support of two experienced Early Years Co-Teachers and one full-time classroom assistant. The Co-Teachers, one International and one Chinese, work as a team as they focus on the learning needs of each individual child.

With a maximum teacher-to-student ratio of 1:11 in K3 and 1:12 in K4, each student receives personalised care and attention. As a result, each child has the support they need to develop to their full potential.

The Co-Teachers share responsibilities in terms of resource preparation and planning, and working with all of the children in the class. With this high level of care, every child’s voice is heard, and the teachers are able to meet their needs and interests in a collaborative and meaningful way.

YCIS kindergarten girl holding up toy and learning through play

Learning through Play

In K3 and K4, the “Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage” curriculum framework from the United Kingdom guides our planning and practise and allows the teachers to consistently reflect on the achievements and goals for the children in their classes. Learning through play is an essential part of this experience. Exploring, active engagement, and creating are of high importance in our play-based curriculum. The children’s development is visible through their Learning Portfolios and our class blogs.

The Co-Teachers provide open-ended resources and materials to engage the children in a wide variety of activities and play experiences. These experiences contribute to their skills and knowledge across all developmental areas and provide a solid foundation for their future learning as they move to our Primary programme.

A girl and a boy playing lego together in YCIS Shanghai kindergarten classroom

A Truly Bilingual Experience

Children in our K3 and K4 programme are completely immersed in a fully bilingual learning environment, where their English and Chinese language skills are developed equally.

Both Co-Teachers use their respective native language, English or Chinese, to engage with the children during their play, helping them develop a solid foundation in both languages. This also brings Eastern and Western cultures together in a very practical and meaningful way in day-to-day classroom activities. The use and understanding of both languages is equally respected and evolves in each learning situation through play, routines, group learning, and conversation. Sometimes the children will speak in English, sometimes Chinese, and other times in both!

This benefits the children developmentally as it facilitates their independence and self-discovery, develops their confidence in their verbal skills, and helps them become comfortable in moving between cultures.

A female teacher at YCIS Shanghai kindergarten during clay play with three students

Developing Essential Social Skills

The most important learning that occurs in our preschool years (K3 and K4) programme is facilitating children’s social and emotional development. The ability to understand and control one’s own emotions, to develop meaningful relationships, to persist in the face of challenges, and to comprehend social expectations are all supported by our sensitive and skilled Early Years Co-Teachers.

Two girls together in art class in YCIS Shanghai kindergarten

Physical, Creative, and Musical Exploration

Our Co-Teachers and their classrooms allow for an abundance of opportunities daily for children to grow and explore. Children are provided with extended periods of play in order to follow their own interests and curiosities in a safe school setting. The learning environments that our classrooms provide are intentionally prepared to develop knowledge and respond to children’s own interests as they enquire about the world in which they live. Children in the Kindergarten programme at YCIS participate in the creative process of art, music, and dance, and build their own constructions, designs, and movements expressing their individual, creative, and intellectual thoughts.

Two boys playing lego together in YCIS Shanghai kindergarten classroom

A Caring Environment

Our K3 and K4 classrooms are filled with fun and are always alive with activity. Whether the children are listening to one of their Co-Teachers read a story or they are playing with their friends, each child feels safe, respected, and valued.

We offer routines that are purposefully consistent and reassuring. This sense of familiarity, belonging, and safety within our learning space offers important connections for children as they engage with their teachers and classmates and enjoy the learning experiences in their meaningful play.

For more information about the K3 and K4 Programme, please contact our Admissions team here.

After Kindergarten, children progress to our Primary programme. To learn more, please click here.



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