Welcome to the Early Childhood Division

The Early Childhood Division (ECD) at Dwight School Hanoi is a place where young people participate in foundational experiences that will set the tone for learning and socialization for the rest of their lives. The Dwight School Hanoi approach allows students to become comfortable with trying new things, guides their ability to ask productive questions, and helps them consider solutions. Our primary focus is to value childhood by preparing an environment that facilitates whole-body, transdisciplinary learning. Learning Studio work times offer students opportunities to practice foundational academic skills. Grace and courtesy are taught explicitly as our youngest community members learn to share spaces and resources with others.

As an ECD team, we understand our role in providing an opportunity-rich, safe, and appropriately challenging environment for our students to experiment and take risks. It is a great responsibility and honor to be a part of this beginning, and we are committed to both nurturing and challenging our students through the next phase of their development.

Young families will join a warm community that will be the start of a long and happy association with Dwight School Hanoi as we watch children grow towards independence and develop friendships.

Welcome to the Early Childhood Division of Dwight School Hanoi. We look forward to seeing you here!

The ECD setting promotes community and global perspectives while establishing a sense of purpose. Our program follows the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum framework, which combines the best research and practices to provide an excellent educational program for children aged 3-12. 

At Dwight School Hanoi, we are committed to providing a learning environment that facilitates:

  • A balance of structure and flexibility that allows for the natural development of each child’s physical, emotional, and cognitive skills;
  • A beautiful, orderly environment to entice children to explore and to reinforce their innate sense of curiosity; and
  • Outdoor and indoor play spaces allowing for large motor play time and outdoor classroom activities.

Preschool (Ages 3-4)

In their first school experience, our students will receive care and guidance from Early Childhood experts who share their passion and areas of expertise. Students will participate in developmentally appropriate and guided experiences designed to develop a strong sense of self. Equally important is the development of fine motor skills to promote independence. Immersion in English, supported in home language (Vietnamese/Korean), will bolster English language comprehension and production.

Kindergarten (Age 5)

Dwight School Hanoi is committed to the tradition of igniting the spark of genius in every child. At this age, we help students begin to unlock their unique talents and interests and allow their natural abilities to flourish. In Kindergarten, our students approach learning with curiosity and feel safe taking risks and making mistakes. 

Kindergarten students experience a range of researched-based programs, including Wilson Fundations phonics, which develops solid decoding skills through explicit, targeted instruction. They begin to love being writers by referring to the Six Traits Writing framework, which brings attention to the elements of powerful writing. The concrete use of materials and visual cues in Dimensions Math (Singapore Math) provide our students with real-life use of math concepts and builds mental math skills.

The ECD environment supports child development in the following ways:

  • Korean and Vietnamese home language support.
  • Physical health and wellness: While playing in indoor and outdoor play spaces, students learn about their bodies, healthy eating, and exercise, and build skills like cooperation and teamwork. 
  • Music: Students play with instruments and props, strengthen their language skills, and, of course, sing! 
  • Learning Studio: Students explore a variety of subjects and build skills through hands-on learning and the development of fine motor skills. 
  • Library: Our library encourages reading and emergent literacy skills. Students access a variety of perspectives through carefully curated texts and digital resources.
  • Design and Makerspaces: Students explore and manipulate materials to create and begin using programmable robots as a starting point for teaching control, directional language, and programming.

The Preschool offers the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) to children ages three through five. The nature of the PYP places the child at the center, paying close attention to the students’ strengths and interests at the forefront of the learning experience.

In our ECD Learning Studios, children are actively engaged in the learning process, gaining a deep sense of pride and ownership in their accomplishments because their work is always meaningful.

Students will:

  • Experience expansion of academic vocabulary through a study of concepts
  • Learn through inquiry, ask questions, think critically, and develop problem-solving skills
  • Expand their knowledge, strategies, and skills and apply them to new tasks and situations
  • Work individually, with a partner, or in groups
  • Develop a sense of international-mindedness by exploring cultural differences and others’ perceptions and perspectives
  • Engage in learning activities that promote emergent numeracy and literacy
  • Be supported in becoming independent, life-long learners
  • Develop social skills through collaborative play
  • Practice grace and courtesy

Our Kindergarteners leave the ECD building with experiences that give them solid foundational proficiency across a range of disciplines including early literacy, numeracy, and the disposition of curiosity. It is a fundamental PYP belief that for early learners, continuous integration and connection of prior and new knowledge is the most meaningful way to broaden understanding.Transdisciplinary learning in the PYP refers to learning that is not confined to the traditional subjects but is supported, and enriched, by them.