International Experiences of Early Childhood Development in a bilingual BCS Kindergarten & Preschool
A Unique Model of a Modern Early Years Programme

Katharina Ehrenfried
Matthew Carlyle

May, 7 / Thursday/ ZOOM /
13:00 – CET
Katharina Ehrenfried
Position: Head of Kindergarten and Preschool Berlin Cosmopolitan School

Katharina joined Berlin Cosmopolitan School as a preschool teacher in July, 2007 and has worked in varying roles over the last 13 years. She has been working as the co-Head of Kindergarten and Preschool since November, 2015. She holds a university degree in Cultural & Educational Science from the University of Hildesheim and a Management Degree of Social Institutions completed in Berlin. She is also a trained educational counselor utilising the systemic approach. Prior to joining Berlin Cosmopolitan School, she has lived and worked in the USA, France, Colombia and the United Kingdom. Throughout her career thus far, Katharina has worked in various kindergartens, public and private schools and is proud to have had experience with the Montessori and Waldorf educational approaches. Additionally, she has much experience working not only in school settings, but also other social settings with children whom have additional needs and capabilities, the elderly, juveniles and refugees. As of recent, Katharina is most proud of her growing expertise in project management and implementation of Early Years Educational research currently occurring at Berlin Cosmopolitan School funded by the European Union.

Matthew Carlyle
Position: Head of Kindergarten and Preschool Berlin Cosmopolitan School

Originally from the USA, Matthew has been residing in Berlin, Germany since June, 2016 where he has been working as a co-Head of Kindergarten and Preschool since July, 2016. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education with a focus on K-12 literacy development and a Master of Arts Degree in Elementary Education with a focus on pedagogical curriculum development and leadership. He has several years of experience teaching children primarily ages 5-7, followed by coaching teachers as a professional development coach and now as an Early Years Headmaster. He is keenly interested in children's language development and the correlation to children's social and emotional competency development as well as cultural customs, values and beliefs that are interwoven within language.

Matthew is beyond grateful to co-lead such a dynamic and diverse team of early years professionals from all around the globe and to also be afforded the chance to serve such a diverse population of children with familial roots and ties to over 45 nations around the world. His main aspiration within his current role is to lead first and foremost with empathy and with the aspiration to work collaboratively to equip and empower internationally-minded teachers, parents and children in our forever changing and evolving world.

Thursday, May, 7
13.00 CET TIME
13.00 – 13.20
Overview & Basics

- What are the basics to know of early childhood education in Germany?
- What age do children enter and leave kindergarten / preschool?
- What is the day to day educational framework and structure of a child attending kindergarten in Germany?
- How are the groups structures and with how many teachers? - What are the qualifications of teachers?
- What is the curriculum used for early childhood education?
- How is early childhood education funded in Germany?
- How are English and foreign language skills embraced and taught at an early age?

13.20 – 13.50
Teaching & Learning

- What are the qualities of a healthy acclimation process at the beginning? What are best practices teachers and parents should know from our experience?
- What are examples of the curriculum by age? What does it mean to offer transdisciplinary provocations within units of inquiry? How is the curriculum developed in a way to remain play-based? What are the benefits of a play-based curriculum?
- What might be observed fostering development in all focus areas during the child's day (morning circle area, problem solving area, mark-making area, heuristic play materials area, role play area, construction area, literacy area, mathematics area, arts area, etc…)?
- How is the personal, social, emotional and physical development of children fostered?
- How is non-verbal and verbal language development fostered?
- What is the special educational approach in regards to inclusion and working with children who are differently abled?

13.50 – 14.30
Educational Parent Partnerships

- What are the qualities of an effective educational parent partnership?

- What offerings are made available to parents on an annual basis in regards to development reports and development talks in an effort to partner with their child's teachers?

- What are parent representatives and how are they involved within the kindergarten as a whole?

- What strategies are in place to keep parents engaged within their child's education?

- What sensitive factors should be considered when working with a parent community representing over 40 nationalities?

Cultural Life & Celebrations

- As an international kindergarten and preschool in Germany, what aspects of German culture and international culture are embedded within the curriculum? How is this balanced? How is it managed to ensure successful teaching and learning utilising a balanced approach?

- How is religion embraced within an international setting in regards to cultural life and celebrations?

- What are the qualities of professional development for teachers new to Germany or whom may have children in their class for the first time representing an unfamiliar culture, religion and/or language?

- How is xenophobia / racism addressed using inclusive teaching practices as an international kindergarten and preschool within Germany?

14.30 – 15.00
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