Offering Cambridge International Curriculum
Educating to Inspire Global Excellence

Early Years Parents Guide

Dear Parents,
Welcome! We would like to thank you for choosing Galaxy International School Uganda and ensure you that we have a commitment to all parents and children enrolled in our School. Our commitment is that the children will receive quality and loving care. We will also build up the childrens self-confidence and self-esteem with praise and positive redirections.
It is our goal to provide a variety of exciting, stimulating activities each day so that your child can develop socially, emotionally, physically and mentally to the very best of his/her ability. This handbook has been prepared especially for you, the parent of the child enrolled in our Program.
You will find many of our policies and operating procedures explained here. By reading this handbook you will feel more confident in your familys adjustment into our program. We suggest that you keep this handbook for reference throughout the year. Whenever you have questions, please feel free to call or stop by the office. My staff and I look forward to working with you and your child.
Thank you, Bresenna Johnson Early Years Coordinator

Philosophy and Objectives

Galaxy International School Uganda provides a clean, safe, healthy environment where every child can develop emotionally, physically, intellectually, and socially. We are committed to providing safety and security for all children. GISU encourages learning and growth through play in an environment designed so that children may strengthen muscles, build coordination, stretch their imaginations, and have fun.
We believe that children should be allowed to grow at their own pace and to learn in ways that help them become confident in themselves as learners. Our goal is to provide all of the children with a clean, safe, comfortable, and nurturing environment. Respect toward self, others and the environment will be emphasized. We believe in the value of both structured and non-structured activities.
Structured activities will include the use of a preschool curriculum, regular reading times, circle times, arts and crafts, and musical activities. Outdoor play and center times are some of the more flexible activities we have. It is our goal to create an environment and program where the child’s natural desire to learn is stimulated through meaningful, appropriate, and playful learning experiences, one that meets the needs of each child as an individual.

Curriculum

Children participate in a variety of activities including the following:
Learning Centers These are areas set up by teachers and students and are changed monthly to fit the theme for the month. Learning centers have activities that are suggested either by written or verbal cues from the teacher or can be developed daily by the children. Materials and equipment in each area are displayed in a manner that promotes individual and independent play.
Practical Life All children are encouraged to behave independently according to their individual development level. The staff encourage children to problem solve creatively, to learn to accept and appreciate diversity, and negotiate for what they want when it is in conflict with another’s desires. Staff will assist children in areas of practical life and self-help skill development by providing activities that encourage using undeveloped skills. The goal for children of all ages is to promote positive self-esteem and competence. Whether buttoning, pouring, folding, preparing food, or cleaning a table, children experience real life situations and activities that encourage them to expand their independence.
Monthly Themes The program has general monthly themes that are established and coordinated center wide from KG2 to Reception, designed to promote developmental skills, and to enrich all children’s understanding of their world. The themes have educational, social, cultural, and emotional value.
Circle Time – Circle time provides the children with the opportunity to interact with each other as a group. During this time, we will learn calendar skills, weather skills, sing songs, play games, read stories and learn about each other. During this time, the teacher will prepare children for the day and review the letter, number, theme, and color of the week.
Arts and Crafts – The majority of our projects are focused around the holidays and theme units. Arts and Crafts projects stimulate a child’s mind to be creative. These activities also assist in the development of fine and gross motor skills. Children also achieve a sense of pride and accomplishment through the development of projects. Our program is filled with hands-on learning activities as well as open-ended art activities. Open-ended art allows the child to explore the use of various materials and processes and enjoy what happens. Craft projects are designed to help the children develop their creativity and the use of specific skills. Uneven or lopsided projects are to be expected from children of this age. The children are in the process of learning. It is the “process not the product” that is important. Please keep this in mind and treat all of your children’s projects as masterpieces!
Letters and Numbers – Children will learn to recognize, identify, and eventually write the numbers and letters. We will concentrate on one letter and number each week. During this time, many of our songs, crafts, and games will focus on the letter and number of the week.
Specials – Specials will include math, science, and star of the week activities. Math skills will focus on number recognition, counting, sequencing, patterns, charts, and addition. Science will consist of simple
science experiments usually focused around the theme of the week. Star of the week activities will include show and tell, ask the star, and learn about the star of the week.
Manipulatives – Manipulatives develop organizational skills like sorting, counting, comparing, classifying, matching, and shape recognition. Children integrate concepts through more physical involvement. By using more senses, children form more associations and learn.
Sensory Experiences – Children will be provided with a wide variety of hands on, concrete, real world sensory experiences appropriate for the childs age and stage of development. They will learn about all of their senses and how to use them.
Computer Skills appropriate for each child’s age and developmental level will be introduced and reinforced.
Year 1 Readiness – Children will be taught the necessary skills to ensure success in Primary School.
Swimming- Students will be supervised at all times and instructed in water safety .

Immunization

Galaxy International School of Uganda recommends that all EYS students be immunized before enrollment. These vaccinations are compulsory:

  • Tetanus
  • Polio
  • Measles
  • Yellow Fever
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin
  • Tuberculosis

Attendance and Health Policies

For the health and well-begin of your child and of others at school, keep your child home for the following reasons:
1. Fatigue (for any reason), lethargic behavior.
2. A fever (a child should remain at home for 24 hours after the fever is gone and/or prescribed antibiotics administered for 24 hours before a child returns to school).
3. Sore throat,
4. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (child should remain home for 24 hours after the last episode).
5. Red, crusty, itchy eyes (conjunctivitis or pink eye is very contagious). The child must be kept at home for 48 hours while being treated with antibiotics and should only return to school if there is no discharge from the eyes.
6. A runny nose if there is colored nasal mucous.
A parent or a person on the emergency contact list must always be available by phone during school hours. It is the parents responsibility to have someone available who can come to the school for emergencies or for a sick child.
Please call if your child has a communicable illness or infestation, such as chicken pox, conjunctivitis, pin worms, etc., so we can exercise additional control methods and notify other parents. Your childs identify is protected.

Emergency Contact Information

UP TO DATE information is required for all children. This information should include phone numbers of where parents can be reached during school hours, phone numbers for your doctor and phone numbers for alternate emergency contacts. Should your child require immediate medical care, the nurse is trained in both CPR and First Aid. Should the injury appear to be serious, emergency care and transport will be arranged. You will then be contacted. If you cannot be reached, we will contact the people you listed on the emergency card to handle any and all emergency care decisions concerning the child.
Should any parent or legal guardian request exemption from medical care for their child based on religious grounds,etc. it is imperative that the admissions office be notified of such. The name, phone number and address of a certified practitioner needs to be part of such child’s emergency information, along with specific written guidelines as to how the parent wishes the GISU to handle an emergency. This document will become part of that child’s records.

Parent Participation

Parents are welcome and encouraged to participate in the classroom. We ask that arrangements be made in advance with the teacher so plans can be made to utilize parent availability. It is also important to limit the number of parents in the classroom on a given day. Parents are invited into the classrooms starting October 1st. This will allow the children time to adjust, settle into a new routine and develop a level of trust and comfort with the teacher. Please make other arrangements for siblings while you are volunteering at school.

Parent/Child Separation

It is not unusual for a child to become teary when separating from a parent in an unfamiliar situation. Remember, this is a new environment with new faces. A child is bound to feel a little uncomfortable.Separation can be stressful for both the parent and the child, especially in the early days. Please help us to make this time less stressful by adhering to the following guidelines:

  • Please do not attempt to sneak out without saying goodbye to your child.
  • Give your child a good-bye kiss and explain that it is time for you to leave and you will return later.
  • As difficult as it may be, make your good-bye short and sweet, even if your child is crying. The longer the goodbye, the longer the child will cry.
  • Early Years Teachers are trained to handle these difficult, but normal occurrences. They will comfort your child and involve him/her in an activity. Ninety percent of the time, your child will have stopped crying before you get out of the parking lot of the facility.
  • Do not linger around after you have said goodbye, this can confuse your child and prolong the crying.
  • Adults often have similar experiences when put in a like situation. Be encouraging. Your smile, eyes and body language communicate a lot. If a child senses any type of apprehension on your part, this enhances their own feeling of uncertainty. Separation is often harder on the parents than the child.

Annual Kindergarten Calendar

We follow the GISU school calendar. All events and holidays will be observed in accordance with this school year calendar unless otherwise stated.

Arrival and Departure

Your child’s safety is a top priority at GISU. Children must be escorted into the building, signed in, and taken to their classroom. Children must be signed in and out upon arrival and departure. Children may be released only to those persons authorized in writing by the parent/guardian. Identification will be required when someone other than the parent or guardian will be picking up your child. If your child is
going home with another child to play, or if there is a change in the transportation, please inform your childs teacher by a written note.

Prompt Pickup

It is important and necessary for you topick up your child on time. A child whose ride is late experiences great anxiety and worry. It is difficult for the child/children and for the teacher who often needs to prepare for the next class. We understand that emergencies happen. If an emergency occurs, take time to give us a call.

Dress

Please label all sweaters, jackets, coats, school bags, backpacks, etc. with the child’s name. Often a child will have a garment identical to someone elses in the classroom. Sandals, Crocs and flip-flops are required for wear inside the classroom. Childrens clothing should be uncomplicated so that they can easily use the bathroom by themselves.

"Potty" Policy

TOILET TRAINING
Your child may be ready for toilet training if he/she:
Has a dry diaper for two or more hours and/or after naptime

  • Tells you when the diaper needs to be changed.
  • Tells you when he/she is going in the diaper.
  • Shows an interest in using the toilet.

Toilet training should begin at home on a weekend or Holiday. However you decide to train your child, consistency is important. Please provide us with at least three sets of underwear and clothes each day until your child is trained.

Birthdays

Birthdays are special to children. Every childs birthday is celebrated during our school year. We ask you to provide birthday snacks to celebrate the big day. You are encouraged todiscuss with the classroom teacher for the appropriate time for the party, so there is no interruption in instruction.

Snacks

Each day the children have a fun time together around the table as they snack. Snack time teaches patience, manners, independence, language development and nutrition. Parents are welcome to bring snacks throughout the year. Please involve your child when choosing the snack.
Some suggestions are as follows:
Cheese
Peanut Butter
Boiled eggs
Graham crackers
Pre-popped Popcorn
Sausage
Apples
Biscuits
Oranges
Raisins
Banana
Breakfast Pizza
Bagels
Carrot Sticks
Jack Fruit

Share Time

Teachers will designate a share day for each child. Your child will keep this share day throughout the school year. Because our program emphasizes peace, no aggressive toys are allowed (guns, swords, weapons, etc). We encourage share to be in relationship with our theme, family life or educational. Toys are down played as share items. Please label all items with your childs name before sending it to school.

Field Trips

As part of GISU, field trips will be planned occasionally. Prior to each trip, information will be sent home detailing the date, time, cost, location, chaperones, etc. The permission slip must be signed and returned to the teacher in order for the child to attend. We welcome parents to join us for trips.If you do not wish for your child to participate in the field trip, notify his/her teacher so that other arrangements can be made for the day.

Discipline

All teachers at GISU manage behavior in their classrooms in a non-punitive, age appropriate manner. All staff receive ongoing training in the areas of discipline and behavior management. They are trained in the process of positive discipline, which instructs children as to what they should do rather than telling them what not to do. For example We walk inside the building rather than No running”. Discipline often takes the form of a gentle reminder or redirection.
Choices are offered encouraging children to make appropriate decisions and to take responsibility for their actions. Staff will use positive enforcement while supervising children, encouraging them to cooperate and continue using appropriate behaviors. Children will be redirected to an alternate activity if their behavior continues to be inappropriate. We encourage a joint effort between the family and school if the above form of discipline is not working.
No child shall be subject to physical corporal punishment, humiliated, frightened, verbally abused, or denied food, rest or bathroom facilities. Children will never be disciplined for toileting accidents, sleep habits, or food consumption.

Special Visitors

We encourage parents with special talents such as fire fighters, police officers, doctors, dentists, etc. Come and visit our classrooms during the year. The younger children feel much more secure in the classroom setting.

Open House

In the first term, there will be an Open House night. Families visit the classrooms, meet the teachers and meet other families.

What to bring

Please provide your child with a backpack/diaper bag to carry his/her belongings. It makes for a much easier departure. Children may bring a small blanket for rest time. Children may only bring in small toys from home on his/her designated day, limited to a size that will fit inside the backpack. Please keep in mind that teachers will help the children to be careful, but cannot be responsible for loss or damage to items brought to school. Toy guns and weapons are prohibited. Diapers and wipes, if needed, should be sent in your childs bag daily.