Educating the citizens of tomorrow

Click the headlines below and read all about our curriculum, teaching methods, creative development, assessment and much more.

What is Neo-Humanist Education

From a child’s perspective, learning starts with the self, moves on to the family and then to the community. Extending a child’s vision takes experience, creativity and opportunity, which are provided by the daily lifestyle, curriculum and interaction at Sunrise. Here children’s knowledge grows to encompass cultural diversity around the world, our planet Earth, and our Universe.

The neo-humanist curriculum aims to foster the individual development of all aspects of a child’s being: their physical body and senses, emotions, intellect, creativity and finally spiritual development. This is achieved through acknowledgment of the child’s inner strengths and beauty, the use of positive language, and a focus on community service and interaction with nature.

The neo-humanist education system is based on and dedicated to the holistic growth development of children throughout their educational years.

From an early age, it encourages the child to feel love and respect for all, regardless of culture, race, religion and nationality and to extend this love and respect to animals, plants and their environment.

Sunrise children are brought up in a community of care, kindness, creation and balance, and as those children grow to move on through life, they touch the world with these qualities.It is amazing to think that elements of our educational efforts and personal bonds have reached so many parts of our world. For each of these little multicultural individuals, we can expect a global outreach. It is a fantastic experience to hold so many hands.

 There are over 850 nurseries, kindergartens and primary schools around the world, that implement this educational philosophy on a non-profit basis.

Curriculum and Teaching methods

The teaching methods at Sunrise are based on a child-centered approach to education, which caters to each child’s individual interests and learning styles. While our pre-school curriculum includes an academic program, our main focus is to provide a nurturing environment with ample educational opportunities that  help children develop and expand their own interests and unique talents. We also strongly emphasize “learning by doing” and support the children in making their own choices, both individually and as a group.

The main areas of teaching include physical development and movement through drama, music, dance, outdoor activities and yoga, intellectual development through knowledge and understanding of the world, math, language and communication, social, emotional and personal development through problem solving, interaction in circle time, group projects and daily routines, creative development through music, arts and crafts and drama.

Personal, Social and Emotional Awareness

Personal development goes hand in hand with the Social and Emotional Learning Foundations (SELF) Program, which is central to the lifestyle and values of the NHE at Sunrise International Preschool.

  • Children learn about their own body, mind, and relationships through close contact with friends and teachers, forming strong bonds within their community
  • We explore our bodies, minds and feelings through games, art, singing and stories
  • Early in the year, the full school is united in a Build a Heart Project, which helps them identify the center of their own feelings, and the love just grows
  • Children’s emotional vocabulary is expanded through photographs, circle time, drama games and puppetry
  • Children learn the NHE Values through a dynamic program of storytelling and visual collage throughout the year
  • Adults assist and guide children in kind, gentle and loving self expression

Creative development

Focus on the arts at Sunrise expands the mind, body and soul while developing the child as a creative thinker and self initiator. The NHE Curriculum emphasizes all forms of performing and fine arts as a medium for personal and spiritual growth, emotional connection, information processing, and reflection on learning.

Since development, intellectual as well as emotional, respect for others and the environment make up the main pillars of our teaching, we have incorporated them into themes that run like common threads through our school year as well as our teaching methods.

Previous themes have included: Myself, my family and community, Theatre and Fairytales, Space, Dinosaurs, The Nordic Forest, The Ocean, Transportation, Spring as well as Cultures Around the World. Themes are explored during circle time as well as during our educational programs.  Theme based learning is also reinforced through related projects, books, story telling, songs and arts and crafts etc.

Music and Dance

  • We explore Music through singing in a group and introduction of different musical styles such as Classical, Folk and Devotional songs from different traditions
  • We explore our classroom cultural diversity through music and songs
  • Children get to know and produce musical instruments through recycled material
  • We learn about musical concepts such as rhythm, volume, harmony, tempo and tune
  • Interpret the effect of sound on mood and emotions through movement, dance and sound

Visual Art

  • Children integrate developing skills with ideas, thoughts and self expression
  • We explore colors including blending and brush stroke variation
  • Learn shape and 3 dimensional spatial awareness through sculpture
  • Engage in textural study with brush work, mixed media, sensory activity
  • Explore variation and contrast while building familiarity with diverse materials
  • Experience with composition through collage, assemblage, sculpture and installation

Story Telling

  • Children experience classical and traditional stories, folklore, myth, legend and authors
  • We explore the book and the story as a work of creation
  • Children increase their ability to maintain and contribute to a dynamic story line
  • Children work with initiating a full story line, becoming independent storytellers
  • We use the story line to enact or set movement to story elements

About storytelling

There are many benefits of storytelling - stories and fairytales play an important role in children's psychological development and can work as a guide to teach the child valuable lessons in a simple language. This works as a foundation for learning  vocabulary and other academic skills such as critical thinking.  

We use storytelling to engage the children through working with a big variety of materials and techniques where we draw, paint and create figures using anything and everything. The most important thing is to have fun and make the stories come to life. Sometimes we start with drawing and painting and use that as an inspiration to build a story on. We also work with engaging the children's social skills, where they are encouraged to share, help others and voice their opinions. They also learn how to give and receive positive feedback which makes them feel proud of their creations, stimulating their self-confidence. In addition, artwork helps in developing their coordination skills. 

During our work, the children are also told stories about artists and authors' lives. We have a yearly art exhibition where the parents often join the children in some activities related to their product and their stories and the children can show off the fruits of their efforts. 

Language, Literacy and Communication

The goal of the Sunrise Preschool Language Arts Program is to introduce and explore some of the different dimensions of language. We aim to develop both children’s receptive and expressive language skills using activities, games, visual media, storytelling, role play, as well as arts and crafts. Receptive language refers to the input of language and focuses on areas such as comprehension, listening skills, and following instructions. Expressive language refers to the output of language and focuses on expanding vocabulary, and improving communication and oral language skills.

The Language Arts Program corresponds to the current Sunrise education themes and is designed to both compliment and build upon what is being addressed in the other Hummingbird Learning Programs, the Morning Circle and the class field trips. 

There are number of targeted opportunities for children to practice their language skills which have also been embedded into the Sunrise program.  Every Monday during the Morning Circle we have ‘The Talking Stick’ where children are given a chance to share about their weekends.  This gives them practice speaking in front of others, recalling and describing events that happened in the past or events that they are looking forward to in the future.  We occasionally use this time to show and tell about objects brought from home.

We have also developed a number of “take home” projects such as ‘Hunny the Hummingbird’ and the ‘Homework assignments’ where children get the opportunity to develop their language skills away from the school setting with the support of their family members.  At Sunrise we encourage children to reflect on their own unique ideas and experiences and use their imagination to creatively express their thoughts and feelings.  In addition to fostering independent thought these “take home” activities tend create spontaneous discussion in the classroom and increase children’s motivation to verbally share their experiences and feelings with their peers.

Oral Language

  • Children develop language and communication skills in English through story, song, contact with adults, games, friendships and their environment
  • Where needed, extra support is given for children learning English as an additional language
  • Circle time develops children’s participation in answering group questions, contributing to a story line or conversation, and telling stories of personal experience or fantasy
  • Contact with teachers increases children’s confidence and developing ability to initiate subjects for conversation and self expression
  • Children develop the ability to organize their communication through oral and visual sequencing games, puppetry, and work with photography and illustration
  • We broaden our vocabulary through storytelling, reading books, andgroup discussion  We develop and improve listening skills through rhythm, repeat games and song
  • Using kinesthetic approaches, we explore sounds, words, connect movements and feelings

Written Language

  • We train children in phonological phonemic awareness (phonics) and sound-letter learning  Children develop alphabetical principles (sound/ letter relationship)
  • Children initiate writing with appropriate tool use
  • Children practice directional writing skills and connecting trails
  • We increase text comprehension through games, books, repeat stories and beginning booklets
  • Children’s own ability to produce symbols is encouraged through acknowledgement of personal visual language
  • Children produce ‘books’ of their own creation, encouraging child-writing techniques
  • Children increase their connection to class work and environment through play reactions

Cognitive Arts

Mathematics, geometry, spatial relationship and logical deduction are in focus through the cognitive arts. Children are provided with manipulatives to build skill through play and set tasks which strengthen developing cognitive ability. Cognition skills are integrated in daily play and routine from Nursery School through games, puzzles, stories, movement and music. In PS1, focus lies on geometry, construction and logic building while in PS2, children work with math concepts in lesson format and increased selection of board games.

  • Children develop conceptual mathematic ability through manipulative games such as sorting, counting, classification and memory work.
  • Children develop numeracy and counting skill both orally and in written form.
  • We explore one-to-one correspondence through set games, physical object relationships and mind twisters.
  • We strengthen and practice developing logic in oral and visual skills through comparing and result prediction including opportunity for exercising rational thinking.
  • Children work with tasks of deduction, problem solving.
  • Geometry exploration and extention with shape recognition and naming.
  • Geometric construction, configuration and tessellation.
  • Exploration of spatial relationship construction, puzzle making.
  • We enjoy study of parts and wholes, particularly through cooking, measuring and dividing.
  • Ordering items, toys and pattern collage help in the exploration of series making and patterning.
  • Abstract concepts such as measurement, volume, length, temperature and time.
  • Graphs through classroom polls, comparisons and counting.
  • Basic game rules and board games fill leisure hours and rainy afternoons with fun learning

Children explore and learn about their bodies, extending their play naturally into learning. The Sunrise Program incorporates fine motor dexterity on a daily basis through station work, visual art projects and cooking experiments. Gross motor skills are developed on a weekly basis though outdoor play and regular PE time on the weekly schedule. Physical Development is further explored through dance and yoga, and the older students are provided extended experience through regular excursion.

Fine motor development.
  • Sensory exploration and recognition including texture variation projects.
  • Children increase their control of tools including pencil, marker, scissor, brush.
  • We explore the use of modeling clay and cooking to develop hand muscle dexterity.
  • Children use bead work, plus plus puzzles or other miniature materials to develop their finger tip dexterity.
  • We work with gross threading skills to develop eye hand coordination.
  • 3d construction, sculpture and installations are created involving the balance and positioning of small items for fine balance Gross motor development.
Gross motor development.
  • Children become physically aware of body power and placement through tumbling, rolling, bouncing.
  • We develop our throwing, catching and kicking skills.
  • We explore stepping challenges and patterns, stepping skills including stepping stones.
  • Developing balancing skills such as walking walls or lines, balance board, blindfolded turning.
  • Swinging and climbing skills present a daily challenge.
  • Team work skills are developed using parachute and ball techniques, team games, races.
  • Running and tagging games create excitement and challenge young bodies.
  • Outside games using nature for ideas.
  • We explore our bodies through creative means such as dance, theater, recreating nature movements.
  • We all enjoy excursions and walks on a regular basis. 

Environmental Awareness

As children explore their surroundings, Sunrise takes the opportunity to introduce children to the basic concepts in Earth-care, for a sustainable future. Children develop their interest in nature through experiments, cooking, gardening, recycling participation and learn about the universe, earth, animals and plants through story exploration, tied in with theme work.

  • Children perform basic science experiments and observe results.
  • We explore the 4 elements; Fire, Water, Earth and Air.
  • Children learn a knowledge of the universe, planets, sun, stars, moon and the planet earth.
  • We awaken interest in and knowledge of plants and animals.
  • We explore and compare habitats groups including the flora and fauna of eco systems and their interdependence

Documentation and Assessment

Sunrise International Preschool observes a child’s growth from several aspects including daily, monthly and yearly assessment. The following describe the documentation process:

  • Each day, the classroom keeps an information board describing the activities of the day, meals and news. The daily information is also recorded in the classroom file, by the teaching staff.
  • A selection of the children's work is collected each month to maintain a record of individual development.
  • Each year in May, a full report is created by the teaching staff, to document the individual child’s learning process. The Child report is divided by Areas of Development and Awareness. The Report is presented to the family to keep during the Parent –Teacher Conference in May, and a copy is made for the classroom files.

School Projects, Trips, Events

The classrooms follow a schedule of themes, which take anywhere from four to six weeks to develop. Children work all aspects of their curriculum through contact with the themes, at an age appropriate level, covering different aspects of the theme topic.

  • Build a Heart Project, September
  • Open Day, October
  • Halloween, October
  • Colour Day, November, February
  • Theme Day, November
  • Celebration of Light, December
  • Singing for the Nursing Home, December
  • Music & Dance, January
  • Fastelavn (Danish Carnival), February
  • Theatre Show, March
  • Earth Day, April
  • Book Day, April
  • Art Expo, May
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences, May
  • Summer Party, May
  • Moving Up Day & Graduation, June