Starting School in A New Country
Our schools have wonderfully diverse groups of families with expatriate children making up at least sixty percent of our school communities – sharing learning journeys with them is our work and our passion.
Our community of parents, children, teachers and administrators are from all over the world, and our local population has a strong global mindset. We are worldwide to our core, and we love it ! About six out of ten children who enroll in our school are speaking a language other than English at home. Our current list of mother tongue languages is quite impressive; currently, we have British,Australian,American, Dutch, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Russian, Afrikaans, Portuguese, Mandarin and Arabic speaking families at our school.
How do you then address the needs of expat children that may speak a different native language or just be from a different culture?
Learn, talk, think and play
Children love to learn, talk, think and play — and so they often come to us with all the tools they will need to adapt. Moreover, they do not just adjust: They make friends, explore, learn and grow. It is beautiful to watch them flourish in the English and Arabic environments we offer them.
Exploring traditions, language and nationality
Inquiring into culture and language is a vital part of our learning experiences. Young children have few fixed ideas and opinions about how the broader world should be; they are quite genuinely open-minded and curious. We love cultural and national celebrations – not just Bahrain’s – but also European, North American, Japanese, Chinese and Indian. We too like to cook food from all over the world. Sharing festivals and traditions from home and learning about others is essential to our work here. International-mindedness is something we invest in, and serving an international community does not mean just accommodating a few children — the beauty of our community is that it is indeed global.
Stability and routine
Changing homes, starting new jobs, adapting to all the demands of life in a new and colossal city: all are regular challenges parents face when they relocate. However, starting school provides stability and routine for children and then therefore for their parents. Schools like EtonHouse International Preschool Bahrain brings them a community full of families with similar experiences, and the teachers are often the first adults in their new home who care deeply for their children and can provide a vital touch point for young children and their parents. I have seen over and over that starting at a small and personal school like ours is often their first and most crucial real step in the settling process.
The vast majority of children settle in beautifully; in fact, in my 25 years of work as an early childhood practitioner globally, I have rarely seen a child who has failed to adjust to their new surroundings. In general, young children adapt faster than their parents. Coming from a different context and adapting quickly to their new home helps them develop resilliance.
Executive Principal Bahrain