Early Years Program

Play with Purpose
Early Years Program

"Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play, children learn how to learn."
- O. Fred Donaldson

At SASE, we believe in the power of play. We believe in this because developmental sciences have compelling evidence that young children love learning through play. Children have an innate spirit to create, inquire, problem-solve and engage with the natural world.

So, our Early Years Program (EYP) creatively adapts philosophies from the Montessori, Waldorf, J Krishnamurti and Reggio through play based pedagogies. Our EYP groups are multi-age, encouraging diverse relationships and robust social and emotional exploration for children. We understand children’s needs to develop independence, confidence and security. Our curated team of passionate educators are co-explorers  with our young children, helping them along their learning journey, rather than dictating what they should know and do. Our educators and staff in the school model positive relationship-building, kindness and cooperation so that our learner groups thrive in a safe, loving, and positive environment.

Our educators use the Early Years Foundation Stage's (EYFS) criteria for assessment from Birth to five years, which outlines standards for education and developmental growth. We have a collaborative approach with parents to facilitate children's wholistic development in and out of the school. How a child is growing outside the school is equally important to us as their growth inside the school. We exchange developmental metrics with the parents so they become active partners in their child's growth.

At SASE, nature is a critical aspect of learning. Humans are evolutionarily meant to learn, grow, and thrive in nature. The school offers a natural, nurturing and caring environment rich with challenge and encouragement. Our close-to-nature learning environment is part of our Learning Programme. We aim to get our young learners out in nature at least 40% of their time with us. Nature provides rich learning opportunities and experiences, as well as the chance to connect with the most precious aspects of our world. Children will understand physical and biological phenomena by experiencing them first-hand and creating their own interpretations and meaning. Exploring the natural world with friends provides children with a sense of wonder, joy and purpose. We assist this growth through play and strive to be enablers for each child's wholistic development, to provide support and make the early years happy and meaningful.

The importance of spatial intelligence is emphasised in a special way in the SASE Early Years Program. Educational Neuroscience shows that spatial intelligence stimulation during the early years is an important factor in developing mathematical thinking and problem-solving abilities. The evidence supports that spatial training is highly beneficial to young children, as it has been proven to increase expertise and performance in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics later in life.

Our Spatial Intelligence Lab amplifies learning of concepts like spatial scaling, spatial visualisations, form perception, pattern construction, and more to enable our young learners to develop their spatial skills. In addition, the activities are designed to be fun and interactive ways for the children to develop their linguistic and mathematical abilities via play.

The developmental research affirms that children need a wide variety of sensory-motor experiences to develop to their full potential. For this reason, SASE is purpose-built to help young learners engage in inquiry and play! Our school features a dedicated greenhouse, where children can grow fruits and vegetables, a fully equipped kitchen for role play and safe food preparation, a treehouse, and much more. Because children need to explore with all of their senses, we also have a mudpit, sandpit and a range of play equipment. At SASE, the environment plays a significant role in the education of our youngest learners.

We believe that play based inquiry and the constructivist approach to learning is important as it develops individuation, and a love for learning and discovery. Culminating these practices best suits the needs of our children so that they become lifelong learners.  Children are encouraged to construct their own meaning and express their understanding in a variety of ways, as there are a variety of types of learners and learning styles. When children’s learning styles and modes of expression are respected and encouraged, their confidence grows. We seek to develop learners who seek intrinsic rewards- learners for whom personal development is the best reward.


Early childhood is a special time in your child's life. The impact of experiences during this time lay the foundations for all learning and development later in life. SASE EY is designed to bolster experiences of exploration, learning, and positive relationships through meaningful play with their friends, the natural world, technology, and the local community. We welcome you to visit our campus, and explore our EYP for your child’s education.