Early Years

early years1 early years2

Our Early Years programme is for children aged 3-5.

Early Years children may arrive as early as 06:30 each day and be cared for as late as 17:00 on Mondays to Thursdays. Early Years closes on Fridays at 16:30.  Click here to see the fees.

The EIS Early Years is for children with a variety of backgrounds. Some of the current children in Early Years are from the Danish community while others are from several different countries. Some speak English fluently while others join us without any English ability when they start. We aim to support the learning of all our students regardless of their starting abilities. 

Academically, children in Early Years receive a foundation in basic literacy and numeracy skills. Socially, children in Early Years learn how to play, learn and have fun with children who are “not just like them”. Wonderful friendships regularly develop from such an educational environment!

Parents provide lunches to their own children. Under Danish law, it is required to ask all Early Years parents, or have the Board of Trustees, vote if they are interested in a lunch arrangement to be established in Early Years at Esbjerg International School. The school administration decides whom may vote. This policy is reviewed every two years. In November 2020 all board members were asked to vote on whether Esbjerg International School Early Years should adopt the lunch arrangement. All board members voted No to the Lunch Arrangement. 

Children with Special Needs

We aim to support the learning of all children in Early Years. One way we do this is by being in close communication with parents to learn as much as possible about both their child’s abilities and their challenges. Our structured teacher-led activities help staff catch on early if a child is showing difficulty in an area of his or her learning. This helps us with on-going evaluation of each child in all areas of their development with results shared in writing twice a year via our report cards. If a child shows difficulties in one or more areas of development then we will monitor this in close communication with parents. If either the teacher or the parents (or both) assess that there is a need for external guidance then we will refer the child to a municipal speech therapist, child psychologist, a physiotherapist or other relevant specialist. However, the EIS Early Years is unable to provide fixed one-on-one support for children requiring this.

Early Years Reports

Early Years is inspected annually by the Municipality click here to read. 

Contact us at 7610 5399 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information or if you would like to visit Early Years.

Guest students are always welcome to join us for a day free of charge with a parent present. Contact us to schedule your visit! 


Den styrkede pædagogiske læreplan/Units of Inquiry

Hvad er den styrkede pædagogiske læreplan?

Den pædagogiske læreplan udgør rammen og den fælles retning for vores pædagogiske arbejde med børnenes trivsel, læring, udvikling og dannelse. Læreplanen er et levende dokument, som kort beskriver vores pædagogiske overvejelser, refleksioner og eksempler, der er retningsgivende for det daglige pædagogiske arbejde med børnene.

Læring og udvikling for det enkelte barn.

It is our job to guide the children but also seize the opportunity for learning when it suddenly arises due to a child’s question or interest.

What is PYP/IBO?

The Primary Years Programme (IB-PYP) is the established worldwide programme at the Primary School level (ages 3-11), and it is offered by many top international schools. EIS was authorised in January 2019.

The PYP is a transdisciplinary programme with different subject areas supporting a transdisciplinary theme. Inquiry-based and reflective of shared best teaching practices from around the globe, the programme actively works to instil a life-long love of learning to all participants.

The overview contained within reflects our conceptual approach to teaching and learning. Please note that some goals and comments may be overlapping as they are designed to be continually reinforced and reviewed. The overview does not reflect a static document and therefore changes might occur throughout the school year to reflect the PYP philosophy on offering learners a voice, choice and ownership of their learning.

In Early Years we must meet the requirements of the local municipality (Esbjerg Kommune) as well as the requirements of the International Primary Years Programme (PYP/IBO).

We are meeting the requirements of the local municipality under the PYP umbrella. However, there needs to be a description of both. Below you will see the local requirements (in Danish) as well as the Units of Inquiry for Early Years (in English) and the merge between the two.


We believe that all children have their own will, their own thoughts and dreams, their own strengths and needs, also valuing the need to be part of and belong to a community.

Each and every one grows up with an opportunity to contribute to society locally as well as globally in their own unique way.


The six learning themes 

For versatile personal development the focus is on how the learning environment in Early Years develops the child’s experience of the world and its possibilities for taking part. This implies commitment, ‘the ability to be and take part’ and gait. 

We have daily routines (circle time, work stations, eating, changing clothes etc.) throughout the day, which of course we can deviate from, should a learning opportunity arise elsewhere. There are planned units for a year at a time (see example for unitplan from PYP). This is also aligned with the annual wheel (årshjulet) in Den Styrkede Pædagogiske læringsplan from EMU (see attached).

Teachers as well as learning assistants take part in the planning in mutual agreement with the PYP and the pedagogical learning units.

Every day there is time for the children to immerse themselves in free play, as this allows the children to practise and develop with each other while finding their own role. Through this we see the children establish friendships and increase their selfworth. They learn how to control the game and to compromise.

We have weekly meetings with time for reflection and sharing documentation of observations. This is shared with all the involved employees via our platform, ManageBac. Parents receive a newsletter every Friday with updates from the week and what will happen the next week - see Sway link for example: https://sway.office.com/XeWOw4FdwZ9AiNLs?ref=Link

During the weekly house meeting, we evaluate the children and the themes to stay focused on the children’s development, wellbeing, education and learning. Also, we have four annual staff meetings, where we go through the children’s needs, challenges, learning, wellbeing and progress. If anything needs to be addressed, we discuss next steps and contact parents and/or professionals.

Our staff work with the platform, SeeSaw, on a daily basis. It is divided into the individual units, and the parents can stay up to date with what their children are preoccupied with and see photos from the different activities and free play. Twice a year, the parents receive a Report Card, and twice a year we offer parent/teacher conferences. 

The theme 'Nature, outdoor life and science' involves how the educational learning environment can support the child experimenting and gaining first experiences with thinking and analyzing science. 

This has to support that the child work with sustainability and the interaction between humans, community and nature.  

We are fortunate enough to have access to many indoor and outdoor facilities due to Early Years being a part of EIS. We can make use of Kids’ Stop (SFO), EY playground, school playground, the football field, the woods surrounding the school, the gym (at least once a week for two hours), the SGI Tennis Court, the EIS Music room, the EIS Science room, the EIS Library as well as the qualified teachers in their individual fields. The children in Early Years are following seasons e.g. the apple, the bugs in the bushes. Every week we have outdoor trips where we bring nature home to investigate and keep the learning going.

Communication and language 

The child’s communication and language develops through close relations. It is essential that the learning environment supports the child’s communicative and linguistic interaction with the teaching staff. 

The teaching team must be conscious of the fact that they function as language role models for the child and that they need to guide the child to take part in communities with other children.  

We focus on teaching the children how to sit at a table during meals, common courtesy and set phrases used in different settings. During the unit, Who we are, we noticed that in Early Years 1, we had a group of children struggling when putting on their snowsuits. We chose to take that particular group of children to their cubbies fifteen minutes before the others to give them the necessary time to get themselves ready; while getting them ready, we had time to chat with them about them and at the same time make them more aware of themselves, their body and have the time to put words into action

We focus on word play, rhymes, songs and the language as a whole. We speak English and Danish and other languages, and we spend time explaining to parents that they need to speak their mother tongue in the home.

Every day we have Circle time, where language and communication is a great part of the exercise. We work with emotions and facial expressions; we work in small groups and work stations with a great opportunity for us as professionals to trace any challenges with communication.; this way we can have a focus on children communicative challenges.

Culture, aesthetics and community

Culture is partly an artistic, creative force activating the child’s senses and emotions, partly the cultural values acquired by the child in the day-to-day life.

In educational learning environments with focus on culture, the child discovers new sides to themselves, expressed in multiple ways and is supported with in understanding their surrounding world. 

Each unit (see PYP units) lasts 6-8 weeks. Part of the individual units cover culture, aesthetics, and community. It is essential that we touch on Danish traditions as Denmark is the host country; these may include Christmas, Fastelavn, Easter, Skt. Hans, but also international traditions such as Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Chinese New Year, World Kindness Day, Eid, Hanukkah etc. This can all be addressed via film, literature, food days, visitors incl. creative features and expressions.

Body, senses and movement

The child is in the world through its own body and when the child is supported in using, challenging, experimenting, sensing and taking care of the body, the foundation for physical and mental wellbeing is laid.

The educational learning environment must invite the child to gain bodily experiences in an environment, where the joy of movement, creativity and play are key, and where the educational staff support the individual child and create flexible, inclusive learning environments.

As mentioned earlier, we have great outdoor as well as indoor facilities. We inspirere the children to explore and challenge their bodies focusing on gross motor skills as well as fine motor. Children play on different surfaces inside and outside, so that they have an opportunity to sense cold, warm, wet, dry, hard, soft.

We aspire to have the children as self-reliant and independent as possible. We believe that there should be focus on the whole child, meaning the body, the child’s health and wellbeing. This translates to the individual child being able to handle basics as getting dressed, pouring water in their own mug, open up their lunch boxes etc. They have opportunity to unfold in free play, use their imagination, while we still have focus on the individual child, and we are not so locked into a framework  that we cannot be flexible, if this would benefit the individual child.

Social development deal with development of social actions and participation and inclusion.

Social development take place in communities, whereto the child feel that they belong, develop empathy and gain experience exerting their own influence and appreciate differences.

In daily life we support the children through play, activities and create relationships across. We work with empathy towards each other between children and adults and children and children. We recognise the importance of the relation between children and children and adults and children. We have focus on the children’s understanding of each other’s feelings, as they all come with different backgrounds and culture.