- Choose between English, French, or Italian as main language course, take part in STEAM, arts, music and dance
- Take nature walks and explore our beautiful surroundings
- Explore Ticino on day-trips and cultural visits including museums, falconry, and organic farms
It’s never too early to become a global citizen! Minnows spend their days immersed in a creative, engaging, interactive classroom environment and quickly become a tight-knit community of diverse learners.
The Minnows language program uses a child-directed, whole-brain approach. Our small classes focus on the spoken language, and teachers are encouraged to be as creative as possible, using movement and hands-on activities. Children learn basic vocabulary and use words while on trips off-campus. Minnows also practice writing and can even learn to read simple sentences. The curriculum is constantly changing to accommodate how quickly the children are learning, with the aim of building confident language-learners.
Minnows can enroll in Italian, French, or English courses, and the ultimate goal is to make children excited about learning a foreign language and encourage them to want to learn more!
Students also have a weekly STEAM lesson provided by a STEAM-certified teacher during their language class time. They also participate in STEAM activities throughout the week.
Our Minnows program is suitable for children who are successful in group settings. Please note that our program and facilities are not equipped to support children with special needs who require one-on-one support.
On campus, the Minnows choose from a variety of open-ended activities that are designed to support the vocabulary and themes presented in their language classes. These include arts and crafts, group games, singing, cooking, and playing in our outdoor playground. Special events such as Pirate Day, a Renaissance Fair, and a Science Fair are perennial favorites.
Off-campus, Minnows take weekly field trips that explore the local area. Favorite field trips have included visiting an Alpine farm and learning facts about the animals, going on a nature walk in the Montagnola woods, touring downtown Lugano, visiting Swissminiatur Park, seeing the Bellinzona castles, and hosting a visit from the Apiary and discovering fun facts about bees.
Minnows have the opportunity to attend as either a Standard Day or Extended Day student:
Our Standard Day program is Monday–Friday from 8:45 to 15:00 in our beautiful Early Childhood Center, Al Focolare. Just 200 meters down the hill from the main TASIS campus, Al Focolare is a spacious and inviting location for learning.
Extended Day Minnows attend Monday–Friday from 8:45 to 17:30, and their days are very active with walks, trips, and science projects. Four- and five-year-old Minnows are welcome to try the Extended Day program, but if it is not a good fit they may be asked to shift to the Standard Day program.
In the Minnows program, play and creativity are the key ingredients in our recipe for success. Both ingredients encourage interaction, problem-solving, teachable moments, experimentation, innovation, and, of course, laughter. Above all, play bonds children and enhances verbal and non-verbal communication.
Students have the opportunity for open-ended play during choice time, where they are encouraged to choose from a variety of indoor and outdoor activities. Outdoor choices focus on gross motor skills and may include playground play, sandbox construction, or kicking a soccer ball with a friend. Indoor choices focus on fine motor skills and are typically teacher-directed sensory and art experiences.
It never ceases to amaze us just how much a young child can change and grow in only a few weeks. The children learn about each other and create their own community in which each child is valued and supported by one another. We look forward to welcoming you and your children to the Minnows!
Our youngest students are introduced to Italian, French, or English through play, music, games, and hands-on activities. Mornings include singing class, arts and crafts, and language classes.
After lunch our Minnows have a rest period, then continue learning vocabulary through science classes and special projects, such as preparing for Circus Day and a Renaissance Fair. The Minnows also explore the local area including the Bellinzona Castles, touring downtown Lugano, and visiting Swissminiatur.
|Minnows Daily Schedule|
|08:45||Minnows arrive to lower campus|
|09:20||Interactive music class|
|14:00||Story & activities|
|15:00||Standard-day Minnows depart|
|Extended Day Program|
|15:00||Transition to main campus|
|16:30||Snack & arts hour|
|17:30||Extended-day Minnows depart|