Hort is LIS Primary’s complementary educational and recreational programme, providing children with opportunities for learning beyond the regular school day. In Hort, children learn to be citizens of the world through play, shared relationships and daily interactions.
Learning in Hort can be both non-formal (semi-structured) and informal (spontaneous and natural), and focuses on the children’s application and development of social, behavioural and emotional skills. Value is placed on the interaction between the child and the adult within an open learning environment that promotes independence, confidence and initiative-taking in children. The conceptual background of our work is based on the International Primary Curriculum and Saxony’s Learning Curriculum (Bildungsplan) for children in Nursery, Early Years and After School Programmes.
The children in Hort are guided by a team of professionals, consisting of education generalists, social pedagogues and social work specialists. Hort educators encourage children to put their own ideas and thoughts into actions, expressing themselves in intellectual, physical and creative processes. The educator team tailors the learning environment, projects and programmes to best meet the children’s interests and needs.
In Hort, the safety and security needs of children are balanced with the learning processes. Students are encouraged to assess situations, calculate risks, strategize, make decisions, take action and reflect together with the educators. This dialectic approach empowers the children to take responsibility for themselves and others. Following this approach, children have the opportunity to reflect openly and frequently on the LIS Behaviour Standards.
In addition to guiding the children and structuring their educational setting, Hort educators strive to capture the children’s learning and make it visible with documentation posters and displays throughout the Hort building. Parents are encouraged to explore the Hort building, read the information boards and join their children in Hort for open play and projects
The Hort educators are supported in their work by two separate groups: gap year volunteers and educator assistants (EAs). The gap year volunteers join us each August and typically serve for a year. They are young people who have recently completed secondary school and are interested in discovering the field of social services before continuing their schooling. The EAs in turn focus on safety and security during Afternoon Hort and are responsible for monitoring key entry and exit points: lion gate, upper hallway, sign-out desk and activity meeting point. The EA’s focus on security allows the educator team to focus on working directly with children and families.
The three core Hort times are: before school, after school and during school holidays:
Morning Hort is available from 8:00 until 8:25 each day. During morning Hort, educators welcome children and provide supervised, observed and guided outside play in the playground area. On the rare occasion when weather conditions do not permit outside play, morning Hort moves inside.
Afternoon Hort begins each day between 14:30 and 15:00 and ends at 17:00.
Afternoon Hort features an open concept, where educators provide six differentiated learning areas, allowing children the freedom to choose topic of play and setting as well as companions. The six theme-based spaces are: Outside, Creative, Construction, Game, Active, and Quiet.
During Afternoon Hort, there is also an extensive offering of time-limited after school activities provided by LIS staff and external service providers. These structured courses allow children to sample new experiences and widen their horizons. Information about the actual offerings of after school activities are provided prior to the start of each term via the Parent Portal and students can sign up in advance. Courses usually run for one term, after which they are opened up to new applicants for the next cycle.
All students who are not picked-up directly from their classrooms are electronically signed into afternoon Hort by their classroom teachers. They then attend Hort and their after school activities until being picked-up and signed-out at the Hort sign-out desk on the lower floor of the Hort Building.
The Hort sign out desk is linked in with the School’s central database and updates student information from Parent Portal. Parents provide all pertinent pick-up permissions and information via the Portal. One-time pick-up permissions, on the other hand, must be submitted in handwritten letter form in the morning to the class teacher or any Hort educator for latter processing at the Hort sign out Desk. All other permissions, however, must go through the Parent Portal to become part of our Hort sign-out’s data set.
During the school holidays, Hort is offered for Primary children in grades 1 - 5 as a whole day educational and recreational programme between the hours of 8:00 and 17:00. Reception children transferring from the Early Childhood Centre into Primary School may attend Summer Holiday Hort as a transitional step before the beginning of Grade 1.
Parents are asked to sign their children up for the Holiday Hort in advance. Holiday Hort services carry a separate fee.
Additionally, each summer Hort closes for two weeks completely. The closing times are marked on the school calendar.
In order to provide seamless daily transitions, reinforce children’s learning, and facilitate stronger educator-child relationships, Hort educators are assigned to grade levels. The Hort educators support students during several lessons a week and observe and assist the children as needed in the classroom settings. The educators then transfer their knowledge about the children and the children’s learning profiles from the classroom into the Hort setting and back, creating a continuous circle of support for the children.