Early Childhood Center

Welcome to ECC!
The purpose of the WYIS Early Childhood Center (ECC) is to support parents and guardians in their responsibility to nurture and train their children.

Our ECC provides a secure and loving environment focused on meeting the needs of each child -- social, academic, physical, and spiritual – all within an active and safe learning environment. Our large, well-equipped classrooms and exciting outdoor play areas invite children to learn, grow, and explore.

Our curriculum for these young ECC learners is project-based and addresses intellectual goals, dispositions, and habits that include the initiative, motivation, self-regulation, problem-solving, and social competency. Other important components of our weekly ECC curriculum include Art, Chinese, Library, Music, and Physical Education.

As a father, I understand how important a strong foundation is for children. Our ECC teachers are ready to partner with you to give your children the best foundation possible. Please let me know how I can help you on this journey.

Lida Penn
ECC and Elementary Principal


Our ECC and Elementary departments use a teaching team model. Classroom teams function as one team, and every student will receive instruction from every teacher on their team every day.

Small group instruction is a valuable part of our educational plan, as it allows students to be able to engage with their peers and teachers as they explore and engage in inquiry-based instruction. Small groups within a larger class also provide students freedom to engage with the material and to receive instruction from multiple teachers throughout the day.

Student groups are also fluid and determined by the teachers. For example, a student will not always be part of Group A or Group B.

Our team teaching approach increases teachers’ abilities to individualize student grouping and instruction. Flexible classroom spaces enable classes to utilize multiple classrooms throughout the day, which allows students to work with fewer distractions during work times and to have more space for projects and assignments.


The goal of our Early Childhood Center (ECC) is to provide a caring environment that sets a foundation for the social, emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual development of each child. ECC is wholly committed to the total development of each child placed under our care.

In our safe and nurturing environment, ECC students learn how to positively interact with those around them in a multicultural setting. Our teachers and specialists use an age-appropriate curriculum where students enjoy hands-on learning, providing them the opportunity to grow the necessary skills for a well-rounded development. Each classroom is equipped with both a lead teacher and a teaching intern, ensuring that students are provided with attention and care.


Involves children’s abilities to convey their ideas, thoughts, and feelings through speaking and writing, and their ability to demonstrate early reading skills.


Focuses on the development of skills necessary for learning, such as self-regulation, attention, and persistence.


Supports your child’s ability to express and regulate feelings and develop relations with others.


Gives your child opportunities to build large- and small-muscle skills, strength, stamina, and knowledge needed to live a healthy lifestyle.


Supports the mental processes needed to think, make sense of the world, and understand knowledge across different subjects, including mathematics, science, and social studies.


Helps your child creatively explore the arts, movement, drama, and music.


English Language

During early childhood, students’ abilities to comprehend, process, and produce language develop in an amazing way. Students at Wuhan Yangtze International School have been invigorated by language education, with students acquiring early language and communication skills that are crucial for further success in school and beyond.


The English language is central to the way in which students understand, critique and appreciate their world, and to the ways in which they participate socially, economically, and culturally in society. The study of English encourages the development of literate individuals capable of critical and imaginative thinking, aesthetic appreciation and creativity, as well as productive participation in a democratic society in the 21st Century. Through the English curriculum and our literacy program, which begins in the ECC, students initially focus on spelling and word study, phonemic awareness and handwriting, which leads into the key discipline concepts of texts and language, and the many dimensions of reading, writing, speaking and listening that develop as students progress through their schooling.

Chinese Language & Culture


Although the study of English and the ongoing development of important literacy skills are fundamental elements of the curriculum, our students are also part of the global dialogue where multiple languages are advantageous. As an American school with an international perspective, we believe that a strong language program enhances the educational journey and encourages our students to develop alternative perspectives, cultural understanding and empathy.

Some ECC students have the opportunity to study Chinese. There are three main goals for ECC school students interested in learning Mandarin: 1) Building up a strong foundation of high-frequency vocabulary. Frequent and consistent exposure to high frequency vocabulary greatly increases the comfort level of students as they begin to communicate in a new language. 2) Working on the basic grammar rules, sentence structure, and discourse patterns. Chinese can seem very intimidating to students when they first begin learning the language; however, the introduction of common sentence patterns coupled with frequent practice in relevant contexts can greatly increase the rate at which students develop language proficiency. 3) Developing cultural knowledge and global awareness. Lastly, a critical goal for lower school students in the Chinese classroom is to provide opportunities to understand the similarities and differences between their own culture and that of various Chinese populations around the world. Students have the opportunity to attend class, eat new foods, learn about daily life for students their own age in China and learn about and celebrate the various important Chinese holidays.


At Wuhan Yangtze International School, we see technology as a tool that supports a school community and facilitates learning. We recognize the enormous potential of modern technology to enhance and enrich learning, and are committed to preparing our children to be successful in a society permeated with technology.

As an important tool, both inside and outside of the classroom, students use technology to inquire, communicate and safely take risks. Through our technology program, we ensure that every student in our community has access to campus and worldwide electronic resources, enhanced classrooms and a learning management system employed by higher education institutions. These tools encourage students to adopt and employ technology during their tenure at Wuhan Yangtze International School, preparing them for college and professional environments as true digital citizens.


Every building on the campus is connected to our data networks allowing students to wirelessly access electronic material in all academic and community spaces. School bandwidth has significantly increased over the past few years to better support classroom initiatives, cloud computing, multimedia and improve the overall student experience. In accordance with our standards, students must abide by acceptable use policies and guidelines found in the school handbook. To help encourage these standards our network is regularly monitored and acceptable barriers have been put in place for the safety of our students.


Our ECC curriculum takes full advantage of digital resources and tools carefully selected to enrich learning across disciplines. As a parallel to teaching students how to form letters and words with pencil and paper, they also learn proper keyboarding techniques starting in 3rd grade with the introduction of Chromebooks. Research and critical thinking skills are introduced through web searches protected by the school’s robust firewall and filters. Our lower school STEM program includes robotics, computer programming, computational thinking and design challenges to enhance student understanding of “how things work” in our technology driven world.

Each student in the ECC has access to an iPad which they use to demonstrate knowledge and practice core skills. Students share Chromebooks and iPads in 3rd grade and grades 4-5 are issued their own Chromebook, in part to teach them the responsibility of caring for the devices, and for easy access to a wide array of online resources made available through Google Chrome and corresponding Chrome Apps. Starting in third grade, each student is also assigned a e-mail address to communicate asynchronously with their teachers. Our job in teaching technology is to empower students with the tools they need to communicate and express themselves as 21st Century digital natives.


The WYIS library is a vibrant, welcoming environment for students, staff, and parents to enjoy for recreational and educational purposes and is specifically organized to service our diverse school community. We strive to ensure that not only are learning needs met but also that every child feels valued and happy. Our Library resources support the teaching of the curriculum and develop our student's interests and hobbies. Incorporating the use of iPads for searching the library databases, library lessons are also linked to the curriculum and teach essential information skills for 21st Century learning.

Our Library Strives...

  • To ensure learners grow as competent, ethical users and producers of ideas and information.
  • To prepare life-long learners who are effective communicators, critical researchers, and problem solvers.
  • To collaborate and share with audiences beyond our school walls.
  • To model our school’s mission and support learners in the pursuit of aesthetic growth and personal learning pathways.

To this end, a collection of books has been developed to support teaching and learning activities. We have also acquired Chinese books to support language learning. In addition, we have a collection of e-resources including online newspapers and magazines, which children can access on their iPads. We use a color-code system to help our English language learners find books with more ease and encourage families to donate fiction and nonfiction books in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean to help round out our diverse collection.

Progress & Reporting

We are constantly seeking to strengthen our partnership with parents and one of the ways we do this is through reporting to parents and actively involving parents in their children’s learning.

At the start of the year, we have orientation sessions for both new and returning families. This is an opportunity for parents to meet the new class teacher and to find out about the year group routines, special events and expectations. Each term, we welcome parents to an open morning, which provides an opportunity for children to share and celebrate their learning.We also have more formal Parent Teacher Conferences in October the fall and again in March the spring. This is an opportunity for parents to meet with their child’s class teacher on an individual basis and review their child’s learning and next steps. Progress Reports are written at the end of the first semester and all children receive a summative report in June.

Although there are many structured opportunities for parents to meet with teachers, parents can also make appointments with teachers throughout the year to discuss any concerns they may have.


We plan specific days within the school calendar for conferences to be held as we believe it is important to communicate with families. The fall and spring conferences are all day events and allow for families to schedule 20-minute conferences with their teacher in ECC. Special area teacher conferences are 15 minutes and can be scheduled separately. Phone conferences are a possibility on these days, as some families may have difficulty scheduling time to leave work/commitments to travel to school.


PowerSchool is the most widely used web-based student information system, supporting 10 million students over 65 countries. Benefits for parents and students include the following: real-time grades, attendance, comments, assignments, scores, and much more…right from the teacher’s gradebook directly to students and parents.

Ready to check us out?

We would love to have you come for a visit to our school.