Early Years

Welcome to Xiamen International School (XIS), where our students are empowered, prepared and confident. Our curriculum framework offers our young students in Early Years authentic opportunities to focus on key developmental abilities and during this crucial time of growth we see play as the main driver for inquiry. XIS supports every child to reach their potential in a warm and safe environment. We place high value on the school and home partnership and encourage parent involvement as we work together as a team to meet the needs of every child.  

In the Early Years, we channel children’s natural curiosity into discovery and exploration through play and social interaction. Our highly trained teachers promote the educational and social well-being of all children in specially designed and spacious learning spaces. They set up learning experiences that are focused on play, play that involves choice, promotes agency and provides opportunities to inquire into important concepts and personal interests. 

 Please spend some time browsing through our website to learn more about the educational benefits of receiving a world class International Baccalaureate (IB) education at XIS. 

Mary Collins 

XIS Elementary Principal 

XIS PYP Coordinator

In the Early Years, we channel children’s natural curiosity into discovery and exploration through play and social interaction.”

  -Mary Collins, XIS Elementary Principal

XIS Early Years Students Reading in the Classroom
XIS Early Years Students in Facepaint
XIS Early Years Students Playing on the Playground

The XIS early Years Program emphasizes the importance of relationships, environment, and play.

PYP Programme Model
XIS Early Years Students

Early Years Program Overview

The Early Years program at XIS caters to 4 and 5-year-olds (Pre-Kindergarten) and 5 and 6-year-olds (Kindergarten). The program emphasizes the importance of relationships, environment and play and is specially designed to support the needs of very young children within our well-equipped and inspiring outside and indoor environments.

Why does XIS promote play-based learning in the Early Years? Research shows that when we let children play in learning:

  • Children’s creativity will flourish.
  • Children’s cognitive function will strengthen.
  • Their social skills will develop.
  • They will learn how to manage big feelings – theirs and others.

The XIS Early Years curriculum is framed by the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Program (PYP). All students learn English, Mandarin, Social Studies, Mathematics, Arts, Science, and Personal, Social and Physical Education  where Approaches to Learning (Communication, Thinking, Social, Self-Management and Research Skills) support purposeful inquiry and lifelong learning. Students explore six transdisciplinary themes (‘Who we are’, ‘Where we are in place and time’, ‘How we express ourselves, ‘How the world works’, ‘How we organize ourselves’ and ‘Sharing the planet’) to become critical and creative thinkers.

A central principle of agency is evident throughout the XIS Early Years programme. Agency is voice, choice and ownership to impact learning and teaching. In September 2022, our teachers developed this definition of agency: “Agency empowers students through opportunities to wonder, to use their voice, to reflect and to grow self-efficacy, which provides an avenue for action.”

Learn more about the Primary Years Programme.

The XIS Difference

Why is XIS the international school of choice in Xiamen?

Over 80% of our faculty hold advanced degrees, and the average number of years of teaching experience is 11.

We are a diverse community with over 40 nationalities represented.

XIS develops independent, confident, and open-minded thinkers.

Our students attend reputable, well-known universities around the world. XIS University Acceptances 2016-2021

Accreditation Bullet XIS DifferenceXIS is accredited by WASC (for 20 years) and authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization (15 years).

We are an IB World School, the only school in Xiamen offering all three of the prestigious and internationally recognized IB programs.

An average of 74% of XIS seniors earn a bilingual IB Diploma—the world average is 25%.

We have a warm community, family environment where every child is valued.

XIS students participate in international school regional athletics, arts, and cultural leagues and conferences: ACAMIS, SCISAC, & ISCMS.

Long-Standing School Bullet XIS DifferenceWe are the longest established international school in Xiamen, delivering a world-class education for 25 years.