Welcome to Our Local Preschool

We Are a Play-based Preschool in Menlo Park, CA!

The mission of the Preschool at GAIS is to provide an outstanding international education focused on inquiry-based learning with the goal of fostering confident, respectful, creative and responsible lifelong learners and global thinkers.

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), for students aged 3 to 12, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside.

The PYP at the GAIS Preschool:
  • Provides a play-based developmental program
  • Emphasizes whole-child approach and hands-on learning
  • Develops theories about their world through different play activities
  • Practices a wide set of skill sets
  • Enhances skills that contribute to school success

International Families

The GAIS community is international and has representatives from over forty different countries.

About one quarter of our families have two native English-speaking parents, one quarter have two native German-speaking parents, and half are international families where parents have different nationalities.

read more…

Parent involvement is high. It includes volunteer duties, participation in field trips, classroom involvement, cultural events, and opportunities to get together socially.

There are many social events through the year, including a beach party, a camping trip, a lantern festival, an Easter egg hunt, and a fundraising auction.

GAIS families travel from all over the Bay Area: from San Jose to San Francisco and from Half Moon Bay to Fremont.

German Immersion Program

In the Pre-school and Vorschule (Kindergarten) our curriculum is based on the Scope and sequence documents of the PYP. It has been designed in recognition of the fact that learning is a developmental process and that the phases a learner passes through are not always linear or age related.

read more…

Each discipline has clearly defined overall expectations and make explicit the conceptual understandings that are being developed in each phase of learning.

Evidence of these understandings is described in the behaviors or learning outcomes and relate specifically to concepts, knowledge, attitudes and skills, which are the essential elements of the PYP.

Knowledge related to the traditional disciplines such as mathematics, language learning, science, social studies, art, music, movement and personal and social education are integrated naturally in activities throughout the day.

21st Century Learner

Students in the 21st century are faced with the challenge of learning about an interconnected world where knowledge is constantly developing. The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Programme prepares students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.

The PYP at the GAIS Preschool fosters the education and development of the whole child and helps students:

  • Develop understanding of concepts
  • Develop organization, collaboration, communication, reflection, thinking, and transfer skills
  • Gain a holistic, hands-on perspective
  • Develop positive attitudes
  • Build confidence and communication skills
  • Improve conflict resolution skills
  • Foster intercultural awareness and values

Learning Environment

It is the philosophy of our program that children learn through play.

In order to achieve our learning objectives as framed in the scope and sequence documents, teachers setup the classroom environment to encourage the students’ natural curiosity and engage them in inquiry.

Circle time generally focuses on the big ideas of the units and help students make sense of the world around them.

Active participation in evolving projects related to their learning reinforces the development of skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to be successful in life.