Early learning programs

DIS early learning programs use a progressive play-based experiential interactive learning model. Curriculum in the early years programs is based on  The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia that aligns with the Australian Curriculum

The importance of play in early childhood

Experiential learning researchers are in universal agreement that there is a strong link between play and learning for young children.  As children learn through purposeful, high quality play experiences, they are building critical foundational skills for cognitive development and academic achievement. These include verbalization, language comprehension, increased vocabulary, imagination, questioning, problem solving, observation, empathy, co-operation skills, and learning another’s perspective. Play is a vital part of a child’s life for optimal development, socially, cognitively, physically, and emotionally.

The Primary Years Programme

Dili International School is an IB PYP World School..

IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to high-quality, challenging, international education—that we believe is important for our students. As a candidate school we are aligning our practices in the primary school to meet the requirements of the IB as spelled out in the IB Programme Standards and Practices.  

The PYP is an inclusive pedagogical framework that the school is currently trialling as a means to deliver our curriculum.

The PYP prescribes common understandings of planning, assessment, the use of language and an approach to inquiry. Students will experience the curriculum through units of inquiry.
The PYP  is designed for students aged 3 to 12. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. It is a framework guided by six interdisciplinary themes of global significance, explored using knowledge and skills derived from six subject areas, as well as interdisciplinary skills, with a powerful emphasis on inquiry.

The PYP :

  • addresses students’ academic, social and emotional well-being
  • encourages students to develop independence and to take responsibility for their own learning
  • supports students’ efforts to gain understanding of the world and to function comfortably within it
  • helps students establish personal values as a foundation upon which international-mindedness will develop and flourish.

The most significant and distinctive feature of the IB Primary Years Programme are its  six transdisciplinary themes. These themes provide IB World Schools with the opportunity to incorporate local and global issues into the curriculum and effectively allow students to “step up” beyond the confines of learning within subject areas.

  • Who we are
  • Where we are in place and time
  • How we express ourselves
  • How the world works
  • How we organize ourselves
  • Sharing the planet


Preschool at DIS is suitable for children who turn 3 by May 31st of the current school year.  Preschool takes on a more formal structure than Playgroup, in order to prepare children for school. Preschool continues to be ‘learning through play’ but capitalizes on the child’s growing need for more formal instruction and desire for routine. Hence there is a balance between child led and teacher led activity.

The Preschool programme is based on The Early Learning Framework for Australia that is delivered through the PYP pedagogical framework.  Students in preschool will study four units of inquiry over the course of the year.

The preschool programme has a morning and afternoon session students can attend the morning or afternoon session or both. Afternoon preschool operates from 12.00pm until 3.15pm. 

Children will have lunch and a rest and similar activities and routines will occur in the afternoon session as the morning. Children are required to bring their own lunch or lunch can be purchased from the canteen.  DIS provides a healthy afternoon snack.

General information for Preschool

Children are required to bring a healthy snack, a hat, change of clothes, shoes that are easy to take on and off, and have sunscreen and mosquito repellent applied at home. This can be reapplied at school upon parental request.

Preschool class starts at 9:00am and finishes at 12:00pm.

Supervised is provided from 8.15am. Children arriving early must be handed directly to a staff member and at the end of class children will be collected directly from the classroom, only by persons known to staff.

Parents or nannies of new children are welcome to stay in class with their child until he/she feels more comfortable. But essentially Preschool children are not to be accompanied by an adult.  Naturally different children take different amounts of time to settle, so we will work on a child-by-child basis to facilitate

Reports are issued at the end of Term 2 and Term 4. Parent teacher meetings are held in Terms 1 and 3.

Fee Payments are made in advance each term. Please see Fees section below for information about fees as well as the A – Z section of this booklet for other necessary day-to-day information.

Last update: June 20, 2014