The preschool has 79 children and 4 departments each with its own age group.
The preschool puts an emphasis on teaching the children about science and follows the ideas of Emlilo Regggio. This means that it is based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum.
Included in the daily activities are:
playing outside in any weather
The volunteer has daily tasks such as:
dressing the children before they go out in the yard
organizing the room depending on activities planned with the children.
working with another teacher in the art department
drawing and reading with the children
teaching the children songs or games from their home country
going outside to participate in games and outdoor activities.
Even if there are everyday tasks, all the days are different and the initiatives and the creativity of the volunteer are welcome. This is a great learning opportunity for the volunteer i.e. finding expressive activities to do with the children especially before the volunteer learns Icelandic. We have found that the volunteers at out preschool projects tend to learn Icelandic quickly as the children speak to the volunteers in Icelandic.
Once in while the preschool will take the children on outings to different places (museums, nature sights, the zoo, to the beach, etc.) in the capital area and close to it.
Having a young foreigner helps the children meet people from different cultures and to hear different languages at an early age. The volunteer is always supported by the other staff, especially to begin with.
Volunteer requirements / Skills
The volunteer has to:
enjoy working with young children and caring for them
be open to new experiences and interested in discovering a different society and culture.
The preschool always supports all volunteers in their development and shows them how the newly acquired skills can be harnessed to be valuable for the organization.
The project is centrally located in Reykjavík.
Hosting Situation (Board and Lodging)
The volunteer will live in a flat in Reykjavík with other AUS (ICYE Iceland) volunteers, and possibly share a room with another volunteer of the same gender. It‘s also possible that the volunteer will live with a Icelandic host family.
The volunteer will have breakfast and lunch in the project, and get in addition to that food, money for the meals s/he does not get at the project.
Breaks will be given during Christmas, Easter and other holidays in accordance with Icelandic laws and customs. For each month of work, there are 2 days of holiday, so for 6 months voluntary exchange there are 12 days of holiday and for 12 months exchange there are 24 days of holiday. When the volunteer takes his holidays, it is an agreement between the volunteer himself and the project. As Bjartahlíð is closed for summer holiday’s during the month of July, the volunteer needs to take all their holidays during that time. However, there is some room for extra days holiday in an agreement with the project.