Cambridge International recorded a 12.5% growth in the number of students in 2019-20 and 58% growth in the last five years in India.
Abigail Barnett, deputy director, curriculum programmes, Cambridge International, told TOI, “This is our first curriculum for age three to six. We’ve been hearing from our schools and teachers for some time that they would really like Cambridge to do something for this age group.”
She said Cambridge Early Years programme is “aligned with NEP 2020, so when your child completes the programme he or she can also progress to the local state or national curriculum in India”.
In sync with NEP 2020 which says that Early Childhood Care and Education should be flexible and multifaceted, the Cambridge International curriculum includes six areas — communication, language and literacy, creative expression, mathematics, physical development, personal, social and emotional development and understanding the world.
“We were really pleased to see that it is also set out in the NEP as the vision for this age group,” said Barnett, adding that apart from focus on literacy, and language development, and maths, “there is also a focus on creative expression, and physical development, and social and emotional development”.
As part of the curriculum, Cambridge University Press has designed skill books and workbooks for the learners and digital resources that parents can also access at home, as well as those which can be used in the classroom.
While NEP speaks about the importance of home language, the Cambridge International curriculum, which will be delivered in English, also speaks about recognising “the importance of language and communication development as a fundamental tool for learning” and providing guidance to support a multilingual approach.
Cambridge International is introducing the new curriculum from the present academic session in 50 schools or centres. It is also planning similar implementations in other regions.
“That’s something that we’re still thinking about and planning in Cambridge. Our first group of schools in India, and then roll out to India more widely,” said Barnett.