The Journey of a “Dream”
” All children are born geniuses…”
Richard BUCKMINSTER FULLER
It is with great pleasure and honour that we welcome you to our multicultural school for infants and toddlers, “The Laughing House”.
Konstantinos A. SOUSLOUS (Dipl. M., M.Sc), a teacher unlike any other, raised in Africa and travelled across land and sea, realised the quintessential role of a child’s first school in its development as an individual. Having worked for 31 years as a professor of mathematics both in Hellas and abroad, he fulfilled his life dream when he founded “The Laughing House” in 2012.
“…may the children come happy and leave blissful”, Konstantinos A. SOUSLOUS
Since 2017, his vision is upheld and enriched by his student, Dr.-Ing. Niko A. ILIADIS (Dr.-Ing., Dipl.-Ing.) and his wife, Aglaia (B.BA). Niko, of Hellenic-Swiss origin, as an engineer, created a safe space for children, elegant and based on European and Swiss standards for schools abroad. He believes: “Our goal is children to enjoy going to school, in a space in the midst of nature where the young pupils grow into persons full of confidence, ready to face any new challenge that comes their way”.
Aglaia’s vision – a woman with a multinational company executive background – was to contribute in a school where children, parents and teachers alike are proud members of a small multicultural community. Aglaia, having spent her childhood close to nature says: “We want to teach the children harmony and discipline using singing, dance and drama as our main tools, get a glimpse of the children’s minds through their paintings and generally through art. We aim to achieve self identification through hands-on experience. May the children learn at this tender age all the things that they won’t get the chance to learn later on, in the realm of harsh knowledge, and specialisation”.
” Όλα τα παιδιά γεννιούνται ιδιοφυΐες, … “, Richard BUCKMINSTER FULLER
Our school’s success is based on strengthening the relationship between the parents, the children and the teachers. We respect our rich culture, natural wealth and religious diversity. Our study programme prompts children to be independent pupils and explorers of the world, providing principles, values and ethics as their first resources in life. Every child is unique and endorsed by our school. We listen to the children’s and the parent’s opinions and take them into consideration when planning our activities and the development of the school’s environment.
We aim to make children fully develop their skills and become successful humans-citizens-students. Children learn what a community is like, what respect and care mean, as well as the value of family.
We want the children, the parents and the teachers to feel proud that they chose to join a school that is aware of the consequences of the proper (or improper) schooling of the children during the first years of their lives on their future and the future of society.
We firmly believe that a strong educational process should not only focus on plain knowledge and information. A small child’s world is mainly formed through moral values. Values such as truthfulness, freedom, equality, justice, and tolerance must rule all human activity, and primarily education. That is why our school is not limited to simply describing these values to the children, but is focused on the factors, methods and means involved in empowering the human moral compass.
Our educational method
Our educational method is based off the UK education system and determines the standards that must be met by all primary education providers, aiming to help children learn and develop properly while keeping them healthy and safe. Based on a wide range of knowledge and capabilities, it promotes teaching and learning in a way that provides the correct foundations for the progress and readiness of the children, both in school and in their future life.
Fundamental principles of EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage)
There are four guiding principles that form the practical implementation of EYFS during the first months of a child’s life. Those are the following:
- Every child is unique, learning incessantly and able to adapt, capable and full of confidence and certainty.
- Children learn to be strong and independent via positive relationships.
- Children learn and grow healthily in a favorable environment, in which their experiences align with their personal needs and where teachers and parents and/or guardians collaborate closely.
- Children grow and learn in different ways and paces. This framework covers the education and caretaking of all kids during the first years of their lives, including children with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
Child learning and growth support
The development matters of EYFS can help teachers support the learning and growth of children, tightly combining what they provide with the child’s current needs.
Continuous formative assessment is the key to effective education during the early years of a child’s life. The teachers:
- Observe the kids as they act and interact while playing, during their everyday and premeditated activities (observation).
- They examine the growth examples by observing what the children can do an what each child can do individually (assessment).
- They examine the ways they can support children, which reinforce and delve deeper into the current education and growth through the “Positive Relationship” and “Enabling environment” (planning).
- They use EYFS’ development guidelines case-by-case, in order to detect possible areas where further learning and development is needed (planning).
EYFS requires that teachers review the children’s progress and share an overview of this progress with the parents, at two points:
- at the main areas at the ages between 24 and 36 months old
- and at the end of EYFS, at the EYFS profile
The Seven Areas of Learning and Development
There are seven areas in learning and development that must shape educational programmes during the first years of a child’s life. Three of those are primary and the next for are more specialised:
- Communication & Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts
The only people in direct contact with the children are our teachers, and this is a point that we take great pride in. The main traits that we require in our teachers are: patience, organisational skills and capabilities, devotion in their role, positive outlook, passion and communication skills.
Our goal is the continuous formation of our teachers, so we provide an integrated educational programme, since the substantial theoretical and practical educational and teaching training is an obligatory and necessary affair, in order to put into action their educational function. On our own initiative, we organise educational seminars in order to train our old and new staff on all the new educational approaches.
We follow a strict selection process, where candidates are invited to multiple interviews, they are questioned on their knowledge, their experience, their skills, their morals and their ability to cope with the demanding environment of a high standard international school.
The teachers of “The Laughing House”, regardless of their pupils’ age, have the following education and qualities
- kindness, sense of responsibility, morals and integrity
- international educational training
- experience in various language, teaching and learning environments
- knowledge of at least two foreign languages
- creativity, enthusiasm and an appetite for more knowledge
Board & Management
“The Laughing House” is surrounded by a board of highly acclaimed professionals in the area and around education offering kindly their advice.
Education: Vasiliki K. ANTONETSI (M.Sc. Edu.)
Nutrition: Dr. Emmanuela MAGRIPLIS
Sports: Christos G.ZIOGAS
Paediatrics: Dr.Med. Tina KARANASIOU
Pharmaceutical: Helena G. RIGOPOULOU (B.Sc. Pharm., MBA)
Psychology: Dr. Evi BITSAKOU
Marketing: Anthony TSENTAS (M.Eng.)
Legal: Nikos S. KOSMIDIS (LLM)
Financial: Aglaia S. TSIOKOS (ΒΒΑ)
Health and safety: Dr.-Ing. Niko A. ILIADIS (Dr.-Ing., Dipl.-Ing.)
“The Laughing House” is composed by experienced professionals in management and supportive functions.
Management & supportive functions
Managing director: Aglaia S. TSIOKOS (BBA)
Education director: Vasiliki K. ANTONETSI (M.Sc. Edu.)
Developmental Science: Victoria S. GEORGIADOU (BBA)(M.Sc. Psy.)
Operations director: Dimitris K. LORIDAS
Financial management: Angelos P. ZARKADOULAS (M.Sc., M.Sc.)
Technical management: Dr.-Ing. Niko A. ILIADIS (Dr.-Ing., Dipl.-Ing.)
IT management: Dimitris B. BOUNTOUVAS (B.Sc.)
Nutrition: Stella K. BALTA
Health and safety management: Ilias A. MARGETIS (B.Sc.)
The creation of a magical space
“The Laughing House” is housed in the 600m2 “Villa Mary” in Varkiza, surrounded by a 1000m2 lot, built in 1985 according to Swiss standards, as a luxury country home. In 2012, the building was completely renovated to follow the current standards dictated by the law (No. Δ22/οικ. 11828/293, published in the Hellenic Government Gazette no. 1157/2017) regarding nurseries and kindergartens.
The school has 750 m2 of free space for games and “learning by doing”. The free space has high quality aritificial lawn with a drainage system for the children’s safety, wooden toys especially made from recycled materials and, of course, numerous trees and flowers that are a core element of our educational philosophy.
The inside and outside space have been diligently checked by specialised technicians, so that our little friends can play safely.
The toys of the outside space have been selected to meet the needs of every child, regardless of age. They make children and adults alike happy and they are positioned uniformly.
There is natural shade in the surrounding space from the thick green vegetation and the pine trees. This way, the children can play carefree and protected from the sun.
In order to reinforce experiential education, we have set up a greenhouse designed in the USA, where children can practice educational farming all year round in a controlled environment.
There is also a pool in our school’s backyard, where the children can enjoy swimming during the summer months, always under the guidance of our trained and certified teachers as lifeguards.
The school’s three entrances constantly remain constantly safely secured and monitored by CCTV system set up according to the law.
The school’s classrooms are especially roomy and the environment is airy with plenty of natural light. The colours, the wooden toys and furniture and the children’s creations stand out, decorating the surroundings.
The floors of the whole school are coated with special vibrational insulation and antibacterial and antimicrobial coating without “corners”, so that it can be deep-cleaned. The electrical grid starts at a 1,5 m height, so the children cannot reach it.
The space is heated through central petrol heating, it has a highly efficient ecological air conditioning system and ventilation openings. The use of the natural light is predominant.
Among others, the school’s modern equipment includes a projection room equipped with an audiovisual system, as well as a “computer room” for the kindergarten children.
Quality care and education are primary and universal rights for all the children, since they are essential for their wellbeing and growth. We welcome kids from every corner of our community, regardless of their abilities, their needs, their race, their religion, their faith, their colour or gender. Our Inclusion Policy has been designed to reflect our fair and democratic values. However, due to the high demand at “The Laughing House”, we present you our procedure for the registration of new pupils.
If you want your child to join our school, you either have to visit our space, or send us an email in order to join our waiting list, free of charge.
Priority is given to the brothers and sisters of our already registered pupils. The enrollment of the children is prioritised according to the date that they expressed their interest and then according to their age, ensuring that the children are evenly distributed to the classes. When the parents confirm their interest in the position, we will arrange a visit to our school if they haven’t already visited, so that they have their first establishing contact with the space, the teaching staff and our procedures. The position must then be secured through the signing of the enrollment contract and the payment of an advance on the tuition fee.
If you need more information regarding the acceptance process, please contact us at email@example.com or call our office at +30 21 0890 0116 from 09:00 to 16:00 on any working day.
“The Laughing House” is expanding its team and is accepting resumes. Please contact us by sending your CV to the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
An experience of minimum 5 years, knowledge of the English language and 2 recommendation letters are the minimum requirements.
Knowledge of the French, Chinese, Russian or German language will be considered an extra advantage.