A Reggio Emelia inspired Pre-Primary School
The Reggio Emelia approach to teaching young children puts their natural development, as well as the close relationships they share with their environment, at the centre of its philosophy. The foundation of the Reggio Emelia approach lies in its unique view of the child. In this approach, there is a belief that children have rights and should be given opportunities to develop their potential. Influenced by this belief, they are beheld as beautiful, powerful, competent, creative, curious, and full of potential and ambitious desires. They are also viewed as being active constructs playing the active role of apprentices. This role also extends to that of a researcher.
At Sacred Heart, we celebrate the children being a central part of their learning. They learn through play and the questioning of the environment around them. Exploring and investigating through light, observational drawing and moulding clay are important teaching methods. Our aim is to give children a selection of opportunities to learn from, as Malaguzzi the founder of this approach believes: “ The wider the range of possibilities we offer children, the more intense will be their motivation and the richer their experiences.” Whether it be finger painting with chocolate pudding or learning to ride a two wheeler bicycle, huge amounts of fun are guaranteed in a safe, secure and loving environment.
We use the CAPS document to guide our curriculum, but add a great deal more in order to enrich and make our curriculum unique in its child-centred approach.
Our children are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning. The teachers are facilitators who help the children “set up or provoke” learning to take place. This helps them take ownership of and buy into learning opportunities. They are given the opportunity to play and learn on iPads. Educational applications concentrating on numeracy and literacy are available to them.
Learning generally takes place through play. Questions such as the following are asked on a regular basis:
What do you wonder about? Why do you think? What would happen if . . ?
How might . . .? What would you do? What did you do?
The Grade R children use the Phono-Graphix phonic system in order to learn the different letters as well as their different sounds. We also use Singapore Maths as a basis for our numeracy lessons. Swimming and music lessons help enrich our days.