Giving children the opportunity to immerse themselves in activities that promote imaginative and creative play.
Drawing upon renowned early learning principles from Reggio Emilia and Emergent pedagogies, with a play-based philosophy, our children are given the opportunity to explore, experiment and discover at their own pace.
About the Reggio Emilia Approach
The Reggio Emilia Approach is an innovative and inspiring approach to early childhood education which values the child as strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge.
Every child brings with them deep curiosity and potential and this innate curiosity drives their interest to understand their world and their place within it.
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The Image of the Child: Children are competent and capable learners:
Children are driven by their interests to understand and know more. Children are viewed as active and valuable members of the wider community who are capable members of society.
Each child has the natural ability to question, interpret and understand the world around them. The educational focus at Grace Village is on the individual strengths and needs of the child and children are always encouraged to explore, have opinions and provide suggestions.
Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world through their interactions with others:
There is a strong focus on social collaboration, working in groups, where each child is an equal participant, having their thoughts and questions valued. The adult is not the giver of knowledge. Children search out the knowledge through their own investigations.
Our role as adults is to observe (our) children, listen to their questions and their stories, find what interests them and then provide them with opportunities to explore these interests further.
The Reggio Emilia Approach takes a child-led project approach. The projects aren’t planned in advance, they emerge based on the child’s interests.
Reggio Emilia was inspired by the Italian’s strong emphasis on the importance of family and community and the belief it ‘takes a village to raise a child’.
At Grace Village, our educators work closely with families and the community in order to provide the best possible education and care for every child. Families are encouraged to take an active role in the education process. Constant communication between the families, educators, children and other families are fundamental to this approach and creates a rich social environment for everyone involved.
Children are communicators:
Communication is a process, a way of discovering things, asking questions, using language as play. Playing with sounds and rhythm and rhyme; delighting in the process of communicating.
At Grace Village children are encouraged to use language to investigate and explore, to reflect on their experiences. They are listened to with respect, believing that their questions and observations are an opportunity to learn and search together.
It is a process; a continual process. A collaborative process. Rather than the child asking a question and the adult offering the answers, the search is undertaken together.
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The environment is the third teacher:
An integral element of the Reggio Emilia philosophy is the physical environment and immediate surrounds.
Driving this approach is the belief that if children are given beautiful and stimulating materials to work with, and allowed to work in an environment that is well organised and maintained, then they will, in turn, maintain and respect their own (and the broader) environment.
At Grace Village, we recognise the environment for its potential to inspire children. An environment filled with natural light, order and beauty. Open spaces free from clutter, where every material is considered for its purpose, every corner is ever-evolving to encourage children to delve deeper and deeper into their interests.
The space encourages collaboration, communication and exploration. The space respects children as capable by providing them with authentic materials & tools. The space is cared for by the children and the adults.
An emphasis on documenting children’s thoughts:
In Reggio-inspired settings there is an emphasis on carefully displaying and documenting children’s thoughts and progression of thinking; making their thoughts visible in many different ways: photographs, transcripts of children’s thoughts and explanations, visual representations (drawings, sculptures etc.), all designed to show the child’s learning process.
At Grace Village educators capture individual children’s learning journeys using a variety of means including work samples, transcripts (where we capture the ‘voice of the child’) and photographs.
These are clearly displayed within the centre and in individual portfolios, allowing families to share the process and experience with their children. Documentation also allows educators to plan ongoing meaningful learning experiences for all children.
The Hundred Languages of Children:
The most well-known aspect of the Reggio Emilia Approach is the belief that children use many different ways to show their understanding and express their thoughts and creativity.
A hundred different ways of thinking, of discovering, of learning. Through drawing and sculpting, through dance and movement, through painting and pretend play, through modelling and music, and that each one of these Hundred Languages must be valued and nurtured.
These languages, or ways of learning, are all a part of the child. Learning and play are not separated.
The Reggio Emilia Approach emphasises hands-on discovery learning that allows the child to use all their senses and all their languages to learn.
At Grace Village, we believe children have the right to express their ideas, thoughts, emotions and learning in a variety of ways.
Educators offer a variety of rich opportunities for children to express themselves through art, dramatic play, music, dance along with the ‘typical’ ways of communicating such as re-telling, creating stories, discussions and negotiations.
Through our nurturing educational philosophies, it’s our vision at Grace Village, to provide the highest level of care and a holistic experience for each child.