We offer preschool children a small, personal school in a beautiful, natural environment surrounded by a huge outdoor ‘classroom’ with endless opportunities to learn from nature and the natural world.
REGGIO EMILIA APPROACH
We are inspired by the Italian Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. This approach acknowledges that all children are intelligent and are constantly constructing meaning using a 'hundred different languages' (all equally valid and wonderful). Reggio is about the school supporting each child to construct meaning in the way that makes most sense to them. Children are encouraged to express their divergent opinions (an opinion can never be wrong) and to collaborate with each other in improving their collective understanding of their world.
The Reggio approach requires two teachers for every group - these teachers provide different perspectives and observe what is unfolding in the classroom from those perspectives in order to improve and broaden/deepen the overall experience for the children.
Another principle of the Reggio approach stresses that "the environment is the third teacher" - the learning environment is carefully constructed in a way that is conducive for children to learn, but the children are encouraged to use and interpret the environment in a way that makes sense to them. A spacious and beautiful farm makes a wonderful third teacher.
For these reasons and more we have drawn quite extensively from the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education in the creation and functioning of our preschool.
Our objectives are as follows:
to nurture happy children with good self-esteem by taking the time to get to know them properly and listening to them carefully
to instill a love of learning in children from an early age by encouraging their natural curiosity about the world and nurturing natural learning wherever possible
to focus on theme-based learning to offer curiosity catalysts that extend the children's world view.
to encourage a love of nature and the natural world by focusing on these as a wonderful learning resource
to focus on a variety of practical activities (gardening, woodwork, handcrafts, music, cooking)
to focus on building creativity and imagination (stories, drawing and painting, role play, fantasy play)
to focus on collaborative play and participation (doing things together, learning from each other)
to focus on building self-confidence, self-reliance and initiative-taking (find your own answer, do your own research, resolve your own problem, you are capable)
to focus on supporting the development of body awareness and coordination (awareness through the body (ATB),movement, yoga, ball skills, structured physical activities)
Our preschool has been in operation since January 2013 and many capable children have successfully progressed to other schools, as well as stayed to participate in our primary and high school ecosystems.