Exciting times for our Early Childhood and P1 teachers and students
Since becoming an Authorised International Baccalaureate Primary Years School (IB PYP) in 2005 we have always received excellent feedback from our accreditations. We are proud of the way we have explored many different curricula and approaches to Early Childhood learning. As an IB School, our framework has enabled us to incorporate the best practices from Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Forest Schools and National Curricula into our own curriculum.
As a school we believe in a ‘CAN I’ culture, ‘CAN I’ standing for constant and never-ending improvement. With this in mind, we are always reviewing and reflecting on the teaching and learning of our students. Our aim is to ensure that we offer the best programmes possible. Over the past five years, our Early Childhood teaching teams have been researching and evaluating which frameworks and approaches work best for our younger students. This has resulted in the team strongly favouring the Reggio Emilia approach, not only because of the close alignment to our school philosophy but also to that of the IB.
What is Reggio Emilia?
The Reggio Emilia approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and early primary education. It is a pedagogy described as student-centered and constructivist that uses self-directed, experiential learning in relationship-driven environments.
In what ways do SIS, Inspired Schools and the Reggio Emilia approach connect?
Core to our SIS philosophy, the Inspired approach to education the Reggio Emilia approach echos our belief that our youngest students are competent, curious individuals who should be at the centre of their own learning. They learn by constructing relationships with each other, with the adults who support, guide and teach them and with their surrounding environment.
Where we are now…
With the support of Marianne Valentine, who is a coordinator from Inspired and a Reggio Emilia/Early Childhood PYP expert, our team has been able to develop ideas further, deepen our understanding and begin to implement our action plan to become a Reggio Emilia Inspired Early Years (Fundamentals) and Early Childhood (EC1-P1) Centre.
What does the future hold?
As a school we are excited about the future; although our action plan spans three years I would like to share with you now the changes and additions for this coming September.
- Implementation of a Reggio Emilia approach to outdoor learning. To develop our outdoor space and include the creation of a designated safe and secure wooded area for EC1-P1. This will enable teachers to plan and embed outdoor learning into our curriculum.
- Creation of a multi-purpose indoor learning space. Over the summer we are reforming the entrance to and central area of the Einstein Building. This will provide an additional multi-purpose learning space for our EC1-P1 students.
- The classroom being the third teacher. Teachers are already considering and making changes to our classrooms and learning spaces. Our aim is to create environments that are filled with natural light, order and beauty and encourage collaboration, communication and exploration.
- Redesign of the school day. Our Primary Leadership Team is currently collaborating with the Early Childhood Team to look at timetabling structures that more effectively use all learning spaces, indoor and out, and allow for flexibility.
In the near future, we will be holding some parent information sessions. The dates will be posted on the class sites and school calendar.
Head of Primary