The philosophy which underpins the St Leonard's College's Early Learning Centre is inspired by the system of early years' education in Reggio Emilia, a town in northern Italy.
Reggio Emilia has become renowned for offering a system of education which respects children and their rights to be citizens. This system is recognised by many as the world's best practice in early childhood education.
Among the concepts emphasised in the Reggio Emilia approach to teaching and learning are:
The image of the child as competent, powerful and full of potential
The importance of the physical learning environment to stimulate enquiry
The importance of photographs, children's work samples and teachers', children's and parents' words to document, communicate and enhance the process of learning
The importance of teacher-teacher and parent-teacher collaboration and the link between home and school
The importance of giving children the freedom to follow their own curiosity as they solve problems and research ideas.
The program includes library, music, art, computer, creative movement and dance (full time and part time), perceptual motor program and cultural studies (the latter two for four year olds only). More information about Reggio Emilia can be found at the Australian website of the Reggio Emilia Information Exchange:http://www.reaie.org.au
In our ELC, we introduce the framework of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, which focuses on developing children as inquirers in the classroom and in the world outside and shares many values with the Reggio Emilia approach.