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Our Philosophy

"Inspiring and motivating young children towards greatness"

Our Approach - Inspired by Reggio Emilia

Developed in the mid 20th century by Italian psychologist Loris Malaguzzi, this learning method encourages a self-guided curriculum that fosters exploration and discovery. Malaguzzi was assisted by parents in the villages around Reggio Emilia, Italy thus naming this educational philosophy in the region’s honour.  Several key elements distinguish the Reggio Emilia approach -  setting it apart from other early educational pedagogies.

 

At Erin Ridge Children’s Academy, our programming, the implementation of, children's participation in learning activities and reflection of learning processes will be inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach.

Learning by Doing

Erin Ridge Children's Academy uses the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Education. sees children learning on their feet, using their hands, and communicating their ideas in a number of ways. Children are often communicating their ideas by making artwork out of natural materials found in the earth. Visual and Tactile stimulation motivate a child’s deep engagement with their surroundings making for a rich and rewarding

Emergent Curriculum

This approach asks that our teachers pay close attention to the unique interests and development of each child, evolving a course of investigation tailored to their personal interests and curiosities. Classroom activities and long-term projects are then created with these in mind.

Erin Ridge Children's Academy will follow guiding principles of 'Flight: Alberta's Early Learning and Childcare Framework:

  • Children’s life-long health, well-being, learning, and behaviour are strongly connected to their early childhood experience.

  • Childhoods differ depending on social, cultural, and economic circumstances.

  • Children interact and learn in multiple learning communities and their learning is profoundly influenced by the relationships within and between these communities and specifically with respect for the family relationship.

  • Children thrive when they are nurtured in close, consistent relationships, and their families benefit from these close caring relationships as well.

  • Children are active co-constructors of knowledge through first-hand experiences and in reciprocal relationships with people and things in their environment.

  • Children are unique learners who construct and represent knowledge using multimodal literacies for exploration and expression.

  • Children are citizens and active participants in society.

Environment as Third Teacher

Erin Ridge Children’s Academy classrooms are full of what we call learning “provocations.” A child might see a bouquet of flowers next to an intentionally placed set of water colour paints and a blank piece of paper. A tiny sign might read “What do you see?” encouraging the children to make a painting. These visually stimulating invitations are meant to create engaged students. Provocations prompt exploration; exploration stimulates the brain; stimulated brains evolve into inspired learners.

Much of Reggio Emilia style learning is done outdoors in nature. Children engaged in inspired activities such as making outdoor Ferris wheels for birds or wind machines out of brightly coloured balloons. Our Academy has private outdoor courtyard where children learn and play. Outdoor spaces are nature-based environments set up to act as another classroom that inspires children to explore and investigate.

Role of Educators

A Reggio Emilia teacher at our Academy plays four roles. A co-constructor who guides, nurtures, and assists in problem solving. A researcher who learns and observes. A documenter who listens, records and evaluates. A child advocate who takes on an active role in the community, and is a passionate social advocate for issues related to child learning.

Sharing Learning

All educators at our academy conscientiously document each child’s educational progression. When it comes to identifying specific strengths and challenge areas, this becomes an enormously necessary process. It is done through creative media such as video and photography, as well as conversation transcripts and learning stories. At our academy we record and report children’s everyday learning through ‘Hi Mama - Connect’ tool.

Our Goals

Objectives for Physical Development

  • To meet the basic needs of each child by providing rest periods, nutritious snacks, healthy lunches, fresh air and exercise

  • To provide play equipment and activities designed to improve coordination and manual dexterity

  • To foster desirable health habits

Objectives for Social Development

  • To encourage your child to be a responsible, friendly and helpful member of the group.  We teach him/her to respect the rights and abilities of others, to cooperate and contribute their share within the group

  • To help your child develop communication skills

  • To help your child develop negotiating skills by constructive use of free time

  • To help your child develop self-reliance and the capacity to play independently

Kids in Preschool

Objectives for Recreational Development

  • To meet the needs through a variety of craft projects which are child-orientated regardless of a completed or incomplete project. 

  • To provide your child with the opportunity to express him/herself through a variety of activities

  • To encourage your child's efforts in the process of being creative (rather than the product)

Objectives for Emotional Development

  • To foster a child's sense of individuality, uniqueness and sense of self worth

  • To provide experiences and opportunities for self-expression

  • To develop a sense of responsibility, independence and self-reliance

  • To allow free periods of constructive calm

  • To impart a sense of stability and security by establishing prearranged groups in the centre and by having regular activities

Objectives for Intellectual Development

  • To prepare your child for a more formal school program.

  • To increase your child's fund of ideas about the world and its people.

  • To teach your child to think for him/herself and contribute ideas to the group.

  • To broaden your child's interest in music, dramatic play and visual art.

  • To encourage your child to develop his/her use and understanding of language.

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