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We have adopted the Reggio Emilia Approach to children’s learning and education at Next Steps and Little Owls.
Daily activities are driven by the children’s ideas and individual interests. Child led education is more fun and exciting, enabling and nurturing our children’s development by capturing their dreams and sharing their excitement.
Our learning approach is based on the belief that children are competent, intelligent and curious social human beings, and their ideas and thoughts are sometimes ignored in a teacher led classroom environment.
Next Steps /Little Owls employ Early Years Educators who are passionate, creative thinkers, who can implement this child-led curriculum within our settings. Using natural materials, they encourage the child to explore the world around them and make discoveries though play, rather than telling them how it should be done.
We have learnt that an inspired child will follow their own interests and their natural curiosity. This is a child that is ready to learn and progress.
All we need to do is discover and gently guide this enthusiasm, rather than denting it with a one size fits all, adult led curriculum.
Much of the instruction takes place in the form of group projects, where children have opportunities to explore, observe, hypothesize, question, and discuss to clarify their understanding.
The principles of respect, responsibility and community partnerships are integral to Reggio Emilia, so the Parents and Carers are a vital component of the approach. We view them as partners, collaborators and advocates for their children.
Early childhood is a foundation, on which children build the rest of their lives.
But it is not just a preparation for adolescence and adulthood: it has a huge importance of its own.