Although our practice is primarily influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach to early learning, we believe our children are best served by drawing perspective and insight from many different disciplines, philosophers and pedagogy, from Australia and overseas. We stay abreast of the research into early childhood, regularly assess and examine our processes and practice in the light of new ideas, and seek to integrate the best elements of each.
Our philosophy and practice is thus informed by that of the Municipal Schools of Reggio Emilia, Rudolf Steiner, and Maria Montessori, as well as our own observations and interactions.
In our philosophy, children are neither vessels to be filled nor people whose time must be occupied; they are strong, capable, and resilient researchers, exploring themselves and their environment. Children have the ability, dexterity, and passion to devour knowledge, requiring only the freedom to explore and experiment. We are nurturers and caregivers, providing a safe environment for this exploration to take place, but we are also collaborators and co-researchers.
We recognise that children are competent individuals, each of whom we seek to know and respect. We gain insight into both the characteristics and the interests of each child through collaborating with parents, listening to the child, and observing their actions and interactions. Based on these discoveries we build environments and opportunities for them to safely explore and develop their thoughts and understandings and to express these in any of the hundred languages for children, which include drawing, sculpture, dramatic play, movement and music.
It is vital that children feel they have ownership over their own space and learning so they feel confident and comfortable. We facilitate this by planning routines, activities, and projects around children’s own sense of time and rhythm rather than the clock. We provide beautiful and well thought out environments, which the children become directly involved in creating and caring for.
Our Schools of Early Learning are important, decisive places where parents, educators, children, and the environment support all those involved to be themselves: original, individual, and whole.