The Kids of the Castle preschool program provides a unique beginning for lifelong learning. The program is inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy of early childhood education where children are celebrated and encouraged to learn in a way that develops their self-esteem and natural curiosity.
Our children, teachers and parents collaborate in exploring the world around them in a stimulating, secure environment. We encourage children to maintain openness to new ideas and experiences as an integral part of the learning process. We focus on developing the whole child and on nurturing each individual's growth in its many forms: social, emotional, physical and intellectual. Our learning environment provides opportunities for children to build upon their strengths and interests in an exciting and challenging way. Here they develop an understanding and respect for themselves, their world and each other.
"For us, each child is unique and the protagonist of his or her own growth. We also note that children desire to acquire knowledge, have much capacity for curiosity and amazement, and yearn to create relationships with others and to communicate"
Tiziana Filippini - Reggio Emilia Educator
The Early Year Learning Framework
We've considered the latest early childhood studies, our own program beliefs, and also the national Early Year Learning Framework. The Framework's vision is for all children to experience play-based learning that is engaging and builds success for life. It describes childhood as a time of being, belonging and becoming.
Being is about living here and now. Childhood is a special time to just "be"- time to play, try new things and have fun.
Belonging is the basis for living a fulfilling life. Children feel they belong because of the relationships they have with their family, community, culture and place.
Becoming is about the learning and development that young children experience. Children start to form their sense of identity from an early age, which shapes the type of adult they will become.
- Early literacy
- Early numeracy
- Visual and creative arts
- Physical development
- Collaboration through community learning
- Science and nature
- Opportunities to develop computer skills
- Exploring our community and world
Our leaning program is complemented by various incursions related to areas of enquiry. Parents are encouraged to take an active part within the learning journey.
The program is inspired by the world-renowned philosophy of Early Childhood from Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy. Instead of seeing young children as empty vessels waiting to be filled, children are seen as competent, capable, strong and amazing individuals. Children are encouraged to express themselves in a variety of ways, referred by the Reggio educators as The Hundred Language. These many languages include the spoken word, drawing, painting, sculpture, music, drama, puppetry and movement. Teachers are seen as facilitators, encouraging children to listen to each other take risks with their learning, think creatively, co-construct their knowledge and understanding and go beyond what they thought was possible.
Our enthusiastic staff are committed to respecting and valuing all children and strive to encourage the following values in their work with the children: appreciation, commitment, confidence, co-operation, creativity, curiosity, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, respect and tolerance.
Within each group a democratic community is developed, with a strong sense of respect for every aspect of the program and culture, The carefully planned environment is seen as extremely important in creating wonder and curiosity. It is a joy to see children learning, developing, growing and above all, enjoying life through this inspiring philosophy. Above all, learning is fun, engaging and challenging within our positive preschool room.
A number of formal and informal techniques are used at Kids of the Castle to document the children's learning and development.
Kinderloop is a private digital documentation that we use. All parents are invited to join Kinderloop.
Everyday we write a day book which is added onto Kinderloop for you to view to see what your child has been learning. Every month each child is observed individually as well as in a group setting and these observations are add onto Kinderloop for the parent to read.
School Readiness Program
After the first term, the children who will be attending kindergarten in the new year stay awake during the usual rest time. They spend this time together as a group, usually looking at our library books or enjoying a quiet discussion about current activities. These children are also encouraged to participate in general discussions via a weekly "Show and Tell" session, in preparation for "Big School". They can also bring their library bags and borrow books from our library, to take home to read. This encourages some level of responsibility for the child to remember to return the books.