Learning through play

Children at EcoKids are free, inspired and happy children. Comfortable in their surroundings which have been purpose built for pre-school children’s needs, they are encouraged to play, explore and discover. It is through the medium of play that children learn and develop a deep seated love of learning. Their minds are engaged by the wonders and mysteries revealed as they inquire, seek, wonder and discover. Our teachers are experts at guiding this discovery, asking open ended questions that lead to countless possibilities and open the doors to the processes of thought, deduction and conclusion.

At EcoKids we strongly believe in this statement from the Reggio Emilia philosophy:

“At the heart of this system is the powerful image of the child. Reggio educators do not see children as empty vessels that require filling with facts. Rather they see children as full of potential, competent and capable of building their own theories.. This approach recognizes the right of children to realize expand their potential, placing great value on their ability to socialize, receiving their affection and trust, and satisfying their needs and desires to learn. And this is so much truer when children are reassured by an effective alliance between the adults in their lives, adults who are always ready to help, who place higher value on the search for constructive strategies of thoughts and action than on the direct transmission of knowledge and skills. These strategies contribute to the formation of creative intelligence, free thought, and the individuality that is sensitive and aware.”

The 4 pillars of learning

We structure our early childhood education curriculum around a weekly theme. Always keeping in mind the interests of young children we cover a wide variety of topics. As discussions soar and ideas take flight, these themes are expanded upon. Each theme is explored through a variety of media such as art, music, technology, cooking and baking, drama and dance to name a few. Whilst our children are hard at play discovering all aspects of our weekly themes, our teachers are constantly  focused on the four key elements of development to ensure the growth of the whole child.

Social

Your child will communicate with others verbally and non verbally to engage the world around them. Your child will make new friends and gain the confidence, self-esteem, and negotiating skills necessary for a lifetime of healthy relationships.

Emotional

Children will enjoy a safe, nurturing “home away from home” where they can learn to express themselves and understand their own unique identities. Your child will gain the comfort and confidence to forge trusting relationships, value their individuality, and have fun just being himself. Through understanding of their routines  and the boundaries they are given, children feel secure and confident which is an emotional state conducive to learning.

Physical

We focus on the physical health and well-being of your child so he grows up healthy and safe. At this young age Is when the gross and fine motor-skill development, coordination, mobility, and exercise will ensure your growing child has a healthy, agile, flexible and strong body for a lifetime.

Intellectual

Our age-appropriate cognitive games and activities build brain power. We introduce high-quality children’s literature to promote a love of reading. Children are introduced to basic elements of maths, geography and science and we encourage children to explore, question and learn by experiencing the  world around them developing their concept forming abilities. Children participate in a series of activities designed to refine their skills of judgment, perception, memory, reasoning, critical thinking, language, art, music and rhythm but always making sure we are having tons of fun whilst doing it!

All four of these aspects of a child’s development are vital and interdependent. To receive optimum intellectual growth and stimulation, a child needs to be emotionally secure, physically strong and capable, socially integrated and accepted in their peer group.

Themes

Our play and learning revolves around central themes. These are carefully chosen and researched by the teachers. Designed to captivate young minds and used as a launch pad to explore important concepts and ideas.

Learning is a concentric circle, linking layers of knowledge and understanding. A theme is a central point to start the thinking!!

dinosaur-brontosaurus      DINOSAUR THEME

When all the children lie on the ground end to end they are still not as long as the Argentinosaurus!  …. and they learn about measurements and collaboration.

When they project dinosaur shapes onto the wall and portray a pre-historic scene … they learn about light and shadow, drama, role playing and turn taking.

When they trace dinosaur foot prints on a light box … they explore different shapes and practice hand control necessary for handwriting skills

When playing pretend dinosaur games… is an opportunity to test gross motor movement in a fun and unassuming context: flying, swooping like a pterodactyl, stomping and chomping like a brontosaurus, running and roaring with skinny little arms like a ferocious T-Rex!

When they bake “dinosaur eggs” to take home to the family … they participate as a group, share excitement and… learn about Counting, Filling and dumping (spatial relations), Measuring, Cause and Effect, Chemical Reactions and Social Interaction (helping each other)

As they construct their own dinosaurs from a variety of raw materials made available to them… they express their own interpretation with a sense of pride through their achievement, understand 3D concepts and the relations of materials, strengthen their hands and fingers, develop pencil-holding skills and learn about colours and shapes

Listening to stories of dinosaurs… refines listening and comprehension skills, encourages them to ask  questions and reach conclusions whilst keeping quiet and concentrating is a major exercise in discipline.

Saying words like Triceratops, Velociraptor and Diplodocus… promote memory skills and linguistic ability

Before we have even discussed the avenues of art and music it is very easy to see how any theme has ENDLESS levels of exploration!!

 Teacher – Parent feedback and Reporting

You will receive a digital written report, including images and video of your child hard at play and learning, at the end of the school year.
Parent-teacher meetings will be scheduled mid-year to keep parents and teachers aware and informed of each child’s progress and individual needs.