Learning Through Play

Children at EcoKids are free, inspired and happy! Comfortable in their surroundings and encouraged to play, explore and discover! This is how they best develop a deep seated love of learning. 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.
All four of these aspects of a child’s development are vital and interdependent.

Themes

Our play and learning revolve around weekly themes. Carefully chosen and researched by the teachers, designed to captivate young minds, and used as a launch pad to explore important concepts and ideas. Each theme is also allocated a letter, number, shape, colour and moral conscious theme for the week.

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

DINOSAUR THEME

Colour: Dark Green

Number: 4 and 16

Letter: D d

Shape Triangle and Cone

Moral Concept: Working Together

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, practice patience and precision and 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, measuring, cause and effect, chemical reactions and social interaction.

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 quite easy to see how any theme has ENDLESS levels of exploration!!

Teacher – Parent Feedback and Reporting

You will receive a mid-year report and a digital, end of year report which will including images of your child hard at play and learning, from throughout 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.

Our teachers maintain a high level of communication with parents as it is important to us to be in tune and offering our students the best support.


The Reggio Emilia approach is based on experience in the Reggio Emilia Municipal Infant/Toddler and Preschool Centres in Italy. It places emphasis on children’s symbolic languages in the context of a theme-oriented curriculum. ‘Languages of children’ is a term used to express the many different ways children communicate with, explore and understand their world.  Learning is viewed as a journey; and education as building relationships with people, both children and adults, and creating connections between ideas and the environment.

Emergent Curriculum: An emergent curriculum builds upon the interests of children: puddles, shadow, pond life, firemen, etc. Themes are planned and put forward to the children, and they discuss and work through the theme with the teacher’s guidance as they who supply or help source the materials needed, support their theories by supplying facts and encourage involvement. An emergent curriculum is a living, thinking, child inspired way of learning that intrigues children, captivates their interest and holds it.

Project Work: Projects are in-depth studies of concepts, ideas, and interests. Considered as an adventure, projects may last a day (baking bread), one week (germinating seeds) or could continue throughout the school year (charting the daily temperature). Throughout a project, teachers help children make decisions about the direction of the project, the ways in which the group will research the topic, the medium that will demonstrate and showcase the topic, and the selection of materials needed for the work.

Representational Development: The Reggio Emilia approach calls for the integration of the graphic arts as tools for cognitive, linguistic, and social development. Presentation of concepts in multiple forms — print, art, construction, pottery, drama, music, puppetry, and shadow play — are viewed as essential to children’s understanding.

Collaboration: Collaborative group work, both large and small, is considered valuable and necessary to advance cognitive development. Children are encouraged to talk, critique, compare, negotiate, hypothesize, and problem-solve through group work. Within the Reggio Emilia approach, different approaches toward the same investigation are all valued, and thus children are given access to many tools and media to express themselves. The relationship and collaboration with the home, school and community all support the learning of the child.



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