Children in our Nursery and Preschool develop number sense and literacy skills through everyday projects and provocation in their daily exploration.
Play sets the foundation for the development of critical social and emotional knowledge and skills. Through play, children learn to forge connections with others and to share, negotiate and resolve conflicts, as well as learn self-advocacy skills. Play also teaches children leadership as well as group skills. Furthermore, play is a natural tool that children can use to build their resilience and coping skills, as they learn to navigate relationships and deal with social challenges as well as conquer their fears.
Play is a fundamental value of our educational experience, for us, it is a language that supports discoveries and a better understanding of the world around us. Children are given the opportunity to develop this language and the other languages through project work to investigate:
- The Art of Language & Literacy,
- The Language of Maths,
- The Language of Science,
- The Language of Creative & Performing Arts,
- The Language of Well-being,
- The Language of Food,
- The Art of Learning & Competencies.
Our curriculum emerges through collaboration and a continuous dialogue between teachers and children as teachers observe, interpret and document each child’s learning journey. It is a curriculum that is accountable for learning in an authentic, emergent way, that is flexibly adjusted as children pursue extensive investigations of their world, guided by teachers who share their sense of adventure and amazement. Assessment is the process of observing, interpreting and documenting what our children do, know and understand. We believe that children have the capacity for representing ideas and constructing knowledge in a variety of symbolic and graphic modes. This approach emphasizes the importance of children’s symbolic language, conceptualized as the “100 languages”, where ideas and knowledge-building are expressed through many creative processes, such as speech, writing, drawing, painting, sculpture, construction, music, movement and shadow play.
Our teachers observe and listen to the “100 Languages” children use to express themselves as individual learners and as “teachers” in their own right, and facilitate opportunities for further investigation and learning. These investigations take the form of projects, where children actively participate, explore and question the world around them. Teachers and children work together on projects based on the interests of the class group. Children are provided with a multitude of opportunities to work through their ideas. They are encouraged to depict their understanding of the world and their ideas through various representations. Working on long-term projects allows children and teachers to explore and investigate a topic together, and in doing so, develop creative intelligence, divergent thinking and improve problem-solving skills.
We consider it essential to teach our children to inquire, as they consider and explore the many possible answers to the same question. At Aurora, we will begin investigating a topic through questioning and focusing on the thought processes rather than an outcome or result to be achieved. Children and teachers will leave for a journey of discoveries building the path as they go.
“Knowing where you are, where you find yourself, helps you to develop a sense of your own identity and your place in the world… Every place has its own spirit, its own past and its own aspirations.”
– Jerome Bruner