Oakleigh Grammar Early Learning Centre Curriculum is inspired by the key principles of the Reggio Emilia Approach to early childhood education.
- Children are active participants in the learning process. They have the potential, interest and capability to take some control over the direction of their learning:
- Children’s learning environment is significant. Exploration and awareness of material things around them are fundamental as children learn through the experience of touching, seeing and hearing.
- Community and culture play an important part in the learning process. Teachers, parents and children are collaborators, ensuring that independent thought is fostered within the context of mutual respect and responsibility.
- Children need the opportunity to express themselves in a wide variety of ways, through drawing, painting, construction, dramatic play and more.
At the heart of the Reggio Emilia philosophy is the belief that children are full of curiosity and creativity. The curriculum is flexible and emerges from children’s ideas, thoughts and observations. The Reggio goal is to cultivate within children a life-long passion for learning and exploration.
This internationally renowned approach is named after the town in Italy from where it originated. In the aftermath of World War II, the community of Reggio Emilia came together to provide early childhood education that would help develop thinking, responsible citizens for a new era.
The Reggio approach is not a philosophy with a set model. It is an approach based around certain fundamental values about how children learn. Interpretations are not only possible but encouraged. Reggio Children, the foundation in Italy which supports this philosophy, encourages centres in Australia and around the world, which adopt this approach to interpret it in their own ways, according to their context and the community they are working with.
The emphasis on the emergent curriculum, community and cultural awareness and respect are just a few elements that makes this approach the ideal basis for the Oakleigh Grammar ELC Curriculum. It leads ideally into the principles of “The Leader in Me” program which is a fundamental aspect of the Junior School curriculum.