We are a proudly Curiosity Approach® licensed setting. This means that we have reflected on our work with the children and have decided to join the many other schools in the rediscovery of the world of education through the eyes of the children. And with this, we have entered a world of wonder and curiosity that we passionately wish to share with the community of parents and other educators.
The Curiosity Approach® takes best practices from Reggio Emilia, Montessori and Waldorf and Te Whariki and creates the perfect mix of philosophies and approaches bringing a modern day approach to Early Years, aimed at igniting passion, awe and wonder back into play. We are incredibly proud to be able to offer a carefully crafted early childhood environment to the families in Brunei through the use of loose parts, recycled materials and authentic resources as well as conscious educators.
Among all the philosophies we embrace, the one that stands as an umbrella is the Reggio Emilia Approach. The Reggio Emilia educational approach is commonly recognized as one of the best programs for young children worldwide. Each year in person ( and as of 2022 online as well) international study groups of educators from around the globe are organized in Italy and offer a glimpse of this exceptional philosophy in action.
Because the Reggio Emilia approach is woven into the lifestyle of the people and local government of this region, it cannot be replicated exactly. Therefore, to be “Reggio-Inspired” is to adopt the core values and beliefs of this approach to educating young children. We strive to do so by carefully researching and constantly reflecting on our community with regards to the principles of this approach:
This is the core of our approach, the foundation of our day to day interaction with the children. We view the children as curious, independent, full of imagination, capable individuals.
We ignite in the child the ideas that they can think for themselves, question and investigate, explore and take safe risks while helping them stir the wheel of learning.
EMERGENT CURRICULUM AND CHILD LED PRACTICES
While we are aligned to the Early Years Foundation Stages, the areas of exploration come from the children. A child led environment is one where the educators observe, nurture, provide an enabling environment and listen to the children’s ideas. This leads to an “emerging” curriculum that is exhaled by the children and is the base of our eyfs implementation.
THE ROLE OF THE EDUCATOR
The educator is understood to be a partner in play and learning. Through observations, documentation of children’s work and by always listening, the teachers understand what is needed and how much is needed to guide the children in their learning experiences. The educators are not in the business of entertaining the children, they are present and co-construction knowledge with the children while being aware when they are or are not needed.
THE ROLE OF THE ENVIRONMENT
The environment of the school, the classrooms and all other learning spaces indoors and outdoors, is viewed as “the third educator” alongside parents and educators. It is a space that reflects the children, educators and the community, their interests, and which respects the image of the child. It is a space that is thoughtful, pleasing and imaginative and with a deep care for the resources present.
The emergent curriculum is delivered through project work, which may be as short as a span of 10 to 20 minutes interested in building a bridge to more complex, sustained interests such as clay explorations that can last months.
Such emergence and freedom of time and engagement allows children to explore these areas of interest in detail. Teachers are thoughtful about introducing a broad range of opportunities, from art to music to early language, numeracy, science and nature experiences, in support of the project. By giving children time to explore projects of their chosen interest in great detail, they become in control of their learning process. This enthusiasm for knowledge, combined with the ability to experience project work in detail, will foster a predisposition for “life-long” learning.
DOCUMENTATION OF CHILDREN'S LEARNING
To document means to capture the children’s work and to make it visible to them, their family and the community. Educators use photographs, videos, recordings of the children's voices (their exact words while immersed in the exploration) and work samples to preserve and showcase the children’s process of learning. These may be offered to parents and the community from time to time as exhibitions. In addition, Storypark is used as the digital platform to support documentation for every child. Every child has their own portfolio, consisting of artwork, photographs, information related to developmental milestones, and more. Lesson plans, project boards, and daily highlights explain the work of the children and communicate the life of the school to the community at-large.