The White Ark Early Learning Centre adopts a Reggio Emilia inspired approach towards early childhood education that values every child as strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge. We believe that every child is unique and has a deep curiosity and potential within themselves. This innate curiosity drives their interest to understand the world and their place within it.
Image of the Child
Our children are viewed as competent, strong and resilient; curious and full of knowledge and potential. They are capable of constructing their own learning and are driven by their interests to understand and connect to the world around them.
Educators as Partners
Our educators are viewed as facilitators of children’s learning experiences. As partners, co-learners, mentors and guides, they listen to the children’s questions and stories, learn what interests them and then document, challenge and support the children’s learning in a collaborative relationship.
An Emergent Learning Process
We focus strongly on social collaboration and working in groups. Our children are encouraged to use language to investigate, explore and reflect on their experiences. They are listened to with respect, believing that their questions and observations are an opportunity to learn and search together – a continual, collaborative process. Through these interactions, children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world.
The Role of Parents
Parents play an essential role by actively sharing knowledge and competencies as part of the school community. They are warmly and regularly invited to connect with the experiences of their children.
Children are Connected
The Child is a member of a family and a community rather than an isolated individual. Children learn through interaction with their peers, adults, objects and symbols.
The Environment as the Third Teacher
The Environment is recognized for its potential to inspire children. It plays a crucial role and is often referred to as ‘The Third Teacher’. Through the conscious use of light, space, colour, texture, display of children’s artwork and detailed attention to aesthetics and nature — The White Ark’s space is specially designed to encourage exploration, collaboration, communication and relationships.
The Language of Art
Art lies at the core of our inspiration at The White Ark. Children have ready access to art tools and supplies. Through experiencing basic materials such as paint, clay, charcoal and wire – They discover the properties of these materials and can use them to express ideas, theories and feelings about the world around them.
Learning Processes are carefully displayed and documented in a variety of ways (photographs, transcripts of children’s thoughts and explanations, visual representations etc), to ensure that learning is made visible to both the children and parents. Documentation is important as it gives children the opportunity to re-visit their experiences, reflect upon them and discover new.