Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Initiating an educational approach to health care environments utilising the principles of Reggio Emilia is unique to our institution, providing both challenge and opportunity.
Our research question; ‘How do we make the capable, competent infant visible from birth in the context of the neonatal nurseries?’ has enabled critique and change in our practice. We aim to make visible the right of each infant to quality and build an identity of childhood for pre-term infants.
The project is being led by a small group of nursery staff established in response to a nursery philosophy that guides practice reflection. This has been an ongoing long term initiative to provide best evidence based holistic neonatal care.
We are researching the Reggio Emilia education principles in healthcare and have experienced successes in encompassing and acknowledging the competencies of parents and staff whilst respecting the rights of the infants as central to the environment.
The site visit will share these successes and challenges to provide insight into how we have linked current neonatal research and best care models alongside the Reggio Emilia approach with surprising compatibility.
Gowrie SA is a community based integrated service offering long day care and kindergarten. We have 4 integrated infant and toddler rooms (0-3 years of age) and 2 integrated kindergarten rooms (3 years-school age) catering for approximately 100 children per day.
An ongoing focus for Gowrie SA has been the exploration of the alignment between the concept of ‘Progettazione’ and a previous focus of authentically capturing children’s voices to co-construct an emergent curriculum between children and educators. This has included the use of Talking and Thinking Floorbooks to facilitate long term projects with even very young children, and children carrying out their own benefit risk assessments to support decision making about play spaces and resources.
Programs are currently focused on children being active citizens of their community with a voice that can help to inform decision making around them.
Infant and toddler programs are exploring this through their participation in the Collaborative Childhood Project to understanding what the image of the competent and capable child means for educator practice. Our aspirations for this project involve educators reframing attitudes and states of mind towards understandings and enacting processes of planning for and with children. Within this age group, there are particular challenges and complexities, where educators not only must listen deeply to children, but extension and provocation of children’s learning looks different.
Kindergarten teams are currently engaged in a research project as part of the Margaret Trembath Scholarship through Early Childhood Australia titled
‘Children are capable decision makers in natural learning environments: The use of benefit-risk assessments for strengthening children’s capacity to manage risk associated with nature-based learning’.
This research has involved children visiting increasingly naturalised spaces in the community and engaging in Talking and Thinking Circles about the benefits and risks of playing in the space.
We admire the cohesive shared understanding of childhood that is visible in Reggio Emilia, and we want that for South Australia, where children in any early childhood setting, can be seen as competent and offered the best start in life.
Tanunda Lutheran Early Learning centre is situated in the Barossa Valley region of South Australia, 70kms north of Adelaide. The Early Learning Centre is part of a wider school community up to year 7. The school is also adopting the Reggio Emilia approach in the junior primary years which has enabled the ELC children to experience smooth transitions into school.
Children between the ages of three and a half and school age attend the ELC which is a long day care centre. The ELC has high staff: child ratios with at least two qualified early years teachers on floor at all times.
The ELC’s architecturally designed space was influenced by the Reggio Emilia principles and was opened in 2011. Natural gardens reflect the seasons at the ELC and provide intimate spaces for the children to explore. The one hectare Bush Block which adjoins the school property has become an integral part of the ELC and the revegetation and redevelopment of this area has given the children hands on experiences deepening their knowledge of sustainability. The children are faced with challenge and risks and are learning first-hand how to respect and care for their environment.
Educator’s interests in strengthening relationships between the ELC, families and the broader community have influenced research projects during the time they have been involved in the South Australian Collaborative Childhood Project. In 2016 The Language of Birds project and the subsequent documentation allowed us to revisit, re-construct and reflect on children’s learning, educator growth and family and community involvement. The Language of Birds art exhibition was curated for community viewing at the Barossa Regional Art Gallery.
Delegates will have the opportunity to spend time in the ELC, the Junior Primary classrooms and the Bush Block.
Taikurrendi comes from the Kaurna (Aboriginal language group) language meaning ‘to be mixed, together.’
The Taikurrendi Children and Family Centre was developed in partnership with DECD and the Federal government through the Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership. It brings together education, health and family services. Taikurrendi Children and Family Centre incorporates a committed focus on supporting Aboriginal families with young children to provide the best possible start in life.
‘Children must have access to services that nurture, celebrate and reinforce their culture and support the development of cultural identity.’
Early Years Learning Framework, Educator guide 2010, p22
It is this statement that reinforces the purpose and vision of Taikurrendi Children and Family Centre.
Developed over three years the project included critical consultation with the Aboriginal community to be the guiding voice in all aspects of the centre, including site location, cultural elements of building design and embedding Aboriginal perspectives into the early childhood education environment.
On the site visit you will hear the story of how Taikurrendi was planned and built to reflect the rich history and the present connectedness of Aboriginal people. How the interior and exterior spaces of Taikurrendi are designed and organised in interconnected forms that foster interaction, autonomy, explorations, curiosity, and communication, and are offered as places for children and for adults to research and live together. And to also connect to the present to see how Taikurrendi has grown into a learning environment that builds on the strength of understandings that our Aboriginal community has and fostering the significant role that community have in ensuring supporting authentic engagement and learning for all.
Our Early Learners’ Centre was originally opened in 1990, expanded in 2005 and had major development in 2014. The centre now accommodates 120 children a day in programs ranging from 2 to 5 years of age as well as Playgroup. Our rooms are named Stonyfell, Bell Yett, Ferguson and Hallett – inspired by our unique location. We are privileged to be able to access Ferguson Park to enrich our learning program.
Our Early Learners’ Centre adapts the key principles from the Reggio Emilia philosophy to guide our progressive practice. As a leading worldwide early childhood pedagogy, this philosophy emphasises the voice of the child, their identity and sense of belonging. At our ELC, children’s knowledge and concept building is enhanced through investigative experiences that open their minds to creativity. We explore our world, unpacking provocations, formulating theories and testing them, deepening our understanding. It is our role to facilitate children in expressing their understandings in many different forms.
Our centre initiative for 2017 is to develop an ongoing cycle of planning, documenting and evaluation that reflects our image of child. This has led to the development of the planning for the possible. The decision was made at the commencement of the year between educators to remove the term ‘program’. This was an area of discussion that continued from the end of 2016 based on provocations given from Carla Rinaldi’s visit in October last year. Our planning for the possible evolved from Term 1, 2017 in a long project inspired by the children’s expression of their identity, through the use of multiple languages.
We have thoughtfully researched the architectural features of the Reggio Emilia Centres. Visiting Reggio Emilia on a study tour with our architect enabled us to investigate the important elements to include in our new extension. Connecting spaces, transparency and natural light are a few of these essential elements. We have integrated a special light room into our design, as well as some intimate outdoor spaces that assist the children to integrate the indoors and outdoors. As a centre we are blessed by the presence of one Atelier per classroom and an experienced art educator working across the centre. Connection with nature is a driving force as we acknowledge children’s rights to be surrounded by beauty and wonder.
St Peter’s College Early Learning Centre is part of an ELC – Year 12 independent boys school on the perimeter of the city centre, offering a preschool program for boys aged 3-5 years. The principles of the Reggio Emilia educational project continue to be explored by children and educators in a variety of ways.
As a prototype site, our teaching team have been researching the role learning dispositions play in making learning visible to children, families, educators and the broader community.
Madge Sexton Kindergarten is named after the late Madge Helen Sexton who worked tirelessly with a group of mothers in the local community during the 1950’s to fundraise to build a kindergarten for the local children of McLaren Vale.
Since 2012 the MSK team have been exploring and researching the Reggio Emilia education principles. We are committed to being researchers both as individuals and as collaborative members of the team and also proud of how we have embedded a culture of critical reflection in the way that we work at MSK.
We are now “comfortable” with always feeling “uncomfortable and vulnerable” as we explore and test our theories alongside each other and the children, we have embraced this struggle, as we know that with this uncertainty comes learning and growth.
MSK became a DECD Preschool Outdoor Learning Area Demonstration site in 2014, so nature play principles also influence the way we work with the children.
As a Prototype Site we have been exploring the idea of children and adults working together as ‘co-researchers’ which has been very powerful in the way it has influenced our thinking and empowered the children’s voice authentically in their learning journeys.
We do not claim to be “experts” by any means, in fact we often laugh about how “the more we learn, the less we know” which we embrace through our commitment to working with and researching the principles of the Reggio Emilia philosophy.
Ingle Farm Children’s Centre for Early Childhood and Parenting is one of 42 government children’s centres established across South Australia. Children’s centres for early childhood development, and parenting bring together care, education, health, community development activities and family services for families and their young children.
Ingle Farm Children’s Centre was opened in September 2013 with it’s design principles being based on those of the Reggio Emilia Approach. The curriculum is based on the Early Years Learning Framework as well as aspects of the Reggio Approach. As with many services, our journey ebbs and flows along with changes to the staff team but we have a strong commitment to supporting children’s deep learning.
Ingle Farm is situated in the northern metropolitan area of Adelaide and is home to a very diverse community with over sixty percent of children speaking languages other than English at home.
Hackney Kindergarten’s philosophy is founded on a strong image of the child as capable and competent, with children’s voice evident in both indoor and outdoor environments. These beliefs dovetail so well with the nature play ethos and are evident in our continuing nature play journey as we seek to provide opportunities for children to explore, challenge their own capabilities, manage risk, connect with nature and grow as capable, resourceful and resilient citizens.
Opening in 2007, Galilee is a collaborative enterprise between the local community, Catholic Church and Catholic Education South Australia, with a vision for life-long learning; Community and whole of site integrated services; image of the child as a competent, current citizen; family centred church; creative arts; environmental and sustainability focus. In 2017 we are celebrating our tenth anniversary.
Galilee currently has 352 students from 4 – 13 years of age, Reception – Year 7 with a supported playgroup.
Our whole school inquiry during our 10th anniversary – sharing practice and documentation on our central idea of ‘Our Stories Inspire Action.’
Eco-Literacy – How to resource this focus and maintain the aim of ecological conversion. We are renewing current and opening new outside learning spaces with this in mind.
Ongoing focus – our environment as the 3rd teacher asking questions about how this space can reflect values of the image of the child as competent; value of community, meaningful reflection of our Catholic Identity.
Focus of visit:
Environment as 3rd Teacher
As we engage in our ongoing processes of creating and renewing our inside and outside spaces for learning, we work in collaboration with children, parents and staff to strengthen our connections with the environment and with each other. An ongoing question for us all at Galilee (and perhaps our visitors too) is, ‘How do our spaces reflect the values of the child?’