At Little Learners Place we are passionate and dedicated to the learning journey our little learners and educators go on each time they are in our place. Our curriculum is grounded in the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and inspired by the Reggio Emelia and RIE approach.
Incorporating the EYLF with the Reggio Emilia and RIE approach allows us to offer a high quality and theoretically grounded early childhood approach.
At Little Learners Place we aim to provide a solid foundation for lifelong success.
Early years Learning Framework
The Early learning framework describes the principles, practices and outcomes that support and enhance young children's learning from birth to five years of age, as well as their transition to school.
The framework is a key component of the National Quality Framework for early childhood education and care and offers a vision where 'all children experience learning that is engaging and builds success for life'.
The EYLF was developed with the fundamental view of children’s worlds being characterised by belonging, being and becoming. This thinking is embedded through our practices at Little learners place, every child in our care can experience a genuine sense of belonging; they are provided with environments that allow time and space to be themselves and all our little learners are supported in who they are becoming.
Reggio Emilia Approach
At the heart of the Reggio Emilia philosophy is the belief that children are full of curiosity and creativity. The Reggio Emelia approach originated in the town (and surrounding areas) of Reggio Emilia in Italy. Since its development in the 1940's, this educational approach to early childhood learning has been used worldwide; particularly forming key aspects and methods of teaching in Western Australia. Little Learners Place is inspired by the Reggio Emelia approach and we apply an adaptation of the approach specific to the needs of our community. You will find no two Reggio Emilia inspired communities that look alike, as the differing needs and interests of the children, their families and our educators, will always be the centre of their learning.
How the Reggio Emelia approach inspires our practice at Little Learners Place.
- We believe the first place of learning for all children is their home. This is why we value you as the first teacher of your child and build on that foundation and learn from you in helping raise your child.
- We consider parents and families to be a vital component to the Reggio Emilia philosophy and therefore, part of our community. Parents are viewed as partners, collaborators and advocates for their children. Educators respect parents as each child's first teacher and involve parents in the development of the curriculum as much as possible.
- We urge our parents and families to volunteer and participate in our centre programs as this opens up opportunities for the educational philosophy to continue when the child leaves our place.
- We want to truly know our families, their traditions, their celebrations, their routines, their talents, their expectations and we want you to know us too!
- We understand that not all parents and families can participate as actively as they might like to, so we have developed our app to allow our parents to participate in the planning and evaluation process from home and when times are available.
- We view our children as being worthy of being listened. We believe that adults can actually learn from children as well as the other way around.
- Here at Little Learners Place, our educators encourage children to guide their own learning based upon their own interests and curiosities. Our environments act as a third teacher, being designed to accommodate for the needs of the children, sparking curiosity and excitement for children to learn to understand the world around them and how they fit within this.
- We believe that if children are placed in a beautiful environment, with stimulating materials to work with, they will be motivated to explore and respect the environment.
- Our Indoor spaces like Reggio Emilia schools are nature-inspired, designed with plenty of indoor plants and natural light to engage the children. Our environments feature mirrors, glass, windows, open kitchens, real resources and student artwork is showcased throughout the centre.
- The Reggio Emelia approach is designed to really nurture children and create a lifelong passion for learning and exploration this is what we wholeheartedly believe at Little Learners Place.
How the RIE approach inspires our practice at Little Learner Place:
- We create environments that are safe, challenging and predictable that allows our Little Learners to best do all the things that the child would do naturally. Creating the perfect environment for babies to learn. As infants become more mobile, they need safe, appropriate space in which to move. Their natural, inborn desire to move should not be handicapped by the environment.
- We communicate authentically using real words and talk about real things, especially things that directly pertain to our babies and that are happening now. We encourage babies to build communication skills by asking them questions, affording them plenty of time to respond, always acknowledging their communication.
- We encourage even our tiniest infants to become active participants in care activities like nappy changes, dressing, meals and sleep time rituals and give them our full attention during these activities. It creates more opportunities for interaction, cooperation, intimacy and mutual enjoyment by being wholeheartedly with our babies during the time we spend together during these care experiences. This inclusion and focused attention nurtures our relationship, providing children a heightened sense of security they need.
- We encourage uninterrupted play by offering even the youngest infants free play opportunities, allowing them the freedom to explore and engage with other infants, sensitively observing and trusting, appreciating and admiring what our babies are doing
- We allow children to develop motor and cognitive skills naturally according to their natural development by offering them play and movement opportunities in an enriching environment, rather than teaching, restricting or otherwise interfering with these organic processes. Our role in development is primarily trust. We have basic trust in the infant to be an initiator, to be an explorer eager to learn what he is ready for.
- We trust our children to know themselves better than we know them, so we allow children to lead when they play and choose enrichment activities, rather than projecting our own interests. We encourage our children’s passions and support them to fulfil their dreams.
- We encourage children to express their emotions by openly accepting and acknowledging them.
- We recognise that children need confident, empathic educators as well as clear and gentle expectations.
- We allow children to problem-solve, experience and learn from age-appropriate conflicts with our support.
- We understand the power of our modelling and recognise that our children are learning from us through our every word and action about love, relationships, empathy, generosity, gratitude, patience, tolerance, kindness, honesty and respect.
- Most profoundly, they’re learning about themselves, their abilities and their worth, their place in our hearts and in the word
RIE / Pikler Approach
Resources for Infant Educarers or “RIE” were founded in 1978 by early childhood educator Magda Gerber, who advocated respect and trust of young children. We not only respect babies, we demonstrate our respect every time we interact with them. Respecting a child means treating even the youngest infant as a unique human being, and trusting in babies to be initiators, explorers and self learner.
- RIE creates authentic children, ones who feel secure, autonomous, competent, and connected.
- When we help a child to feel secure, feel appreciated, feel that “somebody is deeply, truly interested in me,” by the way we just look, the way we just listen, we influence that child’s whole personality, the way that child sees life.
- Children should be involved in their own learning journey.
- Children learn best through play, providing rich opportunities for exploring, discovering, creating and imagining.
- Children should be heard, valued and respected.
- In cultural diversity, we will celebrate and share and acknowledge each individual.
- That our environment is the “third teacher” therefor it will always be set up in a way that is engaging for all different learners.
- That our place should reflect our love and passion for nature.
- In building quality relationships with families and working together as a partnership.
- In encouraging and supporting our staff to continually reflect and grow as educators, through training and professional development.