Our Curriculum Statement
Working collaboratively we have created a curriculum to help our children realize their potential, grow together and make a difference. The approach we take focuses on enriched caregiving and reflects a multidisciplinary approach within our centres, such as: Emergent Curriculum, Montessori Philosophy, Abecedarian Approach, Pikler Approach and Moe the Mouse, used all within the learning through play environment. We utilize observation and reports such as behavior plans and culturally appropriate activities to guide our curriculum so that our children will obtain the greatest benefit socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively. Our yearly goals are set together as part of our PATH that is a strategy meeting involving our team, our board parents and community members. It is posted in the centres where it can be viewed by everyone and is brought to board and team meetings to insure that we are working towards meeting our yearly goals.
We believe children learn about themselves and the world around them through investigation and discovery. This is why we provide lots of time each day where children can explore outside and indoors with art, science, blocks, nature, literature, music, movement and dramatic play. The Early Childhood Educators observe and record children’s play. The purpose of objectively documenting the child’s experiences are; (a) to deepen our understanding about how children think and develop, (b) make informed decisions when planning play areas and activities, (c) take children’s feelings and play seriously and (d) to help children reflect on their experiences. This also makes learning visible to the families and the community because we post some of these notes and photos of children involved in play and activities as evidence of their progress. Play areas and activities are formed by understanding what the children need and enjoy as a result of our observations. Early Childhood Educators set up the room with toys and equipment that relate to these needs and interest. We engage children in their play by getting down to the child’s level and are close by to guide children with comments and questions to help them build friendships and develop skills such as problem-solving, language and reasoning.
The schedule supports both structured and unstructured time for children to participate in play as well as staff directed activities and routines to enhance their learning and development. The structure of our daily schedule is predictable so children know what to expect, however it is flexible so we are able to make changes based on children’s needs. The children can play alone in areas and in groups. Older children often help younger children master new skills in a multi age group setting. Early Childhood Educators lay out a variety of developmentally appropriate toys and materials to help children learn about their world. Great attention is given to how things look and feel. Children are encouraged to put toys away before moving onto something else which develops independence, respect and a sense of responsibility.
We work in partnership with families and form strong relationships with them by greeting them, sharing stories of their child’s day and discussing issues to help support parents in their role. We invite families to take part in events and encourage them to spend time in the program which also provides an opportunity to see the skills and concepts their child is developing during play. Early Childhood Educators at Splash share information about recent learning experiences on the message board, through social media and informative newsletters.
The culture we are creating at Splash is one of caring. We start by our waterfall and plants at the front entrance, our calming music played throughout the centre and the use of real wood furniture and calming colours. We make it our mission to create a caring environment for the community, nature and each other. This also helps children to feel emotionally safe, comfortable and ready to learn.
We live in partnership with the community. We share the importance of community spirit in helping each other. Children visit organizations within our community and perform acts of kindness. We also encourage children to help other communities by taking on social justice issues. Splash is a very visible in the community. We are a positive force within the community. By teaching civility skills we are preparing children to be respectful members of the community.
Our interactions play areas and activities reflect the diversity of the community we are in. As Early Childhood Educators we respectfully include all people. We celebrate diversity by embracing similarities and differences, by providing books, toys, pictures, foods and activities from various cultures, races, ages, genders and abilities.
Our respect for nature is reflected in what we teach the children. We respect nature by having community gardens, recycling, composting, vermicomposting and making the centre plastic bag free. Children tend to pets. They also help clean up the community and leave the parks we visit clean. All who enter Splash are expected to live out our mission and values.
Lastly we believe in the power of laughter. It is infused into all of our experience at Splash and time is set aside to celebrate monthly birthdays, embrace diversity, pass on a random act of kindness and participate in a fun-loving activity for funky Friday. We end up the month with laughter and good times together. From all of these experiences, children gain a sense of belonging, self-confidence; develop resiliency and a joy for learning.