Reggio-Emilia Inspired Approach

Reggio Emilia at SMUS

Our program is inspired by the interests and curiousity of young learners

The Reggio-Emilia philosophy to preschool education was founded after the Second World War in the town of Reggio Emilia, Italy. What began as a parent initiative has inspired educational programs around the globe, including our practice at the Junior School.

At its core, Reggio-Emilia believes that children are curious and capable learners who express themselves in many ways. This approach to education looks to create time and space for students to explore and express their many interests in ways that are meaningful to them. The result is a high level of engagement and the foundation for a life-long passion for learning.

Under this approach, each child has three teachers: parents, school teachers and the physical environment in which they learn. At the Junior School we honour this idea in the following ways.

The SMUS Imagination Lab supports the Reggio-Emilia approach to learning
Our Imagination Lab is designed to nurture children's sense of wonder through hands-on play

Parents as partners

Parents are a child’s first educator, and a partnership between parents and teachers provides a powerful support for students as they begin their formal educational experience. Research shows that students achieve more academically when their parents are engaged with them at school. At SMUS, we are committed to supporting this through open dialogue and school events where the learning comes to life for the entire family.

Teachers as facilitators

Our teachers are mentors and facilitators, listening to students and helping to guide their interests. Rather than stand in front of the class and lecture, they actively listen to what the students are passionate about and design learning experiences to harness that excitement within the curriculum goals of the grade.

Physical space as inspiration

Our warm and welcoming campus was designed to be explored. From the natural playscape outside to our bright and well-equipped classrooms, we have invested in the environment that supports student’s learning. Our Imagination Lab is a space designed to nurture children’s wonder, imagination and curiosity. The lab is stocked with a variety of materials – bottle caps, fabric, wire, spools – loose parts that can become anything to a child’s mind. It’s also a place where technology meets creativity, and students are engaged in the design thinking process through Claymation projects and robotics for example.
 

Alison Galloway, SMUSThe environment helps to inspire students to go deeper into their learning. We create learning environments that are child-friendly, that spark curiousity and that encourage children to explore their own pursuits and their passions.

Alison Galloway
Imagination Lab coordinator

and Applied Design Skills and Technology teacher