Philosophy of Learning
At Hopwood Child Care we understand that parents are the most important people in a child’s world and we make every effort to support families. We recognize how difficult it can be for working parents to balance all of their commitments and responsibilities in their lives. For this reason we strive to offer a program that enriches a child’s development while putting parents’ minds at ease. Cleanliness, for example, is very important at Hopwood Child Care. We do not permit shoes in the facility to decrease the amount of outdoor filth brought inside. It is required to practice routine hand washing for staff and children at arrival time, mealtime, restroom breaks, messy activities, and after outside play. The furniture is disinfected daily, along with the floors and regular toy sanitation.
We seek to ensure a positive social atmosphere that allows for a successful learning environment. We are heavily influenced by the Reggio Emilia Philosophy of learning, which calls for a child-centered evolving curriculum that is largely executed through Project Based Learning. We do this while following PA early learning standards. We concentrate on student-centered activities that promote self-directed and experiential learning in relationship-driven environments. Activities and interest areas, such as art, math, and science, are arranged throughout our classrooms. Each area, or “invitation” is designed by our teachers with specific materials to promote active exploration, self-expression and collaboration. The Reggio Emilia philosophy believes in using the classroom itself as a teacher. Our constantly changing classroom environment allows children to engage in thought provoking, challenging play everyday.
At Hopwood Child Care, we view all children as confident, responsible, creative, and curious. The Reggio Emilia Approach, founded in a small city in Northern Italy, inspires our outlooks on children. The idea behind Reggio Emilia is the philosophy of believing in the rights and opinions of each child. A child is a natural researcher who has the desire for knowledge. We, at Hopwood Child Care, support that desire to learn and explore by offering teachers that listen, observe, and promote group work. Each child is different and has a different way of thinking, but we can still co-exist peacefully by respecting one another. There are several opportunities for constructive activities that best support social and academic growth, such as the ability to be kind. At Hopwood Child Care, children learn to their full potential while learning to remember that it is important to be kind to each other. By respecting one another, we become a community. One way that we encourage this is by allowing drama and dramatic play experiences as an integral part of each day. Through these activities, we integrate other subject areas. Science, literacy, social studies, and more are further explored through these types of expressions.
The types of toys at our school are natural, hands on, stimulating, and educational. There are rocks, gems, blocks, fabric, magnets, stacking items, sorting activities, crafts, and so much more. It is important that these types of items or “loose parts” are provided each day to allow children’s curiosity and imagination to flourish. Discovery is most productive when there is an established eagerness to engage with exciting new items for hands on learning. It is our goal to provide this encouraging atmosphere for every student.
Hopwood Child Care Teachers play a dual role in our Reggio Emilia-inspired classrooms. Their primary role is to carefully supervise, assist, and nurture each child. Teachers are encouraged to learn alongside children, becoming involved in all group-learning experiences as a guide and resource. When it comes to guidance, correction, and behavioral management, it is critical to develop a proactive approach of control at our facility. Students are asked to make choices and politely practice problem-solving skills. There are interactive discussions throughout each day to allow for multiple perspectives and active participation. Our energetic large group and small group activities lead to more high-quality knowledge. Expectations are set to make children aware of their roles and responsibilities within the facility. Our expectations are reviewed daily, along with routines to support a positive atmosphere and productive place to discover. At Hopwood Child Care, we seek to ensure a positive social atmosphere that allows for families to trust our care.
Lastly, we want parents to be excited for their child and comfortable knowing that their child is in a nurturing establishment that focuses on learning in the Reggio-way. It is extremely important to work towards having a responsive group of children where teachers and families are energetically invested. By modeling and promoting respect towards one another, teachers will build a productive and empathetic community of learners.