Our curriculum is inspired by the educational philosophy of the preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, which emphasizes that children are competent and capable from birth and they, along with their teachers and parents, become equals in the learning process of co-constructing knowledge together.
We believe a child’s interaction with their immediate world is the catalyst for learning. It is through play that children are stimulated to explore, experiment, and discover using their own inherent style of learning. Children engage in investigations, which lead to longer term project work, using expressive languages such as clay, painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, paper making, weaving, blocks, dramatic play, music and more to further their ideas and interests. It is through this process that critical thinking skills develop.
Documenting the work of each child is an important aspect of the Reggio Emilia approach. Documentation validates children’s abilities and enables ongoing assessment. It helps connect parents to the classroom experience and allows teachers to track each accomplishment assuring learning standards are met.
The Project Approach
Video - 4's Robot Study
At RPNS, projects and investigations emerge from the students’ ideas and interests. During the school year one of the four year old classes embarked on a study of Robots. The students learned about batteries, energy, and circuits. Watch the video to see how the children’s ideas influenced their play and led to the integration of science and literacy in the classroom.
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As a “Reggio” inspired, progressive preschool, we believe:
• Children learn by doing
• Understanding and action are the goals of learning, not rote knowledge
• Problem-solving and critical thinking are essential skills for creating life-long learners
• Social competency develops through collaboration and cooperation
• In encouraging the development of social responsibility through community service and caring
and sharing for others
• In the importance of building a love of learning
We continue to learn from others who use the “Reggio” inspired approach. Members of our staff continually attend relevant professional development conferences and visit other progressive schools. RPNS is a member of NAREA, the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance, and Reggio Children, which promote the understanding of Reggio and provide opportunities for shared research and professional development.