Learning in the garden. Art projects on the terrace. Making new friends. Curious minds playing, exploring and discovering. What does she want to learn today?
The Little School (formerly known as the Early Childhood Learning Centre) offers a nurturing learning environment for our youngest Yorkies. The classrooms are wide-open spaces where the girls can learn, explore and play. Outside, the girls tend the garden, play on the jungle gym or do project work on the patio.
York House has had a kindergarten program for over 30 years. Since 1994, we’ve offered a full day program and since 2008, kindergarten classes have been held at our satellite campus (the 'Little School'), just minutes away from the main school. Junior kindergarten (JK) is for four year-olds and senior kindergarten (SK) is for five-year-olds. Each class has two teachers.
The Little School emphasizes the importance of play for young children in their early years. Play allows the girls to develop self-regulation and cooperation skills. It helps them develop complex language and vocabulary, problem solve and think flexibly. Through play, they can make scientific, mathematical and social discoveries. Play helps them learn persistence and develop their memory skills.
Children who play, work in groups and form social relationships will be more successful in their later years.
At York House, students are seen as very capable beings – not as vessels to be filled. This is why at the Little School, teachers base their methods on the Reggio Emilia approach to pre-schooling learning. Head teacher Shelley Lammie has travelled to Italy, the birthplace of the Reggio Emilia philosophy, to observe and learn this method first hand.
Reggio Emilia recognizes that in the early years of development, children are just beginning to form who they are as an individual. Children learn best through interacting with others, including their parents, teachers and peers, in a nurturing learning environment. With this method, the children’s interests determine the curriculum. The girls work on in-depth projects, and the teachers learn alongside the children, documenting the learning process.
The Reggio Emilia approach is used to determine the curriculum in the junior kindergarten classes. The senior kindergarten curriculum integrates the Reggio Emilia approach with BC prescribed learning methods. For more information on the BC curriculum, review the Early Learning Framework document and the Full Day Kindergarten Program Guide (published by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Children and Family Development).
Updates from the Little School
About Reggio Emilia
Little School Program Highlights