Early Childhood (EC)
The Early Childhood program (ages 3-5) promotes positive growth for young children through active play and focused inquiry. We aim to ensure that a child’s initial exposure to school is a positive and happy one. The Early Childhood program is deeply rooted in the Reggio Emilia approach, which is consistent with our School’s own philosophy and beliefs about learning and young children.
The faculty possesses a thorough understanding of child development and works collaboratively to design a program that is responsive to children’s natural curiosity and their capacity to pursue fascinating lines of inquiry over time. We view children as competent and capable and provide them with opportunities for exploration and self-expression through multiple modalities and media (commonly referred to as “the hundred languages of children” by educators in Reggio Emilia). Daily documentation of children’s work and ideas informs this facilitated learning, using running transcripts of conversations, and audio, still and video recording. These traces give teachers, who are insightful observers of children, a window into the progression of the children’s thinking and influence curricular decisions reflecting the individuals in the program. We invite families to participate in this process by studying the documentation to better understand their children’s day at school, to share personal connections to topics under study, and as inspiration to extend the learning at home.
For detailed course descriptions, select a “learning area” in the left-column navigation.
- Expressive Languages & Learning
- Environment as Teacher
- Collaboration & Communication
- Reggio Emilia at Waynflete
Students own their learning at Waynflete. Teachers take the lead from students while they pursue their own curiosities and explore their interests. Early Childhood students thrive on the combination of security and challenge that this program provides. Self-care and independence are taught, as well as playful exploration. This is an initial school experience for many of the children, so working to set expectations for school is important. Play is integral to learning at this age so play drives a good portion of the work in the classroom. Students move fluidly between real and fantasy worlds at this age; in Early Childhood we celebrate their imagination while introducing them to the research tools necessary to investigate the real world. Much of what we do is listen to the students and provoke deeper inquiry. Encouraging children to explore their own questions, while teachers guide them in the process is central to the Early Childhood program.