Narnia Educational Program
Narnia has a very well developed Educational Program that is centered around two themes: What Children Deserve and Guidance and Pro-social Skills Development. For a detailed description, please read the Narnia Educational Program document which describes daily activities at Narnia as well as our communications strategy. Please also read our Fostering English-French Bilingualism document prepared by our educational team.
Our enhanced program includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Ice skating
- Cross-country skiing
- Westmount Library visits
- Extra staff and educators above the required child educator ratio, as specified in the government regulations respecting childcare centres.
What Children Deserve
- Children deserve to be heard, understood, and accepted as individuals, each having their own personality and rhythm.
- Children deserve to be safe emotionally and physically.
- Children deserve the opportunity to experience childhood with all their curiosity and creativity.
- Children deserve a learning environment and material that reflects their needs, interests and personality.
- Children deserve a predictable, consistent, calm environment and routine.
- Children deserve a place where children interact and learn from their peers.
- Children deserve an educational team who model and teach pro-social skills; who are empathetic, responsive, patient and respectful to all children, families, and each other.
- Children deserve an educational team who are skilled and knowledgeable in child development theories and approaches.
- Children deserve an educational team whose members are continuously growing and learning; who are passionate and committed to the field of early childhood education.
Guidance and Pro-Social Skills Development
- Model and reinforce appropriate behaviour
- Praise and reinforce positive social interactions
- Teach age-appropriate social skills
- Ensure that the classroom environment is as effective as possible
- Use preventative measures and be alert to potential problem situations and re-adjust as required.
“Emergent curriculum is an approach to teacher planning that begins with listening. Teachers collaborate to watch for children’s interests, worries, desires, understandings and use these as the beginning points for curriculum. It is developmentally appropriate, and builds on well-developed observation skills of early childhood teachers. Once teachers select a focus, they plan provocations or interesting events that stimulate children’s thinking and activity. Teachers document children’s responses and think carefully about the next step. The intent of emergent curriculum is to slow down and deepen positive relationships among children, teachers, families and their environment.” (Wien & Stacey, 2000)
Emergent curriculum is the teachers’ inquiry into what children know and understand and how that understanding can be stretched and deepened. The process of documentation, taking photos of children in activity, capturing what they say on tape or in notes, collecting sample work such as drawings or clay models, and teacher reflection on this documentation – studying it for what it shows about children’s understanding of the world – that leads to the next step in planning. The documentation of emergent curriculum makes teaching and learning visible to those both inside and outside the experience.
Authentic Learning Experiences
Authentic Learning Experiences are activities that have been carefully put together by the educators for your children. These activities are about exploration and discovery. Children are encouraged to explore with their senses, ask questions, test theories, make plans and think deeply.
All Authentic Learning Experiences are created throughout the year using these guiding principles.
- What have the children been wondering about?
- What do the children already know?
- Activities are planned relating to what the children already know and what they want to know. They are designed to engage your child’s sense of wonder, including:
- observations inside and outside
- sensory exploration and discovery activities
- exploration of a new art medium or new materials
- observational painting or drawing
- Materials are then gathered with the help of the children. Natural materials are encouraged as they appeal to our senses (colour, texture, smell, taste)
- The activities are then set up in a defined work area to help draw the child’s attention in.
Developmental Milestones & Widely Held Expectations
(Taken from Child Development: A Primer by Ingrid Crowther & NAEYC’s Developmentally Appropriate Practice) Note: Experts say every child develops differently. These Developmental Milestones are designed to give a general idea of how a child of this age may develop.
Gross Motor Development (large muscles of arms & legs)
Fine Motor Development (small muscles of thumb & fingers)
Cognitive Development (thinking skills)
Communication & Language Development