Our Program The Gardens' teachers form a multi-disciplinary team, with training in early childhood education, elementary education, family support and inclusion. In the field of early childhood education, we are primarily inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, however we also utilize aspects of Waldorf and Montessori pedagogies. We refer to evidenced-based curriculums in the promotion of social and emotional development as well as kindergarten readiness. We engage in a large-scale, on-going, ever-changing collaboration to implement a dynamic curriculum with tools designed specifically for the children in our group. We implement a daily schedule, incorporating free play, art, sensory exploration, circle time activities, mindfulness activities, music, yoga, baking and outdoor exploration. This is a child-led program, meaning that each child's interests are explored and incorporated in every aspect of our daily routine.
Inclusion The Gardens values diverse learners and celebrates individual differences and learning styles. We connect regularly with community services such as the Child Development Centre, Early Learning and Child Care, and Family Supports for Children with Disabilities. We reserve up to four preschool spaces specifically for children with special needs and their inclusion is supported by our Inclusion Teacher. We believe every child benefits from learning in an inclusive environment and strive to meet each child's individual needs.
The Hawn Foundation: Mind Up The Hawn Foundation's mission is to transform children's lives by providing vital social and emotional learning programs to reduce stress and aggressive behaviour, improve focus and academic performance and increase resiliency for success in school and in life. The Gardens uses the Pre-K curriculum daily during circle activities.
The Zones of Regulation The Zones of Regulation offers a framework to foster self-regulation and emotional control. This is a simple tool that helps children identify their feelings, articulate their emotional experiences and effectively work through big and uncomfortable feelings. We begin our year introducing this curriculum and continue to refer to and build upon it during our preschool year.
We Thinkers This curriculum is a social emotional learning curriculum for young children. It provides an excellent foundation in social communication. We find this curriculum helps children to understand their impact on their environment as well as to consider and respect each others' perspectives. We begin our year introducing this curriculum and continue to refer to and build upon it during our preschool year.
The Incredible 5 Point Scale This curriculum has been designed to help students identify their emotional states and to promote the use of effective self regulation strategies. It is excellent at enhancing the development of self awareness and self control. It is useful in helping both children and adults overcome anxiety, including daily worries and separation anxieties. We also use this curriculum throughout the year.