Children are respected as competent learners. They are capable of constructing their own theories by exploring their interests, through investigations and research work. Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world through their interactions with others.
There is a strong focus on collaboration and working in groups, where each child is an equal participant, with their views and questions valued. Children learn to form relationships with friends through collaborative work as they work alongside each other. They are also encouraged to work cohesively in projects with their educators, family and the community.
Children communicate through a variety of symbolic representations, including using words, drawing, painting, building and constructing, movement, engaging in imaginative play and music. This invites children to many levels of communication, symbolic skills and creativity. The children’s ideas are viewed with respect, believing that their questions and observations are opportunities to learn and research together.
Learning is facilitated through exploration, project work and the exchange of dialogues. As mentors, our early childhood educators thoughtfully, timely and purposefully introduce, deconstruct and facilitate knowledge and materials that the children need in order for them to extend their own theories through investigations of the world around them.
Within such a teacher-researcher role, educators carefully listen, observe, and document children’s work and the growth of community in their classroom. They are to provoke, co-construct, and stimulate thinking, and children’s collaboration with peers. As co-researchers, educators work in pairs to establish a relationship with one another to develop a good work ethic. They also work alongside the Education Specialist (Pedagogista) to understand and problem solve early childhood developmental theories better and grow professionally as an educator to create a more stimulating learning environment for each child.
Parent participation is considered essential and takes many forms. It should be seen as a form of transparency towards the openness to ideas and theories from parents to the educators, and vice versa. Parents play an active role in their children’s learning experience and help ensure the welfare of all the children in the school. Participation of families through events such as coffee mornings, parents’ evenings, ‘come and play’ days, field trips, art shows and exhibition portrays an intrinsic element of collaboration and partnership.
The layout of the physical space in the school’s compound identifies itself as the ‘third teacher’. Educators plan and design spaces (known also as provocations) thoughtfully to support the engagement of individual, small or large group learning. Every corner and space has an identity and a purpose. These spaces are also set to be “aesthetically-pleasing”, filled with natural lighting and open-ended opportunities, encouraging collaboration, communication and exploration. It is also supported with natural realistic materials & tools for its potential to inspire and engage children.
Educators assess and guide children’s learning styles and understandings through listening, observing, planning and reflecting on projects which are emergent through daily exploration and re-visitation. Documentation emphasises on displaying children’s thoughts and progression of thinking; making their ideas visible in many different ways; such as photographs, transcripts, visual representations (drawings, sculptures, sketches) to show the child’s learning process. The children’s experiences and progress are documented in portfolios and reflective journals that are used as a basis for individualised planning, further enquiry and investigations.
Children are encouraged to appreciate the customs and values of the Indonesian culture. By integrating the school and the local community, it will allow the children to be introduced to the presence and essence of the Indonesian culture as part of their daily lives. As we learn to greet and embrace the local traditions, food, people and art, we can cohesively belong and be part of the community as well as become a culturally informed macro-organisation.