Wunderkind guides students to grow into caring, considerate and graceful members of society with a lifelong love of learning. The Reggio Emilia philosophy is built upon three pillars – the student, the teacher, and the environment – as an aid to life during the period of development when a child transitions from unconsciously absorbing their environment to becoming conscious absorbers.
A setting designed to be not only functional but also beautiful and reflective of the child’s learning. It is the child’s relationship with parent, teacher, and environment that ignites learning.
The Prepared Environment
It is an environment built for the children and it is theirs to care for. It is a sacred space designed with their growing needs carefully accounted for with a variety of learning materials built to refine the senses, develop a concrete understanding of abstract academic lessons like arithmetic and language, while also aiding the child’s journey to independence through built-in control of error.
By feeling secure, safe and confident in our classroom, students are able to explore and learn at their own pace and on their own terms – a radical difference from a traditional preschool environment where students are all expected to do the same things at the same time.
The Teacher as Partner, Nurturer, and Guide
Teachers are partners with each child on a learning journey. To know how to plan and proceed, teachers listen and closely observe children in the classroom. Through inquiry, they explore a world of learning together, while providing many opportunities for discovery.
When a child has completed a year or so in our classroom he or she should be emotionally ready. They should be better able to express their feelings, ready for interactive play, have basic problem-solving techniques, and possess the self-help skills required to succeed and flourish in the next phase of their academic experience.
Social skills are developed in conjunction with a vocabulary that is based on real experience. These tasks help prepare the children for reading and writing but also look beyond such basic skills into the pleasures of reading and writing, and the imagination and creation that is involved.
In the Children’s House, mathematical concepts are introduced to the children in a concrete form. By working with these materials, children slowly grasp concrete ideas and gradually form abstract concepts. This work provides them with a solid foundation for elemental mathematical principles used later in arithmetic work.
Children are keen observers, and as a result, extremely aware of the world. Through their senses, they are constantly exploring their environment. The sensorial materials challenge the children on a number of levels, most importantly, they encourage the children to engage with the elements of the world. These selected activities nourish and develop the senses, especially communication, observation and exploration.
Arts, Culture and Nature
One of the fundamental tenets to Wunderkind is culture. Our students are well rounded because Wunderkind strives, above all else, to connect the child to the concrete, material world. Through various activities and materials, Wunderkind exposes children to the joys of culture. We constantly strive to expose our students to a wide range of cultural activities, which include music, art, geography.