Building resilient, creative and critical thinkers in an age of change is one of Bear Park’s greatest interests. This is not just a matter of teaching letters and numbers, or filling a young mind with facts. The future of literacy is acknowledging multiple types of intelligence and self-expression is an everyday adventure for our teachers and children. Conversations, gestures, story telling and hands-on investigations are encouraged, as are tasks that spark playful energy and creativity. For the richest education comes when a young child learns with pleasure, joy and interest.
Our teachers develop learning experiences inspired by both the Reggio Approach’s dynamic perspective on early childhood learning, and the principles of Te Whaariki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum. We interweave literacy into everyday situations and practice in order to engage and make learning more meaningful. Daily discussions during group meetings, sharing points of view and utilizing the multitude of expressive languages are all tools we use to encourage expression and build a rich sense of literacy. Within the daily diaries, learning journals, investigation books and wall documentation is where a more formalized evidence of literacy is seen.
How Bear Park teachers define early literacy:
“Literacy is learning to communicate, whether it is reading or writing or using sounds and gestures – it is all about communication.”
“As listening and speaking, reading and writing are all interconnected, it is important children have a broad and open-ended environment where literacy is embedded into their everyday activities.”