“It has been said that the environment should act as a kind of aquarium which reflects the ideas, attitudes and lifestyle of the people who live in it.”
At Bear Park, we create learning spaces of wonder and curiosity that invite children to explore, discover, and engage with rich materials, including natural and recycled items. These spaces spark creativity and imagination and are a place that children can spend time individually to reflect or time with others to collaborate. This is what our teachers hope to achieve for the children when reviewing their environments.
We view our environment as the ‘third teacher’ and recognise the importance of rethinking the spaces within our rooms. We ask ourselves:
Do these spaces reflect the current interests of our children?
Are our spaces warm and inviting?
We work hard to create beautiful learning spaces that both adults and children are excited to be in, where authentic learning can take place, and the imagination can run wild.
The structures, choices of materials, and unique and attractive arrangement of spaces by Bear Park educators become an open invitation for exploration. All items are thoughtfully and intentionally chosen to foster exchanges between children and objects within a system of possible connections and constructions.
Throughout the year, Bear Park teachers designate time during our Teacher Only days and have fun rearranging and bringing new life into these special spaces. After much careful planning and consideration of where and how each space should be altered to enrich learning, it is always a joy to see the children’s expressions and their engagement with these renewed spaces when they see them for the first time.
“We value space because of its power to organize, promote pleasant relationships among people of different ages, create a handsome environment, provide changes, promote choices and activity, and its potential for sparking all kinds of social, affective, and cognitive learning. All this contributes to a sense of wellbeing and security in children.”
—Loris Malaguzzi, The Hundred Languages of Children