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  • Writer's picture Sally Rustomji


The Reggio Emilia Approach is an innovative and inspiring approach to early childhood education, valuing the child as strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge.

This unique approach to education begins with a particular and strong image of children, adults, of education and of life, flowing from a set of guiding principles. These principles include:

The image of the child

The role of the environment

The role of the teacher

The importance of time

The value of relationships


Project work and investigations

How do we incorporate the Reggio Emilia approach into our practice and curriculum at The Old School House Nursery?

At The Old School House Nursery we’re inspired and take inspiration from the Reggio Emilia approach which informs our practice.  Our Curriculum is respectful of children, their rights and their desire to learn. We also believe that every child brings with them a deep curiosity that drives their interest to understand their world and their place within it. Our goal is to embrace this curiosity, challenge each child’s thinking and facilitate their eagerness to learn and construct understanding.

1. We encourage each child’s Inquiring Mind

Project based learning provides children with an opportunity to investigate and explore an area of interest. Materials used in the classrooms are intentionally selected and arranged. The materials have the power to provoke children’s exploration, curiosity, thinking, communication, problem-solving, creativity and sets the foundations for lifelong learning.

In Reggio Emilia, Italy they believe that, “the materials used should be rich and varied. They should create a multi sensory setting with surfaces which are smooth and rough, wet and dry, bright, translucent, and transparent.”

2. We value the Environment as the third teacher

The Reggio Emilia approach values the environment as the third teacher and the detail and attention placed on each learning space to stimulate children’s imagination, creativity, exploration, discovery, engagement and sense of wonder.

Environments are centred around children’s interests with provocations that promote deeper thinking. We promote a safe, inspirational and innovative environment for children, which incorporates fulfilling learning opportunities. Our learning environments are inclusive and homely, allowing children to feel comfortable and secure, whilst also encouraging empathy, interest and the development of self-confidence.

“Space has to be a sort of aquarium that mirrors the ideas, values, attitudes, and culture of the people who live within it.” – Loris Malaguzzi

3. We are passionate about embedding a Community

We recognise the importance of working in partnership among families, educators and children. From the very beginning of care there are many valuable opportunities to build relationships and for educators to get to know each individual child, supporting their transition. Educators develop knowledge of the children and their potential.

Educators at our nursery work in partnership with families to achieve common goals for their child. The goal is to set the highest expectations for children, generating opportunities for our families and educators to come together to advance all learning and development outcomes.

Alike in Reggio, The Old School House Nursery recognise the importance of connecting with the wider community. Physically experiencing and entering the environments around our services are important and our teachers promote ongoing outings and excursions to local attractions such as parks, shops and local services.

4. Our Documentation

Our educators document children’s conversations and representations, meeting regularly to use this documentation to interpret the children’s emerging interests and ideas, and to reflect on possibilities for extending their learning. Every child’s learning is respectfully documented in an online portfolio as well as within the classroom at the service. We recognise and value the importance of making documentation and learning visible to both the children and families.

We endorse project work as it supports the enquiring mind, connects our practice to the wider community, embeds the importance of the physical environment and emphasises the role of the educator. Our documentation is real, it captures the things that matter and represent actual learning and experiences at our service. Our documentation is supported by a strong pedagogical team which enhances the learning opportunities for the children and ensures a rich and meaningful journey for each child.

5. The role of the Educator

There is an understanding on the importance of each educator at The Old School House Nursery and the role they contribute to a child’s early years.

Our educators role includes:

Planning a curriculum to promote children’s development

Carefully planning and preparing the environment

Interacting with children to promote learning

Providing nurture, guidance and support to children

Observing children and assessing their progress

Establishing strong partnerships with families and encouraging their involvement

Take a look at this short video which explains the Reggio Philosophy that children have 100 languages to express themselves.

Sally x

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