Sprogs Garden Playschool is proud to offer the “Garden Playschool” approach to early childhood care and education. This approach has been developed by our Head of School, Nicola Williams, in response to her educational and professional experiences around the world over the past twenty-five years. A Garden Playschool offers a progressive and comprehensive approach to early years care and education. In its eclectic philosophy, the approach draws from the most influential theorists in the field such as Piaget, Dewey, Vygotsky and Gardner to the most highly respected early years approaches of Reggio Emilia, Montessori, and High Scope. By not adhering to any single resource or program, this approach can be flexible enough to adapt to the school community while also being free to incorporate the cumulative and most up to date research, theory, and knowledge in relevant fields of study from around the world. This includes incorporating knowledge gained from the Science of Early Child Development - a contemporary field of study that focuses on consolidating research in neuroscience, genetics, medicine, and developmental psychology as it relates to how best to care for and promote the healthy development and well-being of our youngest children.
Taking decades of this theory and research together, the consensus is now clear on three points that form the guiding principles of a Garden Playschool approach: 1) optimal early years care and education supports and encourages a child’s natural desire to understand their world through language, play, hands-on exploration, and authentic interactions with nature, other children and supportive interested adults; 2) programs that provide this have a powerful and lasting impact on the present and future learning and well-being of the child through to adulthood; and 3) the promotion of caring, trusting and supportive relationships with children and families is a critical component of high quality early childhood programs. In addition to ongoing formal and informal communication with parents about each child’s experiences and responses to the program, many opportunities will also be provided to share and discuss the research and theory supporting the Garden Playschool approach with the Sprogs school community.
Sprogs Garden Playschool is a place where your child will thrive and most importantly – be happy!
Flexible Attendance Options
To best meet the individual needs and preferences of our students and their families
High Quality Program Setting
Small class sizes, spacious rooms and a beautiful garden playground provide a calm, stimulating and richly resourced environment where children can learn, explore and play together
Qualified Professional Teachers
SGP encourages professional learning, dialogue, reflection, and collaboration as teachers learn together with their colleagues, children and families
Parents are Welcome, Valued & Supported
Teachers are experts in the field and parents are experts on their own child. SGP believes that it is in the best interests of the child to share this expertise by forming mutually supportive and trusting relationships.
PARENTS AS PARTNERS
SGP understands that home and school are the two most important worlds in a young child’s life and that the quality of the relationship between these two worlds has a powerful influence on the child’s healthy development and wellbeing. SGP will promote this relationship in the following ways:
Parents are valued! The teachers of SGP care about creating an environment that is inclusive to families and make it a priority to get to know the families of each child in their care.
Parents are experts! While SGP teachers are experts in the field of early childhood care and education, parents are viewed as experts on their own child. When you are in the process of enrolling your child, we will ask you to write a letter describing your child and any important information you would like the teacher to know about your child. This serves as the starting point for a parent-teacher relationship that values parent input and views open communication and understanding as essential to the quality and consistency of care for the child.
Parents are informed! SGP will offer both formal and informal opportunities for parent-teacher communication about each child’s learning, experiences and responses to the program. Formal opportunities will include regularly scheduled parent-teacher conferences, sharing of student portfolios, presentation of documentation boards displaying experiences, invites to a variety of classroom activities/celebrations, newsletters, and electronic communications (both group and individualized).
Parents are welcome! Opportunities for interested parents to become involved at SGP are numerous such as volunteering in the classroom, guest visits, field trips, reading with children, attending parent workshops/presentations, and planning and/or attending SGP community events. We are receptive to parent suggestions of ways that they might like to become involved with their child’s experiences at SGP either from home or in the school.
Parents and Families are unique! SGP teachers will work together with families over time to build mutually supportive relationships that are responsive and therefore individualized to best meet the needs, goals and preferences of each child and his or her family.
YOUNG CHILDREN AND NATURE
In a garden playschool, the value of children interacting with, exploring and experiencing nature with their five senses is an integral part of the program philosophy. SGP provides opportunities for children to freely explore nature and to engage in child-initiated and teacher-supported inquiry about the natural world. This emphasis on nature learning is guided by the shorter term goal of providing children with rich experiences in an area that naturally fascinates them while also achieving the longer term goal of reinforcing in children a life-long love for and appreciation of the natural world. SGP hopes that this appreciation will serve as a motivating force for taking action to protect and take care of our planet throughout the child’s life.
At SGP, children are recognized as competent learners and natural scientists intrinsically motivated to figure out their world together. Interested teachers support, guide and encourage the children as they delight in and communicate together about new discoveries and learning.
The following natural propensities of young children are recognized, celebrated, and extended at SGP:
sustainability/ environmental practices
We will strive to empower the children to drive change and improve their environmental awareness, becoming little ambassadors of our planet. Children will be encouraged to create ‘little nature reserves’ within the school grounds, encouraging Biodiversity. They will learn about energy generation and conservation, water conservation techniques, waste management - reduce, reduce, reduce then reuse and recycle, which will all be taught by example, as the facility has been built to enable this.
Transportation and it’s environmental impact is something the children will be exposed to as there will be a staff incentive program to encourage staff members to cycle/walk to work or drive electric cars.
Healthy living will be encouraged through involving the children in organic gardening and farming where they will have the chance to eat what they grow. The garden has a number of fruit trees including guinep, mango, avocado and children will be planting and tending to tomatoes, pumpkins, melons etc. The chickens will provide not only the opportunity for the children to take on responsibilities associated with caring for animals, but they will also provide us with eggs! Children will abe encouraged to be physically active throughout the day, setting the foundations for an active life.