The methodology used at Willow Children’s Nursery interweaves the curriculum based on the EYFS and the very creative approach of Reggio Emilia.

The children at willow are given opportunities to direct their learning, to make choices and to develop a sense of self-esteem and pride in their achievements.

Reggio educators do not see children as empty vessels that require filling with facts. Rather they see children as full of potential, competent and capable of building their own theories.
We believe that the Reggio Approach is successful because of its powerful image and deep respect for the culture of childhood, and for its strong belief that children, teachers, and parents all work together in the process of building knowledge.

We cannot replicate this system, as it is exclusive to the culture in which it exists. However, through our research into the Reggio Approach, we are able to enrich our daily experiences with the children in our nurseries.

Each day and every moment, we, the practitioners, follow the directions of the children and adapt ourselves, always observing, documenting, listening and interpreting their goals, theories and strategies so we can gain insight into their thinking, always ready to make changes and support the children in their discoveries.

At Willow, the educators are very concerned about what their nursery environments teach children. Hence, a great attention is given to the look and feel of the classroom. It is often referring to the environment as the "third teacher".

The aesthetic beauty within the schools is seen as an important part of respecting the child and their learning environment. Equipment in the Reggio inspired nursery will consist of simple, natural world items, things from the home, recyclable materials that a child can turn into a magnificent creation. Allowing each child to observe, listen and engage in a dialogue of discovery.

Documentation As Assessment

In Reggio, recording children’s work is extremely important and is used to ensure that planning is reflective and responsive to the needs of children. Documenting and displaying the children´s project work, is necessary for children to express, revisit, and construct and reconstruct their feelings, ideas and understanding.

Similar to the portfolio approach, documentation of children´s work in progress is viewed as an important tool in the learning process for children, teachers, and parents. Emphasis is placed on the process of learning not the end product.

Pictures of children engaged in experiences, their words as they discuss what they are doing, feeling and thinking, and the children´s interpretation of experience through the visual media are displayed as a graphic presentation of the dynamics of learning.

Teachers act as recorders (documenters) for the children, helping them trace and revisit their words and actions and thereby making the learning visible.

What makes the Reggio Emilia approach stand out?

In a nutshell, Reggio approach articulates children to acquire skills of critical thinking and collaboration, skills needed to take them to their next learning journey.

At Willow Children’s Nursery our children are given opportunities for discovery every day through well-planned activities that enable teachers and children to learn from each other. Our Practitioners observe and assess the needs of each child to construct a daily rhythm that flows from the moment the children enter the nursery.

Utilizing materials that can be recycled and re-used to create masterpieces brought to life by the children’s imagination. A leaf from the garden can be turned into a whole project involving numeracy, language and understanding. Empty cardboard boxes are transformed by the child into the ‘Burj kalifah, a magical sailing dhow, or just used for hiding in!
Heuristic, meaning (to discover) is a form of natural play that involves the use of household items, shiny things, soft or rough things that stimulate and entice your child’s imagination. No one commercial toy can offer so many possibilities of discovery for a young child’s developing mind!

Light, colour and shadow play an important part in our daily rhythms. Catching rainbows made by crystals, following reflections and jumping in and out of shadows insights a child to question and wonder. Our methods allow children to find out for themselves and to know with confidence that our practitioners will be there to guide them, not to direct them, along their learning journey.