The Rosalind Blauer Centre for Child Care Kinder Program is a wonderful alternative to Junior Kindergarten. The Program provides the children with all of the educational components of conventional school without the large class size.
The class consists of eight children and one Registered Early Childhood Educator. Throughout the year the children explore a variety of topics and concepts including phonics, math, science and art. Because of the small class size the educator is able to engage the children on a one on one basis as well as in small groups. In addition to the indoor class program the Kinders also spend two morning’s week in an “Outdoor Classroom” in the forest located on campus. This Forest School component runs from September to June each year.
Why Forest School?
When we think back to our childhood most of us remember with fondness the ability to play outside with our friends. Most of us have had experiences in a natural space whether it was a forest, the tree in our back yard or the park down the street. We would spend hours building forts, climbing, running, making up clubs and riding bikes. We spent time with other children, making decisions, sharing, taking turns and taking risks. For today’s children playing with a friend is most often a play date organized by their parents. Quite often it is not just about the time and date; the actual activity is also organized by the adults. Additionally most play dates even if they are a physical activity, take place indoors. This is why we have added the Forest School philosophy to the Kinder Program. Rosalind Blauer Centre for Child Care is an emergent program that uses observation, documentation and ongoing communication with children, parents and educators to determine the programs direction. We follow the children’s lead and build our program around the thing that they are curious about.
We have a high educator ratio of 2 to 8 children when we are in the forest. Although the educators are always present they do not interfere with the children’s play. They are there to guide when needed not to take over or direct the children. The children learn how to make choices and solve problems with limited adult intervention. The educators are close by and observing but only get involved as needed. This allows the children to have a voice in what they do and how they do it and to be able to make decision about taking appropriate risk. Forest School is exactly what the name states. It is a place of outdoor all season learning were children can develop at their own pace, and it’s SO MUCH FUN!