At Little Saints we honour the belief of Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the philosophy of education of the renowned pre-schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, that all children are intelligent. Not only is this seen as a truth but it is also an aspiration and a commitment. Implicit in this socio-constructivist Reggio approach which we are implementing at Little Saints is the defence and promotion of the rights and potential of all children. In it the teachings of Froebel, Montessori, Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky, Bruner and Gardner combine with Malaguzzi’s ground-breaking theories about educating the young child.
The image of the child as strong and competent is at the heart of this philosophy which emphasises how integral relationships are in the learning process, how the teacher’s role should be that of a listener and researcher, how teachers co-create learning with the child, how children express their thoughts through visual media, how the process of documenting learning can inform and influence future planning and practice, how the environment plays a significant role in provoking learning and discovery and how a curriculum driven by the child ensures greater involvement and sustains interest and concentration for longer periods.
In Reggio Emilia, teachers are held in high regard and enter into an intellectual dialogue with children. They provoke occasions of discovery through inspired listening and join the children in their excitement and curiosity in creating, exploring and learning. A pedagogista oversees the implementation of the approach in each school and takes on the role as head or administrator and an atelierista guides the creative programme. Staff collaboration is highly valued and all staff members including the cook and cleaners attend weekly staff meetings.
In implementing this wonderful philosophy of education at Little Saints we strive to attain Malaguzzi’s ideal of "Nothing without Joy".