The National Core Curriculum for Pre-primary Education is followed in Preschool. In addition to that, the educators draw inspiration from the Reggio Emilia approach to implement the core values of the curriculum. Pre-primary and primary education are intended to form the foundation of children’s development and learning as well as for their life long learning. The foundations of pre-primary education lie in the concept of the intricate value of childhood. Every child is viewed as unique and valuable and has the right to be listened to, to be seen, to be taken into account and understood as an individual as well as a member of the community. Children have the right to play and enjoy learning. They have the right to construct their world view on the basis of pre acquired knowledge and skills.
Pre-primary education in Finland, is governed by the principle of sustainable development and takes into account the different dimensions of sustainable development namely social, cultural, economic and ecological.
View of learning
The pre-school curriculum takes a view of learning wherein children’s extensive competencies are developed through knowledge, skills, values and attitudes. In pre-primary education children learn through play, movement, investigation, different activities, self expression and by using artistic methods. Positive emotional experiences, joy and creativity enhance the learning experience. All different competencies support children’s readiness towards life-long learning and create foundations for a sustainable life style.
Through the pre-school curriculum, the educators at Carousel Nursery School aim to develop the following competencies among the children :
- Enhancing children’s social and emotional development – Through various different interactions children learn social skills, self control and the ability to interact with others without hurting them.
- Thinking and learning – Through various learning sessions, activities and projects educators help children develop their learning. The development of children’s memory and imagination is supported through drama, music, songs and rhymes. Critical thinking and problem solving is encouraged through games, sessions and reflecting upon different experiences. Inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, we treat children as co-constructors of knowledge. Children are constantly invited by the educators to document, discuss and review learning activities.
- Cultural competency, interaction and expression – Our multicultural settings offer children with many opportunities to learn about different cultures. Special events and festivals of different cultures are celebrated throughout the year. Children and their families are invited to share their experiences on how they celebrate festivals in their respective countries. In addition to this, trips are regularly organised so that children can acquaint themselves with their immediate environment. All children are treated with respect and guided towards amicability and good manners.
- Self help skills and skills for daily routines – The aim of pre-primary education is to enhance children’s well-being and guide them towards a healthy sustainable life style. Through various physical education sessions and by offering children different opportunities to undertake climbing and ice-skating the educators help children enhance their well being and learning. The dance studio is also used for developing children’s sense of spatial awareness.
- Deciphering different messages – This competency is intricately linked to the ability to acquire, modify, produce, present and evaluate knowledge in different situations. Preschool children have regular jolly-phonics sessions to help promote expression through letters and words. Abacus sessions are used to promote the development of mathematical skills. Text recognition is encouraged through simple reading tasks. Art and craft activities are regularly done by the children to help with pictorial expression. The two main concerts, aim to enhance children’s self-expression through dance and drama.
- ICT competencies – Carousel Nursery School is committed to nurturing children’s ICT competencies in a meaningful way.
- Participation and involvement – Pre-primary education is planned, implemented and evaluated together with the children, educators and parents. At Carousel Nursery School a child’s key teacher invites the parents for at least two parent teacher discussions throughout the year. Carousel values ensure that children’s voices are always listened to and respected.