We implement a theme-based curriculum incorporating developmentally appropriate activities, stories, finger plays and toys. Our curriculum is designed and supervised by a certificated teacher with an education degree and 20 years of experience in Early Childhood Learning. Activities, toys and themes are changed every two weeks to keep things interesting for children AND adults.
“The Children are the Curriculum” – Lisa Murphy
We have a truly integrated preschool program. Children who are 3 and 4, whether typically developing or with specific learning needs, are together in each classroom. We have found this promotes family-like relationships and children can teach and learn from one another. Multi-age groups offer children opportunities to develop and practice social skills. Younger children learn from observing and interacting with the older children and the older children learn leadership skills and empathy.
Research shows that multi-age groupings benefit both younger and older students in the classroom. According to Dr. Lilian Katz, an international leader in early childhood education:
“Mixed-age grouping resembles family and neighborhood groupings, which throughout history have informally provided much of children’s socialization and education.”
– From The Case for Mixed-Age Groupings in Early Education, 1990
We welcome and integrate children with special learning needs in all classes. We are continually amazed at the empathy that children have for one another. Our staff is open-minded, loving, and welcoming to ALL children!
We follow a philosophy of child-centered art rather than adult-directed crafts. We focus on the process rather than the finished product. Children are hard-wired to CREATE, so we allow and support that process! We endeavor to expose children to various artists throughout the year and provide opportunities for the children to explore various art techniques.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world.”
– Albert Einstein
We have multiple and unique field trips throughout the year, we believe new experiences expand children’s learning. Safety and appropriate behaviour in the community is the focus of field trips – AND fun, of course!
We have a certified “Music for Young Children” teacher who comes to each class, weekly throughout the year. http://www.myc.com/ The children LOVE THIS!!! Aside from formal music sessions, we incorporate music, rhythm and singing throughout the day. EVERY child LOVES music and benefits from musical exposure throughout the day! We expose children to a variety to musical genres throughout the year and offer opportunities to enjoy music through exploration.
Adults in the Classroom
We have a high adult to child ratio. We have two classroom teachers and divide the children into two separate groups that vary daily. Generally, we have 1 adult for every 4 children per room.
We offer developmental screenings of children’s skills in September through Airdrie Foundation 4 Early Intervention . Should any child qualify for services, there are programming options for families at NO extra cost. Foundation 4 has a consistent team of Speech-Language Pathologists (in the school daily), Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, and Behaviour Consultant who are in the school regularly.
We have an OPEN door policy at Inspiration Station. However, volunteering is NOT mandatory!
Our centers are varied and diverse (discovery/science center, art center, technology center, listening center, kitchen center, puppet center, dramatic play center) and we rotate them every two weeks.
Preschool children require exposure to various PRE-LITERACY activities, including; rhyming, alliteration, syllable awareness, sound/letter correspondence, and book knowledge (front, back, right, left, attention to details). We expose the children to sounds and letters through the Jolly Phonics program and other programs. Our teachers have had extra training in “Mother Goose” songs, stories and finger plays.
Science & Technology
Our teachers have completed a conference with the “ooey gooey lady” and share fun and interesting science experiments with the children. We make a conscious effort to plan and execute regular HIGH INTEREST science explorations!
We strive to expand our use of technology to augment learning in class. Along with in-class learning, we will share interesting links to websites that expand learning and facilitate family sharing in learning.