Prep at Narnia a place of learning through inquiry and discovery

The fear, despair and drudgery that is so evident in the world was not God’s intention. God gave mankind the garden (all of life) and said “go and play” but we turned and listened to another voice.

Because of what God has done for us in Christ our lives can be surprised by joy and lived out with robust playfulness.

Play is not just frivolousness or the opposite to serious enterprise. It’s an attitude that relishes God’s gifts of provision and life. It’s not limited to the aesthetic, creative, imaginative dimensions of life, or only given to a few. Playful joy, as an attitude to life, is an invitation given to all to vigorously engage with God’s world. It stimulates imagination; nurtures curiosity; fosters discovery, exploration and experimentation; encourages creative flair and assist in the integration of work and rest. (Transformation by Design, p.80; National Institute for Christian Education)

      A child’s approach to learning.

We know that play is a child’s natural dominant learning approach and contributes to their knowledge and skill development across all domains; cognitive, social/emotional, creative and physical. It also provides a solid foundation for future learning. Educators and young children co- construct learning through play activities, creating a bridge between play and more complex learning (Fleer, 2011)

It is vitally important to us at Narnia that our spaces are filled with enticing and inviting learning centres and activities which build curiosity and a desire to learn and to engage in meaningful play-based inquiry, experimentation and discovery.

This type of inspirational play requires a teacher who knows how to present curriculum and child development in a way that is so captivating for children that it builds curiosity and stimulates imagination which fuels inquiry and exploration.

The process of exploration is enhanced and scaffolded by the Teacher introducing probing questions. The questions should direct the child to higher levels of thinking and richer learning and discovery.

This style of learning, where children are active participants through inquiry and problem solving, encapsulates the focus of the daily program. It will also lead to and have a positive impact on developing and improving Literacy and Numeracy learning by engaging children’s interest, building intrigue and improving focus through captivating activities.

Teachers and Educators must be collaborators who share their knowledge and expertise to create a learning environment with programs that seamlessly weave together all aspects of children’s’ learning.

This learning environment allows for the expression of personality and uniqueness. It enhances dispositions such as curiosity and creativity and enables children to make connections between prior experiences and new learning. The engagement in the environment and the learning process, helps to meet the needs of active or restless children. It also assists children to develop relationships and concepts and stimulates a sense of wellbeing because we are building community. All feel valued.

Play provides opportunities for children to learn as they discover, create, improvise and imagine. When children play with other children, they create social groups, test out ideas, challenge each other’s thinking and build new understandings. Play provides a supportive environment where children can ask questions, solve problems and engage in critical thinking. Play can expand children’s thinking and enhance their desire to know and to learn (Early Years Learning Framework p.15).

 

Our Narnia Prep program immerses children in a day of stimulation and engaged excitement. We want the children to arrive with eagerness and anticipation of what is ahead for each day. Through this joy filled learning experience children will –

  • learn to deal with problems and make reasoned decisions in unfamiliar situations
  • adapt to and participate in change
  • reason critically and creatively
  • appreciate other people and respect their opinions
  • inquire deeply on a specific topic
  • own their learning
  • learn how to question and provide insightful answers
  • learn to work productively with others
  • begin the journey of developing independent learning strategies.

 

As the year progresses, our Prep children become more motivated and excited to learn, they become more engaged and fascinated by the world around them. This is their preparation for life-long learning.

 

Spiritual Development of Children

You are Jewish; your husband, a lapsed Catholic. Neither of you believes, much, in God, although occasionally you like to meditate and you both would go hiking more if you could. You’ve had those moments — who hasn’t? — on mountaintops or in art museums or even in prayer when you’ve felt that overwhelming sense of bigness and smallness all at once, the awesomeness of existence, the miracle and fragility of being human. But it’s easy to switch the channel. Life — work, TV, an alluring new bar — intervenes and all that reverence dissipates.

And then you have kids. And that existential shoulder shrug becomes a way of life because … What are you going to do? Entrust an unknown priest or rabbi to teach your children things you’re not sure you believe yourself? Besides, there’s soccer and birthday parties and brunch. But this spiritual apathy nags at you. This isn’t how you (or your parents and grandparents) were raised. And a tiny voice inside you insists on wondering whether you shouldn’t be teaching your kids something about the importance of holiness.

Taken from: Why Kids Need Spirituality

By Lisa Miller

So, what do we believe at Narnia Early Learning Centres?

As a Christian Childcare Centre, we believe that human beings have an intricate design making us highly complex beings and only a living God could have created us as we are. One way to view our make-up is that we have a material part, our body, and an immaterial part, our soul and spirit.

It is by our body we function. Our soul gives us our personality and through our soul we live out relationships with God, others and our self. It gives us our mind, will and emotions.

It is in our spirit that we have meaning and purpose in life. Our spirit allows us to love others, love God and love ourselves.

Finding meaning and one’s sense of place in the world is essentially a spiritual journey and requires children to develop self-respect and respect for others who may hold a different view to them.

In nurturing a child’s spirituality, we help them to build relationships with others through an understanding of how loved and accepted they are by God; their creator and Heavenly Father.

Healthy relationships with others support the development of a healthy relationship with and understanding of God and a deep understanding of the transcendent.

At Narnia, we agree with Lisa Miller who commands that parents ‘heed that little voice’ telling them to nurture their child’s spiritual development. Young children are incredibly vulnerable with an insatiable desire for knowledge and amazing curiosity from birth. We cherish each child as a special miracle and aim to create an environment which enables them to experience the joy and wonder of our world. We aim to provide a warm and loving atmosphere that supports the awakening and nurturing of spirituality in the child bringing them to an awareness of God, Biblical values and their place in the world.

We believe there is no other single factor to prepare and protect your child as they move through life than the awareness that they are loved unconditionally by the Creator God and that He has a plan and purpose for their life.

Lea Rule

2020.