The educational project for the academic year 2017/2018 focuses on the theme: “re-discovering nature through the four seasons”. At the nursery, children will learn how to use their senses to communicate with nature, starting from the observation of natural and atmospheric phenomena related to the seasons.
The goal is to allow the child to gradually acquire awareness of the outside world and the cognitive experience will expand to the production of material related to the season and the discovery of colours, animals, body, etc.
The heart of the project is the well-being of the children and their gradual achievement of autonomy; the teachers at Benedetto XV International School will shape a world based on the art of making and the use of the senses to learn about nature and its essential components.
The learning curriculum of the bilingual nursery is divided into four periods: autumn (September-October-November), winter (December-January-February), spring (March-April), summer (May-June).
During this season, children observe the falling leaves from the window and begin to elaborate the sounds, colours and scents of the season preceding winter. The educational path involves the creation of a big tree using collected materials (leaves, twigs) and a poster with tempera that recall the typical colours of the autumn season (red, yellow, orange).
Once a week, the children are given the opportunity to taste seasonal fruit such as (grapes, pomegranates, chestnuts, pumpkins, persimmons, apples, pears) and will also be drawn using wax crayons.
Frost, bare branches and the grey colours indicate the coming of the winter season. The experience with the coldest season of the year starts with the discovery of hot and cold through tactile sensations (fabrics, furs, wool, cold water) and the creation of a poster in which white and grey colours will prevail.
Even at this stage, the taste of some seasonal fruit and flavors (lemon, orange, tangerine, cabbage, artichokes, beans, lentils, infusions) is offered. Being the educational project, for the academic year 2017/2018, focused on the theme: “re-discovering nature with the four seasons”. At the nursery, children will learn how to use their senses to communicate with nature through the observation of natural and atmospheric phenomena related to the seasons. As the Christmas season approaches, children are stimulated in the creation of small objects and decorations for the house.
The awakening of nature is welcomed with great enthusiasm: lawns and trees bloom, the colours light up and the warmth of the spring begins to enter from the open windows. The large playground (200 m²) and the educational vegetable garden become the theater of exploration for children, they get to witness first-hand the rebirth of plants and flowers.
The re-elaboration of the experience involves the making of a large lawn using a collage of spring materials and a poster using spring colors (light green, yellow, pink). The seasonal fruits that are proposed for tasting and get drawn by the children are: strawberries, cherries and peas. On the occasion of spring celebrations (Easter, father’s day, mother’s day), children can freely express their creativity in making objects, decorations or collages.
With the rising of the outside temperature, teachers draw children’s attention towards the hot weather and propose water games. In this season, a big blue sea is made through a collage activity using different shades of blue.
Teachers propose a practical workshop where children can express their creativity, and also more mnemonic activities (learning poems or songs). The workshop is the place where learning takes place: through the stimulation of the five senses children elaborate the sensorial stimuli and unknowingly build up their own personality.
In addition to more structured activities, there are also moments dedicated to free play and leisure. Even the non-doing is a fundamental activity because it helps children to internalize the didactic contents learned. Play is the most natural way to build one’s own patterns of knowledge and behavior and allows teachers to understand progress in language, movement or thought organization.
Monday is dedicated to heuristic game, the main tool to educate children in this age group as it stimulates the use of the five senses and increases awareness of the surrounding environment. Manipulative games allow children to acquire a greater hand-eye coordination. The malleable materials used (salt paste, paper, cardboard) allow them to freely express their imagination. Sensory games also belong to this category, where children develop the ability to distinguish shapes and materials.
Another sort of activity is decanting, which reinforces the understanding of the relationship between the container and its contents, allowing children to approach fundamental dynamics such as the relationship between cause and effect.
Tuesday is dedicated to the stimulation of the auditory perception: children will be stimulated in the production of sounds using sealed plastic bottles containing different materials (rice, coloured water, pebbles) and musical instruments.
Body movements are such an essential element in the development of self-image that Wednesday is entirely devoted to motor activities. For the occasion, the sleeping room is set up from time to time with mattresses, a bridge (made up using three mattresses) and a cube, children are encouraged to follow an established path or to move in complete freedom.
Thursday is dedicated to art activities which give children an immediate awareness of their work: felt-tip pens, pencils and paint allow the child to experiment with shapes and colours. The last day of the week is dedicated to reading, one of the most important activities for language and cognitive development.
Every Friday, the teacher will read a different story and will extrapolate a significant episode that children will have to represent on paper.