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Why Reggio Emilia?

Thursday, 11 August, 2016

Last year, we re-opened House 1 for our Primary School and introduced a new approach for our Early Education students. We met with Primary School Principal, Angela Hollington for a short Q&A on "Why Reggio Emilia at BBIS?"

Why now for Reggio Emilia?

Reggio Emilia (RE) has been at the forefront of analysing children’s thinking and facilitating its development. As education has moved away from the didactic approach of conveying information to the development of conceptual thinking, the RE approach is a way to develop this.

As a school, across all programs we are working with ‘Making Thinking Visible’ (out of Harvard University) and it has a great  impact not only on the development of thinking and learning in the Early Education department but throughout a student's’ educational career.  It is making educators think about not only what they teach but how they teach and what the student’s role is in their learning and we felt RE was a great compliment to this line of thinking.

What is unique about BBIS that allows Reggio Emilia to be incorporated and flourish?

As an institution we approach innovation from the perspective of what serves the students best. Since we were renovating House 1 anyway, we had the opportunity to change this approach simultaneously.  We have moved away from more traditional methods and are now talking about how our students think and learn, rather than just what content they are taught. This approaching is being integrated across the rest of the school.

After one year, what has surprised you most about the inclusion of Reggio Emilia?

The impact on our students. It is obvious they are more mature - both in terms of how capable they have become linguistically but also their desire for inquiry.

Also the impact that it has had on our teaching team has been tremendous. Planning happens as a group and there is a real sense of a collective understanding of the students.

I am also amazed about the depth of learning that has taken place and how perceptive the students are about their own learning, when empowered to do so.

What about entering the second year with this approach and new environment are you most looking forward to?

To continue consolidating good practice and also welcoming an additional new teacher who already knows and understands the Reggio Emilia approach to learning.