The Early Years Management team consisting of Ms Bernadette Stivala - Head of Early Years, Ms Francesca Diacono - Head of Inclusive Practices, Early Years and Junior Sector, together with Ms. Natasha Barthet - Educational Psychologist recently attended a full week`s course in Emilia Romagna designed for Early Years Educators. The course aimed at improving knowledge and understanding of creative approaches in early years’ education. The course methodology encouraged active participation, sharing of good practice and reflection of teaching methodologies applied in the classroom to improve the provision and the quality of childhood education in the different participants’ respective settings.
The main approach used was based on sharing and collaboration, one in which teachers and educators had the opportunity to discuss, challenge and evaluate practice in the schools visited - Scuola dell’Infanzia Modena Est and Nido e Scuola d'Infanzia "Sandra Forghieri" Modena, in order to then be able to make informed decisions about their respctive practice.
During the week in Italy, Ms Ben, Ms Francesca and Ms Natasha also attended workshops dealing with various pedagogical models which highlight the long-term approach to project work at the Reggio Children Centre in the town of Reggio Emilia.
San Anton School is considered to be a local leader in early childhood education and a pioneer in adopting innovative practices.
Improving the quality of and access to Early Childhood Education has become increasingly important at a European Level. This stage of education has been identified as a critical period of development in determining success and fulfilment in later life. It therefore follows that improving the quality of teaching and learning in Early Years and pre-school education by developing the knowledge and the skills of those involved in providing such education, is paramount to achieving excellence in education and increasing the participation rates of children.