Environment, The Third Teacher

Imagine… Creative Early Years
Our focus is on opening children’s minds, their eyes, their understanding of the world we live in. We encourage children to think big, to imagine the world in many, many ways
– fierce tigers that live behind doors, super-heroes that save the world, Victoria the biting dinosaur and the giant egg that is about to hatch at any time. We want children to make puppets, we want them to tell their stories. We want them to take home forty five puppets (some that the individual has made and some that the other children have made) so they may tell their own stories and make up their own shows. We want them to think about the fierce pumpkin, to wonder what would happen if he turned up at their door, we want them to think about the magic pack that they can strap onto their back to fly across the sea…..
To have a curious and investigative mind is to be creative, to wonder why things are as they are in the word is to be creative, to ask about green grass, and blue sky is creative. When a baby looks curiously into a metal sphere, sees his reflection and then repeats the same with a fir cone, this is the true nature of curiosity and creative thinking. When you ask a baby to feed the ducks and he does this using pebbles, when you ask a baby to put the ducks to sleep and he lies it down on its side, when you ask him to feed the cat in the book and he offers it a leaf, a small jewel or a crayon, this is the stuff of creative minds.
This is the true nature of young children’s learning. Their ideas and interests are the way in which they learn about the world. Great Chefs, architects, hairdressers, doctors, writers, people who do amazing things do so through their passion, hard work and creativity.
This is why at Imagine… we do not purchase useless toys, pop-up plastic or anything else that is just for filling children’s time. What we invest in is our children’s passions and interests, we source beautiful things – the best in furniture and play and learning resources. Beautiful things that support the all-round development of each and every child, furniture and equipment that encourages, supports and enables the development of adult-child relationships, child-child relationships. Beautiful things that often cannot be bought but must be found, recycled or of the natural world.
Imagine… is not just anyplace, it is not a fashion statement and it is definitely not some sort of ‘wacky’ place. Imagine… it is a place of education, a place of care, a place where young children will learn and develop in a beautiful environment that we call the Third Teacher – Inspired by the world famous schools of Reggio Emilia in Italy.
Parents are their children’s first educators, teachers/practitioners are the second and the environment is the third teacher. With this in mind we aim to provide high quality learning environments indoors and outdoors for our children so that their enquiring minds can be nurtured and supported at all times.

Baljit Gill

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