Nature-based: Natural environments are an optimal context for early childhood development. Research shows that they are more stimulating, less stressful, safer, and healthier. The outdoor environment is rich in sensory experiences, gross and fine-motor challenges, open-ended materials, and opportunities for imaginative play. Nature play improves children’s physical, mental, and emotional well being.
Play-based Emergent Curriculum: Research demonstrates that children achieve greater academic, social and emotional success by learning through play. The Emergent curriculum uses play and real-life experiences to drive learning and achieve curriculum goals. This model follows the children’s curiosity and expands on their evolving interests, making learning more meaningful.
Staff: Adult attention, time and energy are vital to promoting each child’s unique development. We have a minimum of one staff member for every six children. Parents, community organizations, students and volunteers are included in daily activities to provide children with even more of this key resource. We are a multi-disciplinary team of women and men, bringing a wide range of experience to the program
Community Engagement: The Ignatius community provides exceptional real-world learning opportunities for children. Early years experts agree that children learn best when the curriculum is rooted in authentic experiences that are purposeful, meaningful and relevant to the children’s lives. We create learning opportunities for children through relationships with the thriving garden community, organic farm, ecological enterprises and community organizations at Ignatius.
Music and Arts Integration: Studies have shown that integrating the arts into language, math and science instruction helps bring these subjects to life and facilitates learning. We have musicians and artists on staff who improvise and perform with the children and incorporate the arts into the daily rhythm of the preschool.
Seasonal Local Organic Food: We source ingredients that are local, seasonal and primarily organic, supplemented by produce from our kitchen garden. Good ingredients are tastier, more nutritious and better for the environment. Our commitment to supporting sustainable farming affirms our commitment to the children and future generations.
Kitchen Garden: We recognize the rich learning opportunities in the growing and preparation of food, and include children in these activities whenever possible. The children are included in the cultivation of our kitchen garden, which gives them an understanding of the path from seed to table, and the role of the environment in sustaining life.