LOVE TO BE ME CONCEPT
A curriculum is generally regarded to be all the planned experiences provided by a school, teacher, or educational institution to enable learners to attain designated learning outcomes to the best of their abilities.
The curriculum context is based on a number of founding principles. Constructivism in education holds that children learn best through actively engaging with learning materials: that is, through activity. The idea is, simply and powerfully, that children gain knowledge and meaning through their own experiences. The focus is on the process involved in learning, rather than solely on learning outcomes.
The Montessori approach emphasises learning through all five senses and that children learn at their own pace. Classes are divided into three-year age gaps and peer learning is very evident in the philosophy. Also, the learning environment is as important as the learning itself. The Reggio Emilia approach emphasises the 100 languages of children and how children learn and express themselves in different ways. It is fundamentally important that education incorporate these various possibilities and opportunities for children to develop their true and full potential.
It is widely recognised that the most significant stage of a child’s education is the early years. This is the time to lay a firm groundwork of interpersonal skills, basic reading and numeracy and, critically, a love of learning. This learning does not occur solely in a classroom: it is absorbed every waking minute. Stimulation and encouragement are crucial for the young child to fully develop.
The last 50 years of scientific research into the emotional brain and the human mind in general, have established that the quality of childcare has lifelong consequences for mental health. Results now show that the child’s brain is not as resilient as it was assumed it to be.
“It is both awesome and sobering to discover that some common parenting techniques can have a direct effect on the wiring and long-term chemical balance in children’s brains. It is chilling to know that some accepted ways of being with children can leave them vulnerable to suffering from anxiety, depression or rage in later life. It is not a matter of genes as to whether a child develops the higher human capacities of problem-solving, self-awareness, the ability to act well under stress or develop empathy, kindness or concern. But there are styles of parenting that can dramatically influence these crucial developments.” (Sunderland, M., The Science of Parenting)
Few children in townships have the opportunity to attend properly structured pre-schools. Many are left in the care of unskilled childminders, family members or even older siblings. Parents themselves are eager to help their children but they are frequently uneducated, often very young and with poor support networks. Frequently they are themselves the victims of poor parenting. Schools in these township areas struggle. Teachers become unavoidably concerned with a lot more than classroom education. As well as teaching, they have to deal with the social, welfare, health and emotional problems that exist in pupils’ lives. It is impossible for them to be both educators and primary caregivers. For children to succeed in the educational process (and beyond), parents themselves urgently require training and support in their role as primary caregivers and complementary educators.
Parenting courses aim to bring home and school learning closer together. Courses are aimed at parents and caregivers of young children with an emphasis on supporting informal learning at home, to develop, in particular, emotional intelligence and self-discipline, as well as early language and literacy. Although the intention is to improve the children’s lives, these courses also have a significant impact on the self-esteem of the parents, as well as on their communication skills and vocational development. Parents become more involved in their children’s education, with some being inspired to volunteer their services at the pre-school, for example, assisting with aftercare or helping teachers in some way. Aligned with our vision to build and empower communities, these parenting courses create a positive, nurturing space to share ideas and grapple openly with daily challenges.
Such is the aim of the Trust: to build hope and self-esteem, to foster home and school liaisons and to instill a desire for life-long learning.