As an inclusive kindergarten, we view our children as individuals, with rights and their own unique way of learning. Therefore, we foster each child’s learning and development in such a way that honors their own nature and learning dispositions. We achieve this through active listening and by supporting and extending their natural curiosity and innate sense of wonder.
We strive to provide a calm and nurturing environment that supports and guides our children in the development of trusting, respectful and reciprocal relationships. This builds their sense of belonging so they feel secure and establishes the foundations for them to confidently engage in quality play experiences and develop positive social relationships.
We believe that it is essential for children to have a healthy understanding of who they are and see themselves as valued members of society. We support children in developing a strong sense of mana. So they not only have the confidence to become advocators for themselves and others but also to be active thinkers and communicators, who are empathetic, resilient, independent and empowered to be lifelong learners.
Transitions are supported with the utmost respect for the child and their family. Before starting with us, families are encouraged to spend time with their child at kindergarten supporting them in becoming familiar with our environment and daily routines.
During these visits, children are joined by their primary caregiver who supports them in building a sense of trust and belonging. Consciously growing loving and respectful relationships is critical to building a child’s sense of belonging and supporting them in feeling valued and secure within our environment.
We continue to guide our children through their transition to school by preparing them for the social, emotional and physical changes of their day and environment and ensuring that this is a positive experience.
PLAY BASED LEARNING
At WISS Elementary School, we provide a learning programme that is developmentally responsive, challenging and stimulates your child’s natural curiosities about the world around them.
Activities and experiences celebrate the arts, nature, science, music, mathematics, literacy, social relationships, and much more. We believe the essence of a child’s development and love for learning is fostered through play and we provide a balance of spontaneous and directed activities that celebrate their interests.
Short daily meeting times and group music sessions further support your child’s learning and development and preparation for school.
Our physical environment is created with the utmost care and thought for your child’s learning. Children have the freedom to move freely between learning spaces, enabling them to make choices to support their own individual interests and learning.
Learning spaces are flexible and stimulating with experiences, opportunities and open-ended resources that encourage imagination, creative and critical thinking.
Children can explore in a safe environment, allowing them to develop into confident, social and competent young people ready for life’s challenges.
Children at WISS Elementary School are empowered to have an active role in taking care of our kindergarten environment. They are also encouraged to problem solve, observe and explore on their journey to becoming confident lifelong learners.
Our learning programme at WISS Elementary School is based on the Ontario Curriculum, which empowers children to ‘grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in the sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they a valued contribution to society’.
The Ontario Curriculum is a living document and we use this in partnership with current research to extend our children’s skills and knowledge, whilst affirming and celebrating individual achievements, cultural values and group interests. Teachers meet collaboratively on a weekly basis, reflecting on positive learning outcomes for children and actively plan for these.
PREPARATION FOR SCHOOL
Children need to be ready emotionally, socially and intellectually for their school journey. At kindergarten, children of all ages are constantly engaging in experiences and opportunities that allow them to develop emotional resilience, social skills and a variety of literacy, numeracy, scientific and artistic practices in a holistic way.
To further support children’s preparation for school WISS Elementary School has developed 'WISS Owls', this is a fun, interactive play-based programme that provides group and one-on-one supported learning, focusing on curriculum areas that directly support school readiness. Children spend time in a classroom environment and share information about school routines and expectations on a regular basis. This fosters independence and confidence in their school transition.