Tuesday, 19 October 2010


In April this year a group of Foundation Stage teachers from eight primary schools and three early years consultants took part in a Reggio Emilia Study Week in Italy funded by the British Council...

The Hundred Languages of Children
No way.
The hundred is there.
The child is made of one hundred.
The child has a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.
a hundred, always a hundred
ways of listening
of marveling, of loving
a hundred joys
for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds to discover
a hundred worlds to invent
a hundred worlds to dream.
The child has a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
but they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
separate the head from the body.
They tell the child to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not to speak
to understand without joy
to love and to marvel
only at Easter and Christmas.
They tell the child
to discover the world already there
and of the hundred
they steal ninety-nine.
They tell the child
that work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
are things
that do not belong together.
And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The child says
“No way – The hundred is there.”
Loris Malaguzzi
(translated by Lella Gandini) 

Late this afternoon I attended the 'Celebration of Inspirational Developments in Early Years Practice in Leeds' where colleagues who went on the study week shared the impact it has had on their practice. It was fantastic to see the work going on in these eight schools as a result of this visit. It was also wonderful to hear from Becky Ingram and her colleagues in the Foundation Stage at Oakwood Primary School. The Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education is a city-run and sponsored system designed for all children from birth through to six years of age. The approach can be viewed as a resource and inspiration to help educators, parents, and children as they work together to further develop their own educational programs. The approach is based upon the following principles:
  • A curriculum that builds on the interests of children.
  • Projects are in-depth studies of concepts, ideas, and interests which arise within the group.
  • The Reggio Emilia approach uses the arts as tools for cognitive, linguistic, and social development.
  • The teacher's role is first and foremost to be that of a learner alongside the children.
  • Documentation and display of children's work in progress is an important tool in the learning process for children, teachers, and parents.
  • Within the Reggio Emilia schools the learning environment is considered the "third teacher."
I had promised my colleague Anne Matthias that we would continue to improve and develop our practice using the Reggio Emilia approach to provide us with inspiration, principles and practice which our early years practitioners can draw on to learn and build brilliant provision.Chris

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