A good first experience of group activity in the early years provides a base for the whole of the child’s school years. The Playhouse believes in a child-centered, play-based ‘gentle approach’ to out-of-home care, in which the child’s first experience of being outside the family and home can be positive, enriching, fun and rewarding for the child and his/her family. We believe that acceptance, love, approval, and security are vital to the emotional and social development of young children. We are looking to develop the ‘whole child’, using a holistic approach to education and valuing the rich diversity of culture and experience each child brings to the classroom.
In this age range, play is the child's right and is an essential part of the learning process. Play is the child’s work, and at The Playhouse this is taken very seriously. Our play-based educational philosophy is child-centered rather than subject-centered, and we firmly uphold the belief that children learn best through play. The children are given unlimited opportunities for free play with large and small toys, for climbing, jumping, rolling, balancing and swinging, building with blocks and lego, playing in the sand-pit and symbolic play (dressing up, home corner, kitchen corner, dolls etc.), but will also be invited to join in teacher-led activities such as singing, drawing, cooking, painting, chalking, cutting and sticking, making collages, modelling with clay and plasticine, doing puzzles etc. They will learn about the natural world through observing the weather, planting and caring for flowers out on the patio.
At this age the child is becoming aware that s/he is part of the larger fabric of society as a group, a school and the local neighborhood. Discovering the world is tremendously exciting for young children, and at The Playhouse they participate in excursions to the local park, library, market and stores; they also enjoy specially organized one-off visits to local places of interest.
We offer month-long project work activities to the children, Our annual projects are: sensory month, oceans and sea creatures, recycling and junk modelling, spring garden planting (including vegetables), horses (to coincide with the Festa de Sant Medir horse festival in Gràcia in March), Easter, cars and construction vehicles, dinosaurs, Christmas, my body, water play and water science, food, and many others related to books and stories, as well as anything the children may show us they are interested in. We try to make these projects come alive for the children through combining songs, arts and crafts, stories, trips out etc. based around the theme of the month.
All members of staff have been selected for their personal qualities of patience, kindness, and their genuine love for children.
We ask our staff to offer us a long-term commitment because high staff turnover is destabilizing for children of this age, due to the strong bond of trust and affection that grows between child and teacher.