For typically developing children, learning is a natural process. Children are born with an innate drive to explore and make sense of their world. A baby put into an empty room will seek out a piece of lint, pick it up, look at it closely, and put it in his or her mouth. This is how children learn. They interact with people and their environment, taking in sensory information, making connections with previous knowledge, and furthering their understanding.
A rich environment maximizes children’s learning opportunities. Remember the baby in the empty room? Now let’s put a young child in a room with blue, yellow, and red paint at an easel, wooden blocks on the floor stacked waist high, a light table with translucent colored tiles resting on top, beautiful picture books set on a low shelf, an acoustic guitar leaning against a comfy couch, two eager guinea pigs waiting to be held and fed grass, a large tub full of warm bubbly water and funnels sitting on a table, and a wooden slide in the corner. This is the learning environment at Gold Mountain Community School.
We also believe that play is at the heart of children’s learning. It is through play that they explore and discover, leading to physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development.
Children thrive when they experience safety, belonging, compassion, and respect; therefore, we aim to make everyone’s school experience reflect these values.
At Gold Mountain Community School we are passionate about helping young children develop:
- a love of learning
- a positive sense of self
- creative thinking
- social skills
It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.
-Leo Buscaglia, quoted in “Supporting the scientific thinking and inquiry of toddlers and preschoolers through play,” Young Children journal, May 2012.