Our Education Philosophy
We understand that young children are concrete thinkers who need to see, touch, smell, taste, hear and move in order to understand their world. They are active learners who must engage with their environment and materials in order to understand them and be able to express themselves. Most of all we understand that for children, play is a serious business so our curriculum is designed to be fun and led as much as possible by the children’s interests. We believe in a balance of child-led and teacher-led activities to allow children the opportunity to direct their own learning and encourage their natural curiosity.
Learning English is a natural byproduct of our education system. As children are completely immersed in an English speaking environment it is inevitable that by the time they leave us they will understand and speak a high level of English. For us it is far more important that children graduating from Zigzag are happy, curious, creative, independent and confident individuals with a sense of responsibility and love of learning.
The children in our care have the chance each day to choose from fun and interesting activities in our learning centres which include mathematical, discovery, art, construction, role play and puppets. As children choose activities which interest them they learn to make decisions, take turns and work together with their friends.
We treat all our children as individuals with their own learning styles, interests and needs. We therefore don’t adhere to just one educational philosophy but rather take inspiration from many different approaches such as;
This approach places importance on the many languages children use to express themselves (eg., painting, music, sculpting, drama) in everyday life. The programme is based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through investigation and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the individual interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum.
This approach emphasizes children’s active learning. Children’s interests and choices are at the heart of the programme. A daily plan-do-review process is at the core of the HighScope routine. This sequence gives children the opportunity to make plans based on their own interests, follow through on their intentions, and reflect on their experiences with peers and adults.
Waldorf pedagogy emphasizes the role of imagination in learning, striving to integrate holistically the intellectual, practical, and artistic development of pupils. The theory considers that during the first years of life children learn best by being immersed in an environment they can learn from through unselfconscious imitation of practical activities.
Montessori education is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development. The method calls for free movement within a prepared environment with an emphasis on investigating materials rather than direct instruction.
Implementing the curriculum
Our curriculum is based on the Early Learning Goals set out in the UK curriculum for the Foundation Stage combined with the Turkish curriculum for ages 0-6. Each month our child friendly themes capture the imaginations of our children and foster a love of learning and investigating. We implement our curriculum through the Learning Centres system whereby the classroom is divided into particular areas of interest. Each day our teachers plan exciting activities for each area and children choose between them according to their interests. The advantages of the Learning Centres system are numerous.
- Children are actively involved in their own learning rather than passively listening to a teacher
- Teachers have the ability to work with students one-on-one or in small groups to target specific skills
- It promotes independence as children choose between activities and decide how to work and when to finish
- It encourages cooperation and improves social skills as children learn to take turns, share equipment and work together
- It promotes responsibility as children are encouraged to keep the Learning Centres organised and clean
Our Educational Aims
Love of learning
First and foremost we want our children to be happy to come to school and to enjoy learning. Zigzag Kids Club is a happy school where teachers and children have fun together while they explore, create and investigate . Children who have fun while they learn are more motivated and more likely to have a joy of learning throughout their lives.
We aim for all our children to develop a sound knowledge of the English language. Through immersion in the language and interactions with native speaker teachers we strive for each child to become confident speaking English with others.
Social and Emotional Development
We aim for all our children to be polite, helpful and respectful of others. As they learn to work cooperatively with others they learn self-control and discipline. As world citizens we strive for our children to be tolerant of other cultures and respectful of differences.
We aim for all our children to learn how to perceive things, ask questions and explore possibilities. Through a variety of methods we aim for all our children to gain an understanding of the world around them and the concepts they will need to know as a foundation for future academic learning.
We aim for all our children to be active, healthy, independent and to take responsibility for themselves. As much as possible Zigzag children are encouraged to be aware of and take care of their own physical needs, solve their own problems and make their own decisions.
We aim for all our children to take joy in their own creativity. We encourage them to use their imaginations and express themselves freely. We try not to impose our own ideas of how things should be but rather let children make their own decisions.