“Knowing where you are, where you find yourself, helps you to develop a sense of your own identity and your place in the world… Everyplace has its own spirit, its own past and its own aspirations.” – Jerome Bruner
Aurora is always updating and in continuous tireless research, intertwining with its Vietnamese cultural background. Our philosophy is inspired by Reggio Emilia, a small town in the north of Italy, an area where social responsibility has always been considered a big value and where everyone is expected to have a part in the life of the community.
1. The image of the child
Every child is seen as resilient, confident and competent. We believe that children can express their own ideas, make independent choices and are able to play and work well with others. In this concept resides our focus on the children’s autonomy and on the importance we give to the children’s opinions and choices.
The role of the morning assembly is to listen to the children’s ideas and take seriously their decision. The role of the adult is to support them in the initial planning and to provide open-ended materials, tools and resources which will encourage the children to develop a divergent way of thinking, improve self-awareness, be able to make associations, express their opinions and cooperate within the group.
Teachers and children will start their investigations from open-ended questions, co-building knowledge together. We consider all the children as equally important, we want to embrace every child in their special uniqueness, respecting the child’s right to be welcomed as a whole person. At Aurora, we don’t offer scores, labels and grades that we believe would summarize their personalities in a quantitative description. We provide an open and always on-going relationship and communication between families and teachers and team.
2. Family’s participation
Every time a child will step into a school for the first time, a journey will begin, not only for the child, but for the parents and for the teachers as well, and a new education system will begin, created in a dynamic interrelation between all these worlds. This co-participation in your child’s development will involve a process of personal and mutual growth of every member of this new system involved (parent, child, and teacher) in a dynamic dialogue. Keeping always in mind that the growth and well-being and evolution of your child is a common aim of each of us, we’ll support a constructive relationship with a view to co-responsibility.
The dialogue with the families is really important in our center. We will provide different ways to deliver the information concerning your child’s life at school:
Every class has an information desk where the teachers share feedback on the day of the children and the activities they have been doing during the day
A weekly summing up (weekly freshness) will be sent to your email
Special communications will be sent by email, by paper copy (we will leave a copy in the backpack of your child), and eventually verbally to every family
The availability of our teachers and the Principal in arranging an individual meeting with families
Parent meetings (one per term)
Individual sessions meetings (one week per term)
3. 100 languages
With the slogan “Learning through Play” we mean to learn through experiences and experimentation of reality. Play is a fundamental value of our educational experience, for us it’s a language that supports discoveries and a better understanding of the world. Often this concept has misinterpretations and is sometimes translated into the idea that in our school children are filling their time free playing, without rules. Free-play finds room early in the morning and late in the afternoon as well at Aurora but it is far from filling the whole school time, where projects fill instead of the bigger part of the day.
Teachers and children work together on projects based on the interests of the class group and after an evaluation of the more appropriate topic for the age’s group. The idea to give the possibility to children to express themselves using 100 languages refers to the importance of interdisciplinary knowledge, in accordance with the multiple intelligence theory, and the opportunity to every child to express their potential using more than a mediator. Working on a long-term project allows children and teachers to explore and investigate a topic together, and in doing so, develop a creative intelligence, a divergent thinking and improve the problem solving of the children.
We consider it essential to teach to our children to go deeper, considering and exploring different potential answers to the same question. In Aurora, we will start to investigate a topic starting from the question and focusing on the thought processes rather than beginning from a result, or a performance to achieve. Children and teacher will leave for a journey of discoveries building the path as they go.
4. Environment as a third educator
“Environment should be considered as the third educator. We have to create a “complicity” with the environment in order to be able to scaffold, together, children’s learning processes” (C. Fabbi, 2004)
Based on the idea that the children have the right to a challenging environment, at Aurora every corner is thought with the intent to offer various learning possibilities to the children. We strongly believe that the environment has a fundamental role in developing autonomy and support the well-being.
Our classrooms are designed to support a sense of familiarity, reinforce a sense of safety and foster exploration and discovery. Every classroom is conceptualized in a way that would allow children to shift from one space to another to work on a different project with different groups.
The choices made at Aurora concerning the environment have been inspired by Reggio Emilia in their structured, translated and intertwined with elements recalling the Vietnamese culture. In Aurora, the visitor will find a cozy environment with the main presence of wood and natural materials. In Aurora, we want to take care of all the 5 senses, so where the aesthetic taste gives pleasure to the eyes we believe that the touch of natural material, isn’t only a healthier choice but also a pleasure to touch.