Cire Early Learning (CEL) was fortunate to be represented at a Reggio Emilia conference, where it also had the opportunity to share some of its insights in the educational approach with the more than 800 delegates.
Five educators and Cire CEO Gus Seremetis attended the three-day Melbourne conference thanks to funding through a Perpetual IMPACT grant of more than $65,000 from the Frank Leyden Tot-Ed Trust and Norman H Johns Trust. The 12-month grant funded a CEL professional learning program to develop expertise in Reggio Emilia, imbed the approach throughout its services, and create a community of practice.
The grant enabled CEL to engage a part-time consultant specialising in Reggio Emilia to help create a Community of Practice that ensures learnings and knowledge are maintained and passed on to new staff.
The Reggio approach recognises early childhood services as places of learning and research and is fluid and evolving, allowing for scaffolding of learning that follows children’s interests and learning styles.
Aligning with the Reggio Emilia philosophy, Cire strongly advocates that children should be the centre of their learning and have the right to:
- realise their potential
- be listened to
- be recognised as a citizen from birth.
CEL Executive Manager Diletta Lanciana said the funding has enabled CEL to explore, learn and further develop its knowledge about the Reggio Emilia Philosophy.
“We are committed to the principles of the Reggio Emilia approach and are continuing to embed these into our services to support better outcomes for children,” she said.
To ensure that the learnings are carried forward throughout CEL, Diletta said the Community of Practice is creating a Cire Reggio Emilia Practice Guide that will form part of the educator induction process so that the project content and knowledge is sustainable despite educator movement. Cire Training will also be able to use the guide with its Early Education and Care students.
“Attendance at the conference has consolidated the learnings of the project and has created momentum and inspiration among the leadership team and community of practice. We are so grateful to Perpetual for this funding and the opportunity to truly demonstrate Reggio Emilia in ours services,” Diletta said.
It was particularly timely having the conference in Melbourne without needing to travel interstate for such a high-level and inspiring professional learning and sharing event. The theme was ‘Landscapes of Curiosity and Creativity: in Dialogue with 100 Languages’, and keynote speakers included pedagogista Tiziana Filippini and Filippo Chieli from Reggio Emilia, Italy
The Cire delegates were Gus Seremetis, Rachel Goulter – Acting Director Yarra Junction Early Learning,, Debbie Ford – Director Mt Evelyn Early Learning, Annalise Smith – 2nd in charge at Mt Evelyn, and Amanda Brown – Coordinator Yarra Junction Outside School Hours Care. Unfortunately Diletta Lanciana, Executive Manager Cire Early Learning was unable to attend as she was recovering from surgery.
Amanda said the conference consolidated their learnings, creating further momentum and inspiration among the CEL leadership team and Community of Practice.
“Becoming Reggio Emilia inspired in our practices will ensure the children and families have access to a high quality, child and family-centred service. Children will be viewed and treated as capable and competent people. We will build on their strengths and interests and encourage their curiosity and creativity to allow them to continue to grow as people who can think outside the box and problem solve with skill. The children will be people who have a say in how their day runs, they will have social and collaborative skills to extend their knowledge and understanding”, Amanda said.
Following a group discussion session, Amanda accepted an invitation to share what had been discussed with all delegates. She said it was critical to recognise that children were capable and competent and teach them rather than present barriers.
Gus Seremetis added that “the conference was truly inspirational, opening our minds to different ways to do things, and the many opportunities and possibilities.”
Click here to learn more about Cire Early Learning.
Group from left, Annalise Smith, Rachel Goulter, Gus Seremetis, keynote speakers Filippo Chieli and Tiziana Filippini, Amanda Brown and Debbie Ford.