Art as a means

In the Reggio pedagogy, we proclaim that a child possesses “a hundred languages”.

By saying this, we try to convey the fact that children do not only express themselves through language, whether spoken or written, but that they have a richer way of communicating their ideas, their feelings, their thoughts, their values.

We understand art as a powerful means of communication and a tool that facilitates divergent and holistic thinking.

Many of our teachers have an arts or creative background that informs their practice, we follow the Reggio Emilia schools experience to offer equipment and resources to the children that will help them to express themselves beyond words and structured thinking processes.

Our full-time resident artist, Alice Copley supports creative thinking in the rooms.

Art is not a discipline in our Learning Community, it is a way of being.

We see Documentation as a democratic tool to inform the public of the content of our Learning Community.

Through documentation children are able to establish connections between their existing experiences and new knowledge.

The Role of the Atelierista

The atelierista is usually a professional with an arts background who works alongside the educators.
Our atelieristas work alongside the early years’ educators and provide a stimulating environment for children and educators supporting children’s creativity and learning. 

They work on long-term projects and provide a wide range of materials (recycled, reclaimed, art materials) to give children the opportunity to express themselves through as many ‘languages’ as possible.

One of the main responsibilities of the Atelierista is the documentation of the different projects and children’s response to them to help develop a better
understanding of the way they communicate. Photographic, video and textual documentation of projects can help both teachers and parents understand the way a child thinks and develops.

By recording the different stages and progress of activities they can not only open a dialogue between parents and educators but also facilitate group learning for all participants.