reggio emilia, what is it?

Reggio Emilia is a town in northern Italy, in the Emilia-Romagna region from where the
pedagogy takes its name. The small northern town of Italy during World War Two was heavily
bombed and like many was left in devastation. Left to gather up the pieces of their town the people
vowed to create a new society free from oppression, injustice, and inequality. This community of
people were passionate to create a new educational system utilising the little that they had, with the
aim of turning their future generations into capable, resourceful, and resilient individuals.

The visionary teacher and humanitarian, Loris Malaguzzi, a teacher and educationalist, was born in 1920 and died in the city on 30th January 1994. His approach, referred to as ‘Reggio Emilia’, is his philosophy of early childhood education.

The Reggio Emilia approach to learning allows children to immerse themselves in a world of ‘real
things’ there are no bright plastic toys at Inspirations, instead we allow our children to explore an
environment rich in upcycled and recycled materials such as spools, wheels, creates, tubing and
anything else we can creatively utilise. By doing so our environment mirrors that of the Reggio
Emilia towns available resources and gives our children the equipment, that allows them to explore
freely without preconceived end results. A plastic car can only be a car, a create however can be a
car a train a magic box or even a stage. This approach to open-ended resources gives the children
the opportunity to better use their imaginations and problem-solving skills. They become better
communicators and become strong team members who are easily able to adapt to different social
situations.

We carefully foster a culture of inquiry through art. We believe the language of art becomes the language of learning; a tool to inspire our children.

after years of experience within education our philosophy and beliefs have naturally aligned with this approach.

children learn best when learning is self-directed, when they have supportive, collaborative adults and a stimulating environment with natural rich resources and access to wide open spaces.

ambiguous resources and loose parts are at the heart

Loose parts can be anything from pine cones, corks, springs, buttons and pegs to upcycled and recycled resources such as wheels, cable reels, pallets and tubes. Other resources such as cinnamon sticks, herbs and spices add a sensory element to our environment.  The use of lighting, projected moving images, mirrors and reflection gives the children a different view and perspective.

what is an atelierista?

An atelierista is a teacher with an arts background who works closely with the children in the atelier (art space) focusing on producing art through different mediums. In this way, the expressive and poetic languages become part of the process by which knowledge is built. One of the unique attributes of an atelierista is that they learn alongside the children in their care and alongside reflecting with the children on their learning outcomes our atelieristas also take time regularly to reflect on what they have learned about themselves and their teaching. 

Our atelieristas provide a wide range of educational opportunities which encourage expression, logical thinking, problem-solving and communication. Often the projects and learning journeys we embark upon are directed by the interests of the children themselves and this emergent curriculum is at the heart of the Reggio Emilia approach.

Loris Malaguzzi. Since the late '60s in the municipal preschools of Reggio Emilia, each school has a space called the atelier and the figure of the atelierista, a “teacher” with an arts background. In this way, the expressive and poetic languages became part of the process by which knowledge is built.

We value each child as an individual and understand that each child has the potential to learn from their surroundings in their own unique ways.

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we love forest school and being outdoors in general!

Forest School is an integral part of Inspirations philosophy, it aligns well with the Reggio Emilia approach to learning and the children absolutely love it! The sense of space children get when being in the woods allows them to feel free to explore and learn. The natural environment also gives children time and space without the usual external pressures often found in a more enclosed space. The abundant natural materials give opportunity for adventure, challenge and also allows children to extend their physical abilities taking calculated, measured risks.