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Fun & Creativity

Nova Scotia Curriculum Framework

Giant Steps Children’s Centre participates in the Nova Scotia Curriculum Framework.  The implementation of an early learning curriculum framework that guides educators’ practices also contributes to creating and maintaining quality programming and excellent learning and developmental outcomes for children .Capable, Confident, and Curious: Nova Scotia’s Early Learning Curriculum Framework is based on the concept of the Image of the Child which says that everyone’s personal Image of the Child is influenced by their own experiences, biases, and knowledge. This framework’s Image of the Child sees children as curious, creative, full of potential, capable, and confident. It values and honours children for who they are today, and for who they will become. It also values how all children’s families, cultures, and communities influence on and contributions to children’s learning and development. These beliefs informed each of the following sections of the document:

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Nova Scotia Curriculum Framework

• Principles: Define how educators’ approach early learning,

with an emphasis on play-based learning; relationships;

inclusion, diversity, and equity; learning environments;

and reflective practice

• Practice: Support the principles through holistic approaches, responsiveness to children; intentional teaching; valuing cultural and social contexts of children; continuity in experiences and successful transitions; and authentic assessment.

• Learning Goals: Set broad categories of focus for children’s development—Well-being, Discovery and Invention, Language and Communication, and Personal and Social Responsibility

• Learning Objectives: Further define the learning goals and provide direction on which areas of the goal’s educators should give the most attention to

• Learning Strategies: Outline examples of how children’s behaviours may demonstrate each of the objectives, and how to support children in achieving those objectives; educators are strongly encouraged to develop strategies that reflect high-quality practices within the context of their communities, informed by the cultures of the families, and the individual characteristics of the children in the program.

The framework has been developed for directors, pedagogical leaders, and educators involved with early childhood education programs in the province. It focuses on programs for children from infancy to eight years old and its implementation depends on a solid understanding of child development and strong pedagogical leadership.

A Vision for Children’s Learning

Image of the Child

 An individual’s Image of the Child—and definition of childhood itself—is influenced by that person’s experiences, culture, values, and beliefs. This image is often influenced by their own experiences as a child. Family circumstances provide children with a variety of life experiences; a child growing up in a large extended family with many siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles who are all involved in their life has a different perspective on what family and childhood means than a child who is an only child, even though both children are equally as loved and cherished. Children come from many different family backgrounds. People all draw on a vast range of experiences to inform their own Image of the Child. Everyone’s Image of the Child shapes their decisions and beliefs about how children learn. The image influences the types of early learning environments that are provided for children, the role of the educators in preparing early learning environments, and relationships with children and families. If an educator believes that children are capable human beings, that their ideas and interests matter, and that their natural curiosity and love of learning inspires them to explore their environments—then the early childhood environment will be designed and structured to allow children to explore, use their senses, and confidently express their own ideas and opinions

More can be found on the Dept of Education and Early Year’s website:

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Emergent Curriculum

Emergent curriculum is a philosophy of teaching and way of planning curriculum that focuses on being responsive to children's interests to create meaningful learning experiences. It can be practiced at any grade level.  Rooted in the work of noted early childhood theorists like Dewey, Piaget, and Vygotsky, emergent curriculum is defined as a process where teachers plan activities and projects based on the specific group of children they are working with, taking into account their skills, needs, and interests. Giant Steps Children’s Centre has been practicing Emergent Curriculum for almost 15 years.  We believe in Children and their capabilities.  Our Emergent Curriculum approach includes a cycle of observation, documentation, and review.  Our educator’s observer the children in their all the childcare settings, looking to see what interests the children.  They provide activities that support these interests and provide activities that may spark interest with the children.  Then they document with both photographs, art samples, and anecdotal notations.  Educators and children also need the review what they have accomplished.  They do this by reviewing the work that is displayed in the classroom.  Reviewing photos and videos of themselves doing activities that they have enjoyed in the past.  This review help children and educators decide where they want to go next in their journey of learning.  

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