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Pedagogy

Introduction

The King Arthur's Castle crèche is situated in a former mansion house, surrounded

by a large garden, which was renovated to meet the most recent Ministry of the
Family (www.itm.lu ITM-SST 1514.1) regulations. The house is made up of a main area, an annex and a small
tower. The tower makes it look like a small castle or fortress.
As the crèche founder is called Arthur, the crèche's name was easily found.
The interpretation of the Legend of King Arthur by Walt Disney (The Sword in the
Stone, 1963) confirmed the choice of name and inspired us to develop the
pedagogical project around this fantastic story and fascinating characters.
Arthur was an orphan employed at the castle of Sir Hector, his tutor. One day, when
he was following Kay, Hector's son, to a hunt, he made him lose an arrow.
Adventuring into the forest to retrieve it for him, he came across Merlin the
magician's cottage. Discovering that Arthur had no education, the old man decided to
take him under his wing to tutor him.
Merlin used his magic to transform Arthur into different animals (fish, squirrel, bird)
with the aim of making him discover the dangers of life and learn lessons from his
experiences. Arthur learnt that "intelligence gives real power".
But the young Arthur was satisfied with being a simple squire. It was in this role that he left to accompany Kay to go to the tournament in England where the new king
would be designated. Arthur was distracted, and he left Kay's sword in an inn. He
found another in an abandoned stone, and he managed, with some difficulty, to pull
it out.
Everybody discovered that this sword was the one which would make whoever
possessed it the new sovereign of the kingdom. Until then, nobody had managed to
pull the sword out of the stone. And this is how Arthur became the new King of
England.
King Arthur's Castle is a childcare facility which intends to make children and their
parents feel secure, as each child is unique and has the right to personalised care
and attention.
It's a family-oriented childcare facility where children should find the warm and
friendly atmosphere of a small family, with time for cuddles and learning; a place to
be close to children, their needs and their realities.
The children are looked after by professional, qualified, motivated and creative
childcare providers.
Each child evolves in their particular age group, with contact points during their entire
time at King Arthur's Castle.
For this time to meet the children's needs, we are offering different stages which
make up this project, while keeping in mind that a pedagogical project may evolve.
We reserve the right to adapt the project at any time, and for any reason.


Our educational intentions

Our pedagogic work with children is based on the scientific an pedagogical theories of Maria Montessori an Emmi Pikler.

Maria Montessori

Maintaining in PhD. In medical science, Maria Montessori, as first Italian Doctor, showed a high interest in embryology and evolutionary theory.
She worked as an assistant in a psychiatric institution in Rome and specialized in paediatrics. The pedagogy is adapted to each stage of development. The children's innate passion for learning is encouraged by giving them opportunities to engage in spontaneous, purposeful activities. A trained adult guides the children. Through their activities, the children develop concentration and joyful self-discipline. Within a framework of order, the children progress at their own pace and rhythm, according to their individual capabilities.

Emmi Pikler

Emmi Pikler was a Hungarian paediatrician, head of numerous infant institutions an did intensive research on early childhood. Emmi Pikler presents 4 main principles, which are of high importance during the first three years of life, so that the child experiences a healthy development:
• stable relationship towards an attachment figure
• secure and reliable environment - spatial and temporal
• respect and support the child's own initiative and autonomy
• promoting of ideal physical well-being and of the child's health care


In order to achieve this, 4 aspects are particularly important:
• the physical care is a way of communication with the child, which should always participate voluntarily
• motion development, which is activated by the child itself, in its own rhythm, without intervention of adults
• free and untroubled play in a secure and adapted environment
• structured daily routine, repetitive rituals form security and orientation


An adapted environment and a good relationship with the adult allow the child to develop his cognitive and motor capacities.


Adult should leave the child as much time as it needs, which differs from child to child. Every child is able to develop form himself its motor skills and its self-confidence, while experimenting during a free and undisturbed play.


King Arthur's Castle is a childcare facility which intends to make children and their parents feel secure, as each child is unique and has the right to personalised care and attention.
It's a family-oriented childcare facility where children should find the warm and friendly atmosphere of a small family, with time for cuddles and learning; a place to be close to children, their needs and their realities.


The children are looked after by professional, qualified, motivated and creative childcare providers.
Each child evolves in their particular age group, with contact points during their entire time at King Arthur's Castle.


The child's evolution constitutes the first priority: discovering, playing, trying out, meeting, moving, learning, growing...


For this time to meet the children's needs, we are offering different stages which make up this project, while keeping in mind that a pedagogical project may evolve.


We reserve the right to adapt the project at any time, and for any reason.

Our educational intentions

Adapting

The detachment from parents will be approached cautiously. The integration process into the group will be realized step by step with the parent's assistance.
In the team, every child has a personal attachment figure. The educator constitutes assistance for the children during its build-up of independence, which the child needs to gain its place in the general group and to become open-minded towards other children and adults.
Adapting is a very important stage, and it is essential for the child to get to know the crèche, other children, and the team. This phase is just as important for parents, as it allows parents to understand how the crèche functions on a day-to-day basis.
Every child has his proper needs and rhythm, and familiarises differently with the crèche. Thus, every familiarization process requires an individual planning. This planning takes place in a private conversation with the parents.

Respect for the child and their family and collaboration with the parents

From the very start, we try to instil a relationship of trust with families.


The parents are involved in the pedagogical and educational work and are regularly informed on the activities. We encourage a close relationship with the parents, as they are "experts" of their children.


A constant exchange between nursery and parents is therefore of high significance. Opportunities for this exchange are for example drop-off and evening pick-up times. Additionally, the exchange is reinforced through the use of an individual book containing the children's records.

Diversity

Different cultures and languages encounter in our crèche. This fact will be included into the pedagogic education, because we consider it as an advantage. We offer every child the same chance to education and evolution, no matter what it origins, gender or social status is.

Trust

Children feel secure with a stable environment to count on. It is important for them to learn that there are consequences to their actions.
This is the reason why various small areas have been adapted in the structure (doll area, reading area, meal area, rest area,...), whilst at the same time, more personal points of reference (bed, cuddly toy,...) remain.

Respect for others and for rules

Just like adults, children must respect others, and their choices, requests, wishes and difficulties.
For example: their time to talk, their choice of a game or book.
Adults must teach children to respect others, to respect safety rules during outings (walks) or during manual activities.
For example: by not jostling, not crossing the road by themselves, by holding hands,...

Health care

Children discover their bodies through touch and words. Our aim is for children to feel a sense of well-being during these times of personal care.
Potty training often happens through imitating older children. At the beginning of the training, points of reference are established (washing hands before eating, brushing teeth after a meal, going on the potty,...)
Children are regularly asked if they need to go on the potty. This should be followed by the child's own requests.

Rest

Rest is a very important time for children, as the quality and length of this rest can have a positive impact on the children's development during the whole day, as well as on their growth. The child carers prepare the children to become calm, and during the siesta, they stay in the room until the children are asleep. A babyphone provides continous monitoring of children. Generally, siestas take place after meals.
The child's cuddly toy and/or dummy are systematically offered, at each siesta, to respect their going-to-sleep routine.

Meals

This is an important time for friendship and relaxation where the younger and older ones meet each other around the table. It is also a time for learning, which encourages:

  • exchanges between children and adults
  • learning discipline
  • rules before, during and after the meal: hand-washing, waiting your turn, remaining seated
  • hygiene and autonomy: children are motivated to help the adult to set the table, they can serve themselves
  • the discovery of flavors, tastes and colors: the children are always motivated to try the various dishes

The crèche provides children with balanced, healthy and varied meals, prepared daily by the chef and well adapted to each age group. The menus are created in collaboration with a dietician, and shown one week in advance, so that parents can be aware of the daily menus on offer.

A professional and qualified team

In order to realize our pedagogical concept, our team members participate in a variety of advanced trainings, in order to evaluate their competences on a regular basis.
Monthly team meetings promote the following aspects:

  • exchange between professionals
  • implementation of the educational project
  • planning of daily progress
  • planning of activities
  • individual report on each child's development
  • preparation of meetings with parents

 

Activities and timetable:

07h00 - 08h00: Opening of the crèche, greeting of children and parents, free play


The goodbye of the parents is an important moment for children and parents. Different rituals are helpful, like for example when parents take off the children's shoes and jacket. They can accompany the children into the group room and do the farewell in a more familiar space. Furthermore, this offers a possibility for an exchange between childcare worker and parents.


08h00 - 08h30: Welcome song - Circle time
09h00 - 09h00: Breakfast
09h15 - 09h45: Morning rituals in the bathroom (wash our hands, go to toilet...)
09h45 - 11h45: Indoor or outdoor activities, free play


Insofar as the weather enables it, we do outside activities with the children (in the morning and in the afternoon)


The planned activities, which run in a structured manner, stimulate child's development concerning: language, motor activity, social behaviour and autonomy. Here some examples:

• Cognitive activities (tell fairytales and stories)
• Creative activities (drawing, handicraft works)
• Musical activities (singing, experimenting with instruments)
• Physical activities (exercise, circuits, animation story telling)


The timetable for infants under the age of 2 is adapted to their age and rhythm.


11h30 - 12h00: Lunch preparations (washing hands, toilets, laying the table)
12h00 - 12h30: Lunch
12h30 - 13h00: We go to the bathroom (wash our hands an teeth, go to toilet,...)
13h00 - 15h15: Sieste
The children, who do not sleep, enjoy calm and easy activities (puzzles, books, paint, massage...)


15h00 - 15h30: We go to the bathroom
15h30 - 16h15: Indoor or outdoor activities, free play
16h15 - 16h30: Preparation for the snack
16h30 - 17h00: Snack
17h00 - 17h15: We go to the bathroom (washing hands, toilet,...)
17h15 - 19h00: guided free play, pick up of the children

King Arthur's Castle closes his gates
The plan of activities is being published monthly on the webpage and in the crèche.

 

Psychomotor development - our central area of education

A child's motor development is a fundamental instrument for them to be able to conquer their world.
"A child learns by playing - the motor of playing is joy"
A very small child acts and becomes aware of this progressively. We offer various activities for this:
• circuits
• body awareness
• massages
• running games
• puzzles
• do handicrafts with glue
• fine motor
• cut outs
• hand games
• water games
• and a lot more


"Help me to do it myself" - this statement is the main thought of the Montessori method.


We encourage situations which allow children to act without any adult assistance, where they can make their own decisions.
It is important to repeat their choice, confirm it and explain to them that it is not possible to then change it. Children must feel free to choose according to their wishes, affinities and tastes, friend, game or activity. The carer's attitude is very important, as much to listen to their wishes as to direct the children towards an appropriate game or activity.


Depending on the child, autonomy may be acquired more or less quickly.
Certain children develop their autonomy more quickly than others.
The children's individual rhythms should be respected and encouraged when they make an effort or take an initiative.

 

Our pedagogical areas of education

Creativity

Children express themselves through creative activities (paint, glue, tinker). The goal is not the product itself, but the playful acquaintance with the materials.
Role-plays
In role-plays children see the world through their eyes. They put themselves in another person's position. This enables them to develop their empathy.

Role-plays

In role-plays children see the world through their eyes. They put themselves in another person's position. This enables them to develop their empathy.

Language

One of the main points to consider, which ensures children's social integration from the youngest age, is the aspect of language. The childcare provider is committed to encouraging children to express themselves and to develop their language skills. The educative team will seek to communicate with them by creating complicity through gestures, as well as underlining the importance of tone of voice and words.
The team members speak Luxembourgish, French, German, some of them also English or/and Portuguese.
They will endeavour to speak in the Luxembourgish language with children to give them some preparation for school and social integration.
Nevertheless, the mother tongue is of high importance for the children. Second language learning is difficult without the mother tongue. We integrate the mother tongue as far as possible in our daily routine.

Construct, technique, experiments, quest (research)

Building blocks, materials for experiments and quests are free accessible for the children of every age level. Those games promote the children's creativity, fine motor skills, patience and spatial thinking.

Nature

Nature is a big area of research for children. It offers a multifaceted learning environment. The discovery of the nature offers children the opportunity to marvel. Observing nature an do it yourself creations of natural materials is a primary way for the children to follow up with the subject of nature.

"child and nature - engaged in saving th planet"

Movement

The child should be able to play an move freely. For this, a great importance is given to areas an equipment. We offer numerous outdoor and indoor motion activities to the children. They are healthy and support the children's positive feeling for their bodies and self-esteem.

 

Management of the crèche

The direction of the day care center commits itself to respect the following bullet points:
• realization of the pedagogical concept
• compliance of the house rules
• parental collaboration
• guarantee children's and team member's security
• respect of hygienic regulations

Safety is the most important aspect. Order to ensure the safety of all children an professional, the management ensures that the following points are strictly adhered:

  • continous training for the team
  • all professionel followed the first aid course
  • exercises in collaboration with firefighters
  • monthly update of safety folder
  • monthly monitoring of various installations:
    • heater
    • elevator
    • smoke detectors
    • gas sensors
  • monthly inspection of the eintire building with written report

Conclusion

King Arthur's Castle is a place where children LIVE, LEARN and SHARE.

Our role is to offer our hand to help them become themselves, and to accept themselves for who they are, during their development, and to become a well-balanced, well-developed person in their futur lives.