The early years programme at NIC

The Hundred Languages

No way. The hundred is there.

The child is made of one hundred.

The child has

a hundred languages

a hundred hands

a hundred thoughts

a hundred ways of thinking

of playing, of speaking.

A hundred always a hundred

ways of listening

of marveling, of loving

a hundred joys

for singing and understanding

a hundred worlds

to discover

a hundred worlds

to invent

a hundred worlds

to dream.

The child has

a hundred languages

(and a hundred hundred hundred more)

but they steal ninety-nine.

The school and the culture

separate the head from the body.

They tell the child:

to think without hands

to do without head

to listen and not to speak

to understand without joy

to love and to marvel

only at Easter and at Christmas.

They tell the child:

to discover the world already there

and of the hundred

they steal ninety-nine.

They tell the child:

that work and play

reality and fantasy

science and imagination

sky and earth

reason and dream

are things

that do not belong together.

And thus they tell the child

that the hundred is not there.

The child says:

No way. The hundred is there.

-Loris Malaguzzi (translated by Lella Gandini)

Founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach


Play based learning 

Play is essential for young children’s cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and brain development. Play provides valuable opportunities for both academic and social learning, and encourages children to develop communication, self-management, research, thinking, and social skills. 

Play challenges children’s thinking, encouraging them to solve problems, manage conflict, and demonstrate creativity. 

Play allows children to construct meaning in social contexts as they develop a theory of mind, that is, an understanding that everyone is an individual thinking being, and that one’s own ideas, feelings, and worldview are not necessarily the same as other people’s. 

(Astington and Edward, 2010)


There are different types of play that children learn through: 

Object play: children explore objects, learn about their properties, and manipulate and use them for new functions 

Pretend play (either alone or with others): make-believe, fantasy, symbolic, and dramatic play, where children experiment with different social roles 

Physical or rough-and-tumble play: includes free play, as well as organized physical play and games 

Guided play: children actively engage in pleasurable and seemingly spontaneous activities under the subtle direction of adults 

(Hirsh¬Pasek and Golinkoff, 2008, p. 1)


The Early Years Classes provides a welcoming and safe learning environment, both indoors and outdoors, where children learn through play. NIC's dedicated and experienced teachers set up provocations, play scenarios and activities that engage the students and challenge their thinking skills. 


Explanation of terms 

NB: all definitions from Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, 2007, unless otherwise specified. 

Early childhood education: professional practice which includes the assessment and promotion of the well¬being and holistic development of children through the planning and delivery of inclusive play based learning and care programs within the context of diverse family, school and community groups

Experiences: what children actually do with the provisions professionals make for them. Traditionally called activities, but experiences are broader. They are occasions for learning.

Play: a naturally occurring, freely chosen and non¬literal activity in which children are intrinsically motivated, characterized by imagination, exploration, delight, and a sense of wonder, that reflects the unique experience of children, and through which children express their ideas and feelings, and come to understand themselves, others and their world 

Play based learning : (play based pedagogy) ¬an educational approach which builds upon children’s natural inclination to make sense of the world through play, where early childhood practitioners (teachers) participate in play, guiding children’s planning, decision-making and communications, and extending children’s explorations with narrative, novelty and challenges 

Provocations: provocations are well thought out events, activities, experiences, acts or questions that activate learning and stimulate a sense of wonder. Provocations are linked to the lines of inquiry designed in the planning phases of the learning process. In thinking about meaningful provocations, teachers must consider children’s interest in and natural connection with the intended transdisciplinary theme. If listened to, children can often also contribute to expanding on the provocations around a specific line of inquiry. 

(International Baccalaureate Organisation, 2014)

Skills -  specific processes, abilities, and competencies that exist within each domain of development, and form the foundation pathways for learning and health that emerge early and are elaborated over time





Physical environment (indoors and outdoors):

Under construction 

Family involvement: 

At NIC we place importance on families being involved in the class and wider school community. We take time to listen to the children’s experiences at home and support in making connections to the explorations at school. 

The following are ways we involve the parents in the early year's classroom

1- Mystery reader

2- Learning outcomes / performances

3- Portfolio presentations

4- Early years sports day