At Via Nova we provide a rich Spanish-English curriculum. The Spanish language is integrated in our program naturally, through singing, dancing, reading and games. The children will acquire Spanish much in the same way they learn English or their native language – by integrating it into their lives on a daily basis. Our bilingual program is designed to allow the children to acquire a deeper understanding of languages and language diversity, while grasping how symbolic languages can represent the same concept in different ways. For the children who do not speak Spanish at home, having fun while being exposed to the Spanish language will pave the way for greater receptivity to learning the language in a more structured setting later. For the children who speak Spanish at home, it will lead to greater Spanish fluency.
Our program is inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach and the Project Approach. The Reggio approach has a strong belief that children learn through interaction with others, including parents, staff, and peers in a friendly learning environment. The Project Approach, like the Reggio Approach, believes that children have a strong desire to explore and discover. Both approaches build on the children’s natural curiosity to enable them to interact, question, connect, problem-solve, communicate, reflect, and more, extending at times beyond the classroom to the children’s home. The child is seen as competent, resourceful, curious, imaginative, and possessing a desire to interact and communicate with others. This vision of the child as a competent learner produces a strong child-directed curriculum model, where the children are encouraged to explore, ask, answer, and solve questions, and where the teachers document their works, their remarks, and their discussions. The teachers follow the children’s interests and do not provide focused reading and writing for its own sake, but weave them through projects in each topic explored together with the children.
At Via Nova we create an active learning environment, with space and materials selected and arranged to promote learning. In each “area of interest” materials are organized so children can easily access them and put them away independently.
At Via Nova our daily routines give children a sense of control over the events of the day while also providing flexibility. Our program is lightly structured to provide blocks of time for child-directed play.
At Via Nova child/adult interactions matter! Our teachers emphasize using positive interaction strategies, sharing control with children, focusing on children’s strengths, and forming authentic relationships with children. We support children’s ideas and adopt a problem-solving approach to social conflicts.