Italian teaching brought to Bromley

16:37, Nov 13 2012
Rebecca Wilson
INNOVATIVE: Bromley teacher Rebecca Wilson says her research trip to Italy has paid off.

Children at Bromley School work independently and achieve higher because they have control over their learning, one teacher says.

The school has implemented the "Reggio Emilia Approach" - a teaching philosophy for primary and preschool education.

It was developed in Italy and is based on the principle that children have control over the direction of their learning and learn through touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing.

Bromley pupils
NEW ENTRANTS: Bromley five-year-olds Mahmoud Alshaqquri, left, and Sita Kararia.

Bromley School faces an uncertain future with an Education Ministry proposal to merge it with Linwood Avenue school under a shake-up of Canterbury's education system.

Bromley School teacher Rebecca Wilson brought the programme back to Bromley School after a visit to Italy in 2010.

"I went to Reggio Emilia in April 2010 and after returning have pulled apart our junior school programme here at Bromley School and made significant changes which have had amazing results for our children, teachers and community," she said.

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The programme was about "listening to the child and seeing the world through their eyes and experiences".

"It is based on using materials such as clay, wire and sketching as a way to gauge prior knowledge. It is a hands-on, fun, engaging way of teaching and learning and uses the physical environment as a way to motivate students."

Wilson said the programme had been a great success.

In fact, she said implementation of the approach had been the most successful thing they had done in the junior school and had provided "compelling evidence" that it was an effective teaching method.

"We have seen huge shifts in oral language, student achievement, attendance, parent involvement and roll growth since implementation."

The parents were very supportive of the learning approach, Wilson said.

"Who doesn't want their children learning and having fun while at school?"

The Press