The Harmony Difference
Curating a landscape for teaching and learning
‘Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.’ – Margaret Mead
At Harmony Early Learning Journey we nourish and encourage your child to continue becoming the very person they are meant to be.
Rather than just teach, we collaborate with each child and family to provide an extraordinary environment of learning.
The Big Difference
Different than other centres, our holistic approach to early learning is based on extensive research and the work of renowned inspirational theorists. Our qualified educators draw on the knowledge and philosophies of these experts to create an environment that allows for exceptional learning and development.
Our contemporary learning journey helps your child be strong, confident, happy and healthy – in both mind and body. We provide a calm and peaceful place for your child to build confidence in themselves and their abilities.
We create learning opportunities through rich environments that foster development and prepare your child for their school years.
Your child is viewed as being confident and capable as we recognise and respond to their learning dispositions, building an individual programme to meet their specific learning styles and ensuring your child’s learning journey is unique.
We understand the importance of a natural environment, bringing heightened opportunities for active exploration and reducing the use of plastic within our service.
The wisdom and insights of key early child development theorists influence and enhance our teaching practices and the environments we create.
Magda Gerber drew insight from Emmi Pikler’s philosophy and introduced RIE to the United States in the late 70s. Her work is based on respect for and trust in children to be initiators, explorers and self-learners.
Children are viewed as active participants in their growth and development rather than passive recipients. RIE philosophy encourages the following practices:
- A physically safe, emotionally nurturing and cognitively challenging environment.
- What does this look like? Minimal clutter, open spaces for uninterrupted play and the freedom to explore and interact with their peers and surroundings. By providing open-ended resources and heuristic play opportunities which are sourced from the ‘real world’, e.g., baskets, shells, rocks, bowls, utensils etc. we encourage children to play creatively and in depth.
- Being consciously in the moment and remaining present in all care moments, ensuring to include children by way of communication and eye contact so they aware of what’s happening to them at all times and are active participants in activities.
- Respectful communication – both verbal and non-verbal. Educators model calm and peaceful behaviour. They clearly define limits and expectations to develop discipline.
- Providing explanations and seeking permission from children is important to ensure we are doing things ‘with’ children’ and not ‘to’ them, e.g. Blowing their nose, nappy changes etc.
Magda Gerber drew insight from Emmi Pikler’s philosophy, so it is no surprise that Emmi Pikler advocates for the same respectful practices, with the key influencing principles on Harmony programming being:
- Providing full attention so children feel a sense of connection and stillness. By being completely present we create a peaceful environment allowing children the time to explore themselves, their abilities and surroundings. Events can unfold in their natural time as opposed to being rushed and pushed. This is particularly important in today’s age, where many people are busy and stressed trying to achieve as much as possible in as little time as possible.
- Free Movement: Babies are never put in a position which they cannot get into themselves. We don’t want them to feel or become ‘trapped.’ Our centres are designed to allow children free movement and encourage infants to reach out and develop their core muscles enabling them to explore and move freely.
A Reggio Emilia educational approach values the child as strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge. The key principals of this approach that Harmony educators incorporate into their teaching philosophies are:
- Children are capable of constructing their own learning
- Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world through their interactions with others
- The environment is the third teacher
- Educators are a mentor and guide
- An emphasis on documenting children’s thoughts and learning journey
Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator who developed an educational approach with an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development. Educators incorporate Montessori practices such as child-led, hands on and play-based learning.
Uri Bronfenbrenner was a social/cultural theorist who developed his ecological systems theory to explain how individual factors of a child, such as their age, sex, health, and the child’s environment, such as parents, neighbourhood, peer, care facility, affects how a child grows and develops. At Harmony we place emphasis on respectful communication, practices and environments to ensure children feel loved, supported and safe.
Jean Piaget was a developmental theorist who believed that children were active learners and their thinking passes through four stages which shapes how they see and learn about their surroundings and the wider world. Educators draw on this influence and provide children with age appropriate, open-ended resources to encourage a strong sense of identity and a connection to their world.
Just as we have been inspired, we wish to inspire and guide your children to discover their innate potential so they can thrive throughout this beautiful journey of childhood.
Our Vision and Values
Our vision is to nurture the development that allows every child to grow into whoever they were born to be and discover their unlimited potential.
Read more about Our Vision and Values here.
Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)
Drawing from inspirational theorists, our educators use respectful practices in their daily routines. Programming incorporates the principals of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), ‘Being, Belonging, Becoming’. The EYLF was designed to enhance children’s learning from birth to 5 years of age and guide children towards achieving the following learning outcomes.
- Children have a strong sense of identity
- Children are connected with and contribute to their world
- Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
- Children are confident and involved learners
- Children are effective communicators
We believe that healthy foods and drinks impact the growth and wellbeing of your child. We are committed to providing wholesome, nutritious, balanced meals each and every day.
You can learn more about our nutrition philosophy and meals plans on our Nutrition Page.
The centre organises performances by entertainers to complement and extend children’s learning about the wider community. This is offered to all children enrolled at the centre.