Children will learn and develop in an environment that is highly enriched with positive guidance, experiences and interactions. Through play, children will have the opportunity to explore their surroundings and expand their imaginations and skills. Beacon Learning Academy provides classroom materials and activities that are age appropriate, as well as, challenging to engage children in active learning. Children require positive social interactions to develop holistically. Our highly trained staff will ensure that children are given varied opportunities to interact with their peers, teachers, and their environment. When children are allowed to explore, they begin to build a stronger sense of self-worth. Children will be provided a respectful, loving, and safe learning environment. Surrounded by respect, the teachers are responsible for a role as a guide to foster the children’s interests and model appropriate behaviors. Beacon follows a play-based approach to learning.
What is play-based learning?
Children are naturally motivated to play. As a play-based preschool, Beacon builds on this motivation, using play as a context for learning. In this context, children can explore, experiment, discover and solve problems in imaginative and playful ways.
A play-based approach involves both child-initiated and teacher-supported learning. The teacher encourages children’s learning and inquiry through interactions that aim to stretch their thinking to higher levels.
For example, while children are playing with blocks, a teacher can pose questions that encourage problem-solving, prediction, and hypothesizing. The teacher can also bring the child’s awareness towards mathematics, science, and literacy concepts, allowing them to engage with such concepts through hands-on learning.
Involvement in play stimulates a child’s drive for exploration and discovery. This motivates the child to gain mastery over their environment, promoting focus and concentration. It also enables the child to engage in the flexible and higher-level thinking processes deemed essential for the 21st-century learner. These include inquiry processes of problem-solving, analyzing, evaluating, applying knowledge, and creativity.
Play also supports positive attitudes toward learning. These include imagination, curiosity, enthusiasm, and persistence. The type of learning processes and skills fostered in play cannot be replicated through rote learning, where there is an emphasis on remembering facts.
The inquiry-based nature of play is supported by the social interactions of teachers and children. Teachers take an active role in guiding children’s interactions in the play. Children are supported in developing social skills such as cooperation, sharing and responding to ideas, negotiating, and resolving conflicts.
Teachers can also use children’s motivation and interest to explore concepts and ideas. In this way, children acquire and practice important academic skills and learning in a playful context.
Research shows that play-based programs for young children can provide a strong basis for later success at school. They support the development of socially competent learners, able to face challenges and create solutions.