Entering our Italian Preschool would be very much like entering any preschool (scuola dell’infanzia) in Italy. Our director, Lara Carnovali, has years of experience in teaching in Italy, both in elementary school and in preschool. Our goal here is to recreate an experience that would be as similar as possible as what the children would live attending Scuola dell’Infanzia in Italy.
What is an Italian Preschool like?
Italy is the hometown of some of the greatest minds in education: Maria Montessori and Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the Reggio Emilia approach. In Italy, every preschool includes some Montessori and Reggio Emilia elements.
Italian preschools are play based, children learn by doing in an informal setting in which communication and verbal exchange is encouraged. The focus is on social skills and emotional development in order to develop the whole child. The teachers set the environment in order for the children to be protagonists of their own learning, to build their own meanings, to discover from experience.
In our preschool we try to combine the children’s interests and the best Italian educational approaches to teach our kids the language and help them become the best versions of themselves. Our school is more than a language class, as our teachers help the children grow fully in all aspects (360 degrees approach), while also learning about Italian language and culture. They will learn the new language mainly by music and play, but even the games will be prepared and guided by the teachers based on the language goals they are pursuing in that moment. The kids will be encouraged to express themselves in the language they feel more comfortable using, moving gradually from English to Italian, but never being forced to speak when they do not feel to.
In our preschool, children will learn about Italian traditions, as teachers do in Italy. The kids learn about La Befana, I giorni della Merla, Il Presepe and other Italian traditions, and to do so the teachers read stories and explain to them how people live in Italy – but, to be more effective and to be sure the kids understand these cultural facts, sometimes they use English as a means of communication.
Our goal is to help the whole child become a citizen of the world, and we do so by immersing them in a foreign language, but also by giving them the mental instruments to realize since an early age that the world is wider than we know.