VACS/MCS uses the Creative Curriculum as it educational support tool. Today, The Creative Curriculum® is widely regarded as a forward-thinking, comprehensive, rigorously researched curriculum approach that honors creativity and respects the role that teachers play in making learning exciting and relevant for every child www.teachingstrategies.com
The curriculum is used for both the infant/ toddler and Preschool programs including our children with Special Needs.
The curriculum is based on 5 fundamental principles that help us understand the reasons for intentionally setting up and operating preschool and infant/toddler classrooms. In an effort to attain our vision and in keeping with the school’s philosophy it is crucial that we plan activities that would support the support the 5 principles of the curriculum
1. Positive Interactions and relationships with adults: Building positive relationships with young children is an essential task and a foundational component of good teaching. All children grow and thrive in the context of close and dependable relationships that provide love and nurturing, security, and responsive interactions. A positive adult-child relationship built on trust, understanding, and caring will foster children’s cooperation and motivation and increase their positive outcomes at school (Webster-Stratton, 1999).Our activities involve hands on daily experiences, such as cooking in the classroom, floortime with the children when engaged in play and ongoing verbal communication.
2. Social Emotional competence:Social emotional competence is a child’s ability to experience, regulate and express emotions, to form close and secure interpersonal relationships, and to explore his or her environment and learn, all in the context of family, community, and culture. Our teachers and staff are respectful and understanding of the children’s needs and cultures. The children are comfortable expressing their feelings and ideas freely, knowing that they will be supported. In conjunction with the creative curriculum we utilize the Second Step Curriculum to support the emotional needs of all our the children.
3. Constructive purposeful play: Constructive play involves the purposeful use of objects “What can I do with this object/ this set of objects?” Constructive play can be broader than just the making of a product. It can involve using everyday items or junk to play imaginary games. Its development goes hand in hand with the development of the child’s fine motor/manipulation skills, planning and problem solving skills. Constructive play activities: Constructive play activities are essential to give the child a chance to develop skills essential to engage in more refined activities such as writing or tieing shoelaces.Constructive play involves the purposeful use of objects “What can I do with this object/ this set of objects?”
4. The physical environment: In conjunction with the Creative Curriculum; The Early Childhood Education Rating Scale is used to ensure that the physical classroom environment is set up to meet the needs of all children. VACS has appropriate sized furniture, toys and manipulatives that will enhance learning.
5. Teacher/Family partnership: Family involvement is a key component of student and school success.The term “parent involvement” is used to describe participation by a child’s primary caretaker(s) – whether that is a single mom, two parents, grandparents, foster parents, or an older sibling.VACS/MCS supports all types of families and encourage ongoing participation. See Head Start page for more information on volunteering.