Purple Circle is committed to seeing and supporting each child as a unique and interesting individual. Children’s questions and ideas are an essential part of curriculum planning. Investigation occurs through a variety of mediums, such as drawing, painting, clay, music, literature, block building and dramatic activity. Our classrooms are designed to encourage exploration for all types of learning. Instead of feeding children a set of facts, we take their daily discoveries and questions, and explore them in depth. When the curriculum is tailored to meet the individual’s strengths and interests, and the environment supports this, the children come to see themselves as capable thinkers and learners, making sense of and imagining the world around them. The social environment of the classroom encourages and supports cooperation, sharing ideas and working together.
Fundamental to the school’s philosophy is living the idea of democracy which asks each of us to accept our responsibilities and obligations as participating members of our society.
Collaboration is an essential element of our curriculum. The teachers develop and expand curriculum in partnership with children and their families. They incorporate children’s ideas, interests and inquiry, discuss curriculum with families, and invite families into the classroom. Throughout the day, teachers ask thought provoking questions, listen carefully to children’s answers and in all interactions let children know that their ideas and investigations are important. In the children’s work and active exploration of their social and physical world, children make connections to language, literacy, mathematics, science, social studies and the arts.
Purple Circle has sunny and spacious classrooms that are rich in materials, designed to encourage exploration and support all types of learning. Interest areas exist in each classroom for block building, art, reading, water and sand, dramatic play, science, math, etc. The walls of the school are bright with the children’s artwork and personal stories.
The large rooftop playground features safe climbing structures, a large gazebo, tricycles and other games, and, in the summer, sprinklers and outdoor water activities.
“The Icelandic teachers who visited Purple Circle were very impressed. They thought the school was like a warm caring oasis in this big city. The atmosphere was especially friendly and beautiful. All communications between children, teachers and parents were excellent and the human being was always at the forefront. Some of the Icelandic teachers thought the school was the most fascinating of all the schools.”
– A quote from the Teachers of the Klambrar Playschool in Reykjavik, Iceland after their April 2004 visit to Purple Circle.