At Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong, we are inspired by the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy which views the ‘environment as the third teacher’, playing a complementary and supporting role to the UK Early Years Foundation Stage play-based academic and holistic curriculum.
The school’s interior spaces are designed to create a natural learning environment. By bringing natural elements such as plants, sand, water and sunlight in to the interior, the school is no longer just a traditional classroom-based learning space. Instead, it becomes a unique and stimulating environment which provides multi-sensory experiences and offers children endless possibilities to use their initiative and to pursue their own interests.
The open classrooms together with the organic curvilinear shapes of the school’s interior, are specially configured in order to foster a dynamic learning environment both within and across them. Organised around the central indoor play area, classrooms act as home bases, while numerous focal points in between provide informal learning spaces. Classrooms are no longer defined by walls and learning actually happens everywhere. As such, there is an abundance of possibilities which encourage many types of play and learning experiences.
The flexible interior design of the Pre-School makes for an inspiring learning space where children are free to explore and to develop their potential in a safe and home-like environment.
By incorporating natural elements and open-ended play equipment such as the Wood Hut, Sand Pit and hard and soft play surfaces, we have created an inspiring environment that invites children to crawl, roll, climb and run. In doing so they learn about the five senses, collectively and independently. The school isn’t simply a space where children acquire knowledge, it is also a playground with boundless opportunities for them to learn about themselves and others and, to experience community life for the first time.
The Play Hut is an extremely flexible learning space intended to stimulate learning through dramatic play. Its open-ended design means it can easily be transformed into different settings such as a kitchen, restaurant, home, flower shop, post office, hospital, travel agent, pet shop, veterinary clinic etc, providing endless opportunities for children to use their imagination and to explore. The Reading Loft, found on top of the Play Hut, is a welcoming space filled with child sized soft furniture and lamps. Its’ cosy, inviting atmosphere is the ideal place in which to discover a love of reading and of literature.