W.J. Griffis Program Descriptions

Our Focus:

The focus of our program is to teach children to:

  • Slow their movements down
  • Use a quiet voice
  • Carry items with two hands
  • Respect themselves, others and their environment
  • Problem solve
  • Be creative
  • Use grace and courtesy
  • Develop a life-long love of learning

Bambini Program: 18 to 30 months

The Bambini Program is licensed for fifteen children; we have three trained staff, this creates a ratio of 1:5 (1 teacher for every 5 children).  This is a time of rapid development and acquisition of skills and abilities.  Children are learning to master their gross and fine motor movements, to expand their expressive and receptive language skills, to develop social and emotional skills, and develop their practical life skills – dressing/ undressing/ hygiene/ eating/ pouring/ etc.

The areas of curriculum that are focused on are:

  • Practical life skills
  • Sensorial – experiencing through our senses
  • Language
  • Cultural
  • Art and music

Casa Program: 30 months to 6 years

The casa program is licensed for thirty six children; there are four trained staff, this creates a ratio of 1:9 (1 teacher for every 9 children).

This is a stage of development that is called ‘the absorbent mind’. With a prepared environment and knowledgeable teachers, the children learn at their own pace according to their interests.

The areas of curriculum are:

  • Practical life
  • Sensorial – about creating patterns
  • Language
  • Mathematics
  • Culture – botany, zoology, geography, history, study of people
  • Art
  • Music

Outdoor Nature Curriculum:

The W. J. Griffis Children’s Centre began a naturalization process of the outdoor playground in 2008, and continues to this day.

Children today spend more time in regulated activities or in sedentary activities. We want to expose children to a more natural, green environment. We not only want to engage children in active play, but also in quiet, contemplative play, social interactions, in observation and study of nature, and exploration and creativity.

Naturalization adds visual interest, shade, comfort, and the opportunity learn new skills.

The natural rhythm of the seasons allows for seasonal play and experiences for all.

There are four types of play:

  1. Group play or interaction with peers
  2. Individual play or activity
  3. Active/gross motor play
  4. Creative or contemplative play

The outdoor nature curriculum has been designed for each month of the year. Activities, stories, observations are based on what is happening in our ‘Griffis Greens’ at that time.

Children have the opportunity to observe insect life, birds, small animals, heavenly bodies, air in motion, growing vegetation, seasonal changes, weather, clouds and to develop new skills in composting, gardening, and taking care of our space. Respect for living things begins with knowledge and understanding.