Bear Care, the Maple Bear infant programme, recognizes that the infant is a capable and active learner. The infant does not need to be “taught” lessons or content. The infant is respected as an already very competent learner, and is allowed, and encouraged, to explore, play, discover and practice in ways, and on a schedule, that best fits his or her emerging abilities, interests and skills.
The Bear Care programme understands that strong attachment between the infant and care-giving adults is critical to healthy growth, development and learning. Infant programs are organized to ensure that environments, experiences, activities and routines have relationship building as the starting point. The care-giving teacher is the most important part of the learning environment for the infant.
Bear Care places the infant at the center of the curriculum. The design and development of curriculums is based upon knowledge of the sequence and milestones of infant development combined with an understanding of the present needs and interests of the individual infants.
Infant programmes cultivate an “unhurried” atmosphere and the schedule is arranged to best meet the needs of the infant. The infant’s day will have consistent and predictable routines, few transitions, and lots of time for repetition and practice.
We design learning environments that keep the infant safe while allowing for exploration and discovery. Spaces and places have developmentally appropriate toys and furnishings that will accommodate the needs of crawlers, walkers and almost-walkers.
Maple Bear recognizes the importance of the family. Daily communication between parents and program staff ensures that the well-being of the child remains a priority. Please go to “Find A School” for more information on the Maple Bear centres which provide the Bear Care Infant Programme.
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfill their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future opportunities. Maple Bear sets high standards to ensure children’s readiness for elementary school. Maple Bear gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provides the right foundation for good progress through school and life.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
By the end of Senior Kindergarten children will communicate effectively in English by listening and speaking, will have a good understanding of alphabetical symbols, will be able to read basic text in English, will be able to use phonic strategies to approach new words, will be capable of using writing strategies appropriate for beginners, and finally, will be able to use and respond to media.
PERSONAL AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Children will learn to share, to respect others, to listen, and to understand that people have different talents and functions in our society.
Children will demonstrate curiosity about the natural world, demonstrate knowledge of characteristics of common materials and identify cycles in nature using techniques of observation.
Children will understand colour, shape and use of media to express ideas. They will be able to describe responses to music, art, drama and dance.
PHYSICAL SKILLS AND WELL-BEING
Children will develop physical skills (such as balance and flexibility), an awareness of health and safety rules, an understanding of sharing, taking turns, cooperation and socially acceptable behaviour.
Children will become problem solvers. They will learn about patterns in the environment, number concepts, comparisons, sets, basic formal operations (e.g. adding and subtracting), 2-D and 3-D objects, simple graphs, basic measurements, estimation and basic probability.
LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT AND ACQUISITION
Children enter Maple Bear School with some basis in their home language. In learning their first language children pass through several stages in predictable order: listening, developing understanding, speaking, reading and writing. Successive stages begin while preceding stages are still in development. When Maple Bear children learn English as a new language their development in English proceeds through the same stages in the same sequence as in learning their first language. Research shows that learning two languages at an early age offers both linguistic and cognitive advantages.
Immersion methodology is used in Maple Bear schools to develop competence in English. This means that children learn to listen, speak, read, and write in English by surrounding them with conversation and instruction in English. Children learn in English right from the first day.
Literacy, which includes listening, speaking, reading and writing, is one of the most important goals of the Maple Bear program.