As parents, we have always welcomed the idea of alternative educational approach in India. If there is something out there, we want to know our options. We are watching how kids from the very young age are pushed into the rat race of unhealthy competition. Unfortunately, it is the system so inevitably it will catch up to them. The question is how do we shift the focus from unhealthy competition to learning once again? Is there another approach? Yes there is.
The Atelier is has made its way to Bangalore. It is a Reggio Emilia inspired exploration studio for children between the age of 2 years to 6 years. It was first launched in Guwahati and after two years of a successful school year, they are launching their second edition in Bangalore.
The Reggio Emilia Approach was developed by Loris Malaguzzi in Italy. The concept is based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment. It is based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum. The founders Rythm and Ashutosh Aggarwal with their team have taken inspiration from the Reggio Emilia Approach, blended it with the primary education of our country and taken a small initiative at how learning should actually be!
When I walked in the building I knew it is not just another preschool. The design and space reflected their vision and everything blended together to create a sense of harmony with the environment. Earthy, neutral, spacious and yet modern in every aspect of today’s life. Interiors were kept in mind while setting up the school from the furniture to activities, natural light from the roof and an individual small backyard garden for each class. I could totally imagine kids learning how to plant trees while establishing a special bond with nature. They have basic things laid out at different corners of the school starting from leaves, twigs, clay pieces, colorful stones, random paper cutouts, wood pieces just to engage kids of every age. Proving kids don’t always have to be mesmerized by new age technology, sometimes small everyday things can also do the trick.
All the products were age appropriate and safety was the prime importance. A small library to inculcate a sense of reading and learning with comfortable seating, a small shallow pond for water related activities along with the traditional hand-pump, slides and play area. Hand-pump certainly sounds like so much fun!
Interested in checking them out? Give them a visit and know more about the Atelier. They are officially launching on the 30th July at Sarjapur road Bangalore. And if you stay on the other end of the city like me, there is still some good news. They also conduct weekend and evening workshops so your child can drop in occasionally to soak in all the goodness the Atelier has to offer. I am sure every child will find it an information and creative heaven. So drop in and watch your little one get engaged with something as simple as leaves!
My only hope is to see more Atelier across our nation or at least more schools on the similar lines so we can help shape the next generations future, not around numbers but actual learning.