Scuola Materna is LDVA’s distinguished Italian immersion preschool. Like Casa Montessori it is licensed by the Ontario Ministry as a daycare for children of 2.5 to 6 years of age. Also like our other preschool it is Montessori based and includes French and Music programs.
Scuola Materna is a bright, beautiful place furnished with Montessori materials to foster the full development of the whole child. The children advance through the various analog based activities from simple to complex by building on previous accomplishments. The exercises encourage orderly thought, independence, body awareness, and autonomy. The three year age mix encourages children to learn from each other while working at their own level. Children are free to work together or alone in an environment that promotes a harmony of light and colour and a refinement of spirit.
The Scuola Materna classroom is a loving, stimulating, and nurturing environment that promotes a healthy growth and a love of learning in the spirit of Montessori and Leonardo da Vinci. This is accomplished while developing an fluency and connection with the Italian language and culture.
Recognized by Italy as an authentic Italian preschool, Scuola Materna is the only such program in Canada. Children that are immersed in the Italian heritage and language at an early age also benefit from a strong foundation for language in general. Graduates of Scuola Materna are not only more fluent in Italian but are well prepared for LDVA’s Lower Elementary program.
The Scuola Materna at Leonardo Da Vinci Academy evolved from the European model for Early Childhood Education to become an exceptional Canadian alternative for discerning parents.
HISTORY OF SCUOLA MATERNA LEONARDO DA VINCI
Preschools in Italy and other European countries are among the best in the world. Recognized as being a critical stage of development, Early Childhood Education commands a high priority in European societies. Most preschools in Italy are ideologically different than the institutionalized daycares prevalent in North America which are designed to meet the needs of working parents. European preschools place the child’s social, cognitive and spiritual development as the priority. This is rooted in the belief that addressing the needs of the whole child early will promote the development of self-esteem, confidence, thinking skills, creativity and other healthy mindsets and social skills.
When the Leonardo Da Vinci Academy opened its Scuola Materna in 1991, the first in Canada, Agazzi was the inspiration and driving philosophy. Rosa Agazzi influenced the reform of Early Childhood Education in Italy when in 1896, along with her sister, she founded the first Scuola Materna preschool of Mompiano (Brescia).
The school served as a model for other kindergartens and preschools throughout Italy that later adopted the Agazzi methodology. The Agazzi method respects the spontaneity and personal experiences of the child and the classroom is seen as a community of learners engaged in a variety of activities that foster a natural development of each child through creative play and social interaction. This methodology preceded and influenced the popular Reggio-Emilia approach which has been embraced in North America and which shares many elements of our own preschools.
As Leonardo Da Vinci Academy expanded to include a greater Montessori component, the Montessori methodology was also implemented Scuola Materna preschool and Lower Elementary grades. Scuola Materna adopted the Montessori model starting in 2008. Due to common origins and philosophy, the transformation of Scuola Materna from an Agazzi to a Montessori classroom was a smooth and natural transition.
As Leonardo Da Vinci Academy expanded to include a greater Montessori component, the Montessori methodology was also implemented in the Lower Elementary Grades and Scuola Materna preschool. Scuola Materna adopted the Montessori model starting in 2008. Due to common origins and approaches, the transformation of Scuola Materna from an Agazzi to a Montessori classroom was a smooth and natural transition.
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