The Philosophy of the University of Cyprus School
The university-based school which includes three different settings: child care, preschool and kindergarten "Lito Papachristoforou," offers its services to children of the ages of 4 months to kindergarten. Infancy is defined as the period between birth to three years of age and the period before elementary school refers to the age range of 3 -5 years and 8 months. The last year before first grade children attend "prodimotiki" which is compulsory and free for children of the ages of 4.8-5.8 in Cyprus.
Our main goal at the university-based school is to support children to develop quality relationships through which they will develop their multiple identities (e.g. infant, toddler, boy, girl). We also aim to provide experiences that will support their learning (e.g. skill and beliefs development) and their overall development (e.g. social and personal, emotional empowerment). We create opportunities for children to be challenged and empowered to voice their ideas and participate in solving problems and become active citizens.
At the university-based school we consider children as humans with a past, a present and a future. During every period of their lives they need to be actively involved in their learning and development. Children are capable and have great potential of learning especially when they develop and learn through play. Thus, through pedagogical practices which value children's rights and employ a pedagogy of listening and relationships, we support children to develop their love for learning. We give them time and space to develop and learn depending on each one's potential and support them to move a step further in their development (ZPD).
The school's staff is highly qualified and implements appropriate practices, systematically documenting children's development and learning. Finally, within this community of learners we all reflect on our practices and outcomes, and reconceptualise our pedagogies taking into consideration the children's and our community's needs