At a Glance
Encouraging Discovery and Play
Play is at the heart of everything we do at the Early Learning Centre. We know that children who play learn valuable self-regulation and problem-solving skills in the process. This translates to emergent literacy, vocabulary and early mathematics skills and is a predictor for continued success in later years.
A Safe, Nurturing Environment
Our team of qualified and passionate Early Childhood Educators includes teaching staff who have been working together for over ten years.
Students have many opportunities for play-based, hands-on learning, both indoors and outdoors, in our safe and caring setting.
Small class sizes and plenty of opportunities for family involvement contribute to the Early Learning Centre’s supportive and personalized learning environment.
Enriched Educational Opportunities
Our French teacher visits the JK4 class once a week and uses games, songs, and hands-on activities to help the children develop an understanding of the French language. The introduction of French using the Accelerative Integrated Method (AIM) allows children to become acquainted with French at an early age.
Students are exposed to music every day through songs, clapping games, and dancing. A more formal music time is held once a week. Our music teacher engages students’ minds and bodies through a mixture of singing, dancing, acting, and the use of musical instruments.
The Junior Kindergarten P.E. specialist teaches each JK class once a week. We focus on the development of skills like balancing, traveling in different ways, turn-taking and following one-two step directions. Our P.E. teacher often takes advantage of our 40-acre campus by taking the P.E. classes outside.
Dramatic play is an important part of our program; students are given the opportunity to role-play, express emotions and share ideas. So fun! This early exposure builds confidence, empathy, and clear communication skills.
Art is an everyday opportunity in Junior Kindergarten: our teachers focus on engaging students in a variety of open-ended, and often messy, art experiences. Students are empowered to make their own discoveries through experimentation with materials, mediums, and tools. Students develop skills such as fine motor control, hand-eye coordination, and creative problem-solving.
Our librarian helps students choose developmentally appropriate reading materials to share with their families at home. In addition, our librarian provides stories, songs and learning engagements related to the class’s Units of Inquiry.
It’s a fact: Outdoor play is foundational to children’s healthy development. Our weekly Forest Days provide students with high-quality, unstructured play in natural areas around our 40-acre campus. In addition to gaining environmental awareness and a connection to nature, outdoor play promotes students’ cognitive and social development, physical health, mental well-being, improved executive functioning, and MORE!
JK4 Full Day Program Only
Students are introduced to the mindfulness of Yoga on a weekly basis. Yoga practice can improve focus, memory, self-esteem, and emotional regulation. Yoga is also linked to reduced anxiety and stress in children.
Jolly Phonics, Public Speaking, Outdoor Education, we do it all! Our educators collaborate weekly to develop and implement meaningful learning engagement for every child.
Meet Alison Strobl
EARLY LEARNING CENTRE DIRECTOR
As Aspengrove School’s Early Learning Centre Director, Alison Strobl oversees the Early Learning Team and our Junior Kindergarten and Out of School Care Programmes. Alison has been with Aspengrove School for 16 years—first serving in various educational roles specific to Early Childhood Education, including Lead Junior Kindergarten Teacher for five years, before assuming her role as Early Learning Centre Director in 2020.
Connecting with Nature
At the Early Learning Centre, we value time spent outdoors, with weekly forest classes and opportunities to play outside, rain or shine, right here on our beautiful 40-acre campus! We know that with increased exposure to nature and the outdoors, children’s creative thinking, motivation, and well-being are boosted. Alongside our outdoor classes, our students participate in various indoor activities delivered by our team of dedicated, specialist Early Childhood Educators.
“We discovered Aspengrove when we moved to Nanaimo and were looking for childcare for our then 3-year-old daughter. From the first day the care and attention that the dedicated staff has shown our family has contributed to our daughter’s growth as a person and student. The IB principles along with the connection the staff fosters with students has had an incredible impact on her confidence and engagement with learning.”
“The Junior Kindergarten program has prepared my children by setting them up for success for their future years at school. It was important to us that our children attend a daycare that provided a play-based educational curriculum and focused on developing and improving social interactions. The teachers at the ELC have always been fabulous, caring and patient individuals with a genuine desire to teach and nurture each child.”
“These first few years at Aspengrove have been incredible, we started our journey in summer camp when our daughter was 3 years old, she went onto JK3 and now she is heading into JK4. The exceptional staff teach and lead with care, attention, excellent communication skills, and are connected to each child. There is something extremely special about this school.”
Out of School Programs
Out of School Care
This program’s learning activities include arts and crafts, nature walks, gym time, self-directed homework time, and physical activity—all in a fun, social environment.
- Junior Kindergarten
$23.00 Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri: 3:15 p.m.–5:30 p.m., $45.00 Early Dismissals: 12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
- Kindergarten – Grade 5
$23.00 Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri: 3:15 p.m.-5:30 p.m., $45.00 Wed. and Early Dismissals: 12:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
- Professional Development and School Closures
Offered to current students only, our summer program includes a variety of fun learning activities such as independent inquiry, nature walks, gym time, art projects, and reading. Sign up begins May 2023.
Our Faculty and Staff
Meet the Aspengrove team, whose enthusiasm for learning, diverse skill sets, and student-centred care enrich our school community.