Guiding Principles

Central to our philosophy is the belief that children are inherently intelligent and interested in the world around them.  Through careful observation, reflection, and documentation educators and parents can support children to express their ideas and theories in a multitude of ways.

At Terra Nova Nature School, the following ‘big ideas’ are foundational for our learning together:

  • we employ a place-based approach to education that promotes respect for the environment, teaches ecological literacy, and develops environmental stewardship; we re-visit our ‘places’ and come to know them intimately, thereby nurturing an empathy for our corner of the Earth.
  • we practice a play-based approach to facilitate learning opportunities for the children; we offer children ample time and opportunity to stretch their imaginations, problem-solve, and develop their social competency.
  • we value and respect children as co-creators of their education; our curriculum is experiential and responsive to their interests.
  • we believe in building community; we strive to create deep and meaningful connections with families, other Terra Nova user groups, and our Municipality.
  • we adhere to the Code of Ethics as set by the Early Childhood Educators of British Columbia, and we are guided by our professional document, the ‘British Columbia Early Learning Framework’.


For further information, we encourage families to review the following resources:

 Early Childhood Educators of British Columbia’s Code of Ethics

 British Columbia, Ministry of Education: Early Learning Framework

 Child & Nature Alliance Canada


Next: Reggio Emilia