By: Natacha V. Beim
At the age of 21 I knew what kind of teacher I wanted to be. I knew that research into early childhood education displayed how experience-based brain development sets a course for future learning, health and behaviour. I realized that age-specific curricula aimed at engaging and teaching the whole child were needed, so I searched for a school doing just that. I quickly came to the conclusion that no schools were doing this, so I began creating a curriculum of my own.
I opened the doors to Canada’s first junior kindergarten school, Core Education & Fine Arts (CEFA), in West Vancouver in 1998. The enriched curriculum features a unique partnership of core subjects with fine arts, providing children with the freedom to learn and grow through play. It’s an open learning source; leading educators continually contribute to it, allowing the most creative, up-to-date and advanced philosophies to be incorporated. The popularity of the approach, as well as the evident results in the graduated students, resulted in the franchising of the school in 2003.
The CEFA method is based on a contemporary approach to early childhood development: each aspect of the program is designed to stimulate the child in many different ways, optimizing the natural development of the child’s brain. Unlike other programs, CEFA introduces its academic content without infringing on the child’s natural desire to play, discover and experience. Instead, it embraces each child’s uniqueness and provides opportunities for early learning through games, collaborative projects, and other activities. Our curriculum is constantly evolving and improving. Our CEFA trained Teachers find ways of improving and updating the curriculum by creating CEFA games that all CEFA certified Teachers have access to and are able to build upon.
Each CEFA employee, whether they are a Teacher, Administrator, Principal or Franchise Partner, is provided with vigorous training and testing, to ensure they present the high quality service required and expected of a CEFA school. Our bright, beautiful, contemporary schools, with libraries, art rooms, cinemas, and music rooms, provide our students with an inspirational and exciting environment to enjoy throughout the day. We also have in-house chefs who create delicious, hot, fresh and healthy meals for our children and faculty daily. Each summer, staff, students and parents from all CEFA schools gather for a day of fun and sun in Stanley Park! This exciting day brings the whole CEFA community together for a day of celebration and allows parents to share stories about their children and their accomplishments. When parents enroll their child in a CEFA school, they become part of an exciting, caring and highly committed community who accept nothing but the best for their children.
I am so proud of all our CEFA schools, and so is the CEFA family! We open our doors for private tours and open houses on a regular basis to invite the community to partake in the CEFA experience. You can learn more about our curriculum or book a tour at www.cefa.ca.
Natacha V. Beim is an early years and parenting expert, a writer, a speaker, a teacher, and the founder of the renowned CEFA Early Learning Schools.
You can reach her at www.natachabeim.com