Medacta for Life Foundation was founded in 2011; the following year the My Baby Nursery was opened.
The Foundation was set up thanks to the support of Medacta International SA, a company with a strong focus on social responsibility, corporate welfare and Sustainability & ESG Strategies. Promoter and founder of the project is Maria Luisa Siccardi Tonolli, vice-president of the Foundation, mother and entrepreneur. Maria Luisa follows with passion and daily commitment the history of the Institute, from its beginnings to the current and continuous innovations, giving life to a philanthropic project committed to the territory and close to its needs.
The history of the educational facility follows a rapid and constant development in response to a specific demand from families in the surrounding area. The My Baby Nursery, initially conceived to welcome the children of its employees, was soon opened to the entire area, with the intention of providing support for parenthood and promoting women’s return to professional life after maternity leave. In 2013, the My Baby Nursery was awarded the “QualiNido” certification from Kibesuisse, and since 2018 it has been authorised by the cantonal authorities to accommodate 50 children aged between 0 and 3 years. In the same year, My Child doubled in size with a second section.
Already in 2015, the educational offer expanded with the Pre-school My Child.
In 2017, the entire structure became My School Ticino: a bilingual school open to the territory with a wide range of curricular and extracurricular educational proposals. In 2018, following the regular authorization of DECS, the My Kid Primary School opened. In September of the following year My Languages – Scuola di Lingue was born, a service that offers language courses for children, teenagers, adults and courses for companies. After two years of positive experience, the Scuola di Lingue opens the second location in Lugano in September 2021.
Today, My School Ticino includes the Nursery School, the Pre-School, the Primary School and the Scuola di Lingue, with its two locations in Castel San Pietro and Lugano. The Institute is characterised as a continuous and extended time structure, with extracurricular activities managed by the Extracurricular Service, My Extraschool. This includes pre- and after-school, canteen service with in-house kitchen (awarded the “Fourchette Verte” quality label), courses and workshops open to all, including those not enrolled at the school. The service runs 49 weeks a year: it offers My Weeks during the cantonal school holidays and My Summer Camp during the summer months. These opportunities are open to all children aged between 3 and 10 years, meeting the need of families to know their child is in the care of highly qualified staff and placed in a welcoming and stimulating environment during extracurricular hours and during cantonal holidays.
My School Ticino now has over 150 students; some are the children of Medacta International employees, the others are children from the surrounding area.
Promoter and founder of the project is Maria Luisa Siccardi Tonolli, vice-president of the Foundation, mother and entrepreneur, Member of the Board of Medacta Int SA
Bilingualism and active pedagogy
MY SCHOOL TICINO, ITALIAN/ENGLISH BILINGUAL SCHOOL
Italian/English bilingualism is a key element of our educational offer. The full-time co-presence – starting from the nursery – of mother-tongue English teachers promotes a full time approach to bilingualism, a technique used in bilingual language education.
The languages used for teaching are indicated as L1 and L2 for each student, where L1 is the mother-tongue language and L2 the second language to be learned. The principle used is called OPOL: one person, one language. The class teachers guarantee continuity with the ‘local’ language, while the English teachers propose and offer to the children a different sound, a good sound, which will help the children develop recognition and acceptance of a different language and acquire the basis for learning it. Bilingualism is therefore integrated with the second language, English, also used in everyday routine learning: lunch, recreational activities, tidying up and play.
The educational method adopted in our School, which inspires our teachers at My School Ticino every day, is pedagogical activism. What does it mean? Who are its pioneers? Maria Montessori, Loris Malaguzzi, Emmi Pikler, John Dewey, Baden Powell, Thomas Gordon and others. We take the very best from each of them and we create a unique melting pot to experience and share.
Maria Montessori's active learning and "Help them to do it themselves"
The key feature of active learning, of which Maria Montessori is one of the greatest exponents, is that children play an active role in the educational process and are not simply passive receivers of adult action. Knowledge is gained through experience and the concreteness of doing; understanding concepts through action.
The adult is no longer a transmitter of notions, but the director who prepares the environment to facilitate the autonomous discovery, curiosity and direct activity by the child: in other words, he stimulates his interest by sowing all possible seeds.
The Montessori method requires specially prepared spaces and developmental material to be used with a specific sequencing. It is clear to the child when something is done incorrectly and he can then self-correct.
In a similar way and using other tools, Loris Malaguzzi’s Reggio Emilia approach also aims at educating children through active learning. A process that passes through experience, where every child decides times and spaces, that he believes are the right ones for himself.
Reggio Emilia schools encourage the use of the 100 languages of children: ways of communicating, expressing yourself and thinking. The adults’ role is to present opportunities for these languages to be revealed. Loris Malaguzzi left us a beautiful poem entitled No way, the hundred is there, where he tells of children, who have 100 ways of discovering the world and how important it is that adults let them experience each of these ways, so that everyone finds the way that corresponds to him or her most, in a self-constructive process, by putting oneself and one’s abilities into play.
In our Reggio Emilia Atelier we use non-structured material such as reusing clean discarded items which are collected and selected, divided by type, colour and material. Together with the teacher, the children express their creativity, thanks to the variety of the material proposed. In the workshop we do not ‘produce’ learning but rather create the conditions for learning.
The international definition of Outdoor Education is a pedagogical orientation that encourages experiences in direct contact with nature: from children’s natural need to explore and experience, to environmental education projects. The My School Ticino campus is located in a sunny green area with very little traffic. It borders the Riale river and woods with large areas for play and learning in the open air: My Woods for woodland activities, the vegetable garden, the garden, the football pitch, the playgrounds as well as wide green areas nearby. The local area and its abundant culture provide rich life and learning experiences in contact with real local life: rural life of yesteryear, the change of seasons in the neighbouring wood, the Mezzana agricultural estate, the discovery of local flora and fauna and much more. My School Ticino offers Outdoor Education projects for all its users: children from the Nursery, the Preschool, the Primary School and the Afterschool service.
Discover our team
Highly qualified educational staff in regular training, with native Italian and English speakers full time!
The school campus is located in a privileged, sunny area with little traffic, surrounded by meadows and a beautiful wood. From the large windows, that characterise all the buildings, you can follow the rhythm of the days and the alternation of the seasons with their changes of light and colour. The building borders the stream and the green areas, offering the children plenty of space for playing and learning in the open air: My Woods, for activities in the woods and cool lunches and snacks, the vegetable garden, the garden, the football field and the wooden playgrounds for the Pre-School and the Primary School. For the little ones at the Nursery there is My Town, an outdoor playground that resemble a small village: there is the main road with road signs (pedestrian crossings, parking spaces for the disabled, stop signs, one-way signs, other road signs) and playhouses located along the way for role-play games: the carpenter’s shop, the stable, the petrol station and the restaurant. The projects carried out with the territory, and in particular with the Municipality of Castel San Pietro, constantly enrich the offer in play areas and educational opportunities for our children: from the Mezzana farm, which provides the in-house kitchen with local products, to the ATTE Recreation Day Centre. From the playground just outside the structure on the reclaimed wood area, to the municipal gyms in Castello, and much more.
The interior spaces are designed and furnished by specialists in the early child sector. The interior areas and furniture are designed on a child-friendly basis, according to Montessori dictates. A furniture that promotes the child’s independence is fundamental to harmonious development in early childhood; aesthetically pleasing and also functional and durable. Careful attention to detail and choice of materials, well studied with regard to the use of light, tidy and constantly sanitised, free of obstacles or hazards, and undoubtedly aesthetically beautiful, the school’s interior areas fully reflect our guiding philosophy: the child and his or her well-being at the centre.
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My School Ticino is a Medacta for life Foundation project