Our School’s curriculum has been dedicated, since its inception, to allocate its resources in order to meet the educational needs of the children we serve. Our School is extremely diligent in not giving unfounded credibility to fads, unnecessary or irrelevant conventions, outside pressure, or personal bias. Our School’s teachers are responsible and conscientious as they devise an early childhood curriculum according to carefully examined research, objective past and current knowledge, and experience accumulated through many years of teaching.
Play—the preschooler’s learning context—integrates all the facets of development: physical, social, cognitive, emotional and linguistic. Play is exploration, discovery, investigation, invention and interrelations. For young children, play is the most appropriate medium for developing their understanding of outside reality and what can be imagined. Play offers individual choice and is open-ended, nurturing, and involves risk-taking and problem-solving. Play is serious, challenging, enjoyable, and requires appropriate adult engagement, diverse and abundant materials, flexible space, and the support and participation of families. One can play alone or with others – it depends on context and content. Play with content opens opportunities for concrete learning on a variety of subject matters appropriate to any child’s level of development. An environment that provides this type of play is deeply nourishing to the evolution of every child’s brain.
Social Development and Diversity
Play occurs in a highly social context. Preschoolers are at their peak time for beginning their social development. Our School is dedicated to the nurturing of social peer groups that offer stimulation, challenge and camaraderie so as to foster the richness of differences within the many similarities that unite us as a human family.
As stated in our Bylaws Statement of Purpose, Our School is an environment dedicated to bringing together children who are physically, mentally, racially, ethnically or culturally similar and different from each other. A diverse population learns from each other. It complements talents and interests beyond physical appearance or linguistic background. Children enjoy the uniqueness of each without prejudice and learn to prevent or resolve social difficulties by fair negotiations.
No single method or approach is relevant for all children. An overly rigid curriculum will limit children’s play and bias teachers in their observation and interpretation of play, and in their choice of interventions. Our School offers a climate where mutual trust and mutual respect are expected from all. Materials and companionship are always present so any given child can initiate his or her own interaction. Our teachers observe children’s behavior, expression, and engagement, which gives them insight into what is interesting, stimulating, and worthwhile to each child. These observations also give our teachers clues about the child’s style of learning, past experiences and abilities.
As the teachers observe the play they ask:
- Is it creative and constructive?
- Is it tentative or risky?
- Is it thoughtful or haphazard?
- Is some obstacle present in thinking and doing?
- Does the child need a teacher or child partner?
- Is some additional material necessary?
- What subject matter connections and social relations can be made?