Our purpose is to give children (ages 3 – 5) an opportunity for new learning experiences in a supportive environment. In order to meet the needs of the developing child and high quality care, we strive to:
Encourage social development by providing opportunities for sharing, taking turns, making friends, resolving conflict and helping others.
Encourage intellectual development by giving opportunities for growth in perception, language, memory and reasoning. Because children learn through their senses, we provide opportunities for them to touch, taste, hear, smell, and see. Language is advanced through stories, poetry, puppetry, games, imaginative play and conversations with staff and other children.
Encourage physical development by providing daily opportunities for growth in large motor and fine-motor skills.
Encourage emotional development by being sensitive and responsive to the needs and interests of each child and by allowing him to express his own thoughts and feelings. We treat the children kindly and fairly, and hope that they will model this behavior. We give the children responsibilities to help build self-image, and we give praise to enhance the child’s good feelings about himself.
Encourage creativity by providing daily experiences in music, art, drama, and dance/movement.
Provide a healthy, safe, comfortable and enjoyable environment.
The child will spend part of the preschool session independently, learning to make choices and following through with an activity. During this time, the child is free to move about, talk quietly, and work with whatever materials s/he wishes, provided s/he does not interfere with the work of others. The child is expected to use the materials correctly, but is never urged to hurry or to compete with the other children. As a result, the child is able to develop a strong feeling of self-confidence and independence, which strengthens his/her natural interest and love of learning. Given the freedom to learn in response to his/her desires, the child learns eagerly. During independent work time, the teacher may work with children individually or in small groups on activities determined by the children’s interest and abilities.
Group time each day will be spent on activities such as music, creative movement, stories, discussion, and simple games. At least thirty minutes each day will be spent on gross motor play (running, climbing, etc.) either outdoors or indoors, supervised by an adult.
At our preschool, we have tried to develop a climate in which the children feel safe, secure and guided. We respect each child and strive to meet individual needs. We provide a rich environment where the child can discover things on his own, and learn from the wide variety of materials provided. We hope that at the end of each preschool day, every child will feel happy and successful.
Church Street Preschool prefers to use the “prepared environment” where a child can feel a sense of order. We want the children to become self-sufficient in choosing their own work, following through with it, and returning it to the shelf. We teach the children to treat the materials with care, to move slowly, and to speak quietly in the room. The child is encouraged to learn self-care, care for the environment, and care for all persons and living things.
This is a child-centered school, based on the belief that children learn and grow at different rates, and that they learn best when they are able to pursue their own interests. We believe that play is a critical part of children’s total development. Not only do children learn from each other as they play in a mixed age group, they grow through independent play in the rich and varied learning environment.
The emphasis at our school is on the learning process: what happens when children and materials meet. Activity areas are set up throughout the room and the children are free to choose their own work. These activity areas invite children to explore, manipulate, and construct. This environment promotes independence and self-sufficiency, so that the teachers are free to interact with the children. Our music and arts program promotes creativity and enhances the academic curriculum. Kindergarten readiness skills of phonics, writing and math follow as a natural consequence of this integrated curriculum.