Children are respected as rich and competent people who will flourish in an appealing environment and learning community. Active learners, they utilize language, physical activity, symbolic play and representation, and social experience to construct their understanding of the world around them.
Teachers prepare the learning environment to offer opportunities for the children to interact with objects and ideas that are developmentally appropriate and intellectually engaging. Children are encouraged to expand their understanding of the world, experiment with different learning styles and strategies, and to consider new perspectives in order to refine and expand their developing understanding.
In the Elementary School, our curriculum is guided by the California Department of Education's grade-level academic standards and curriculum frameworks. As the Children's School, we value and support social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of the whole child. A central goal of our practice is for each child to learn how to be a member of a community and to reflect on his or her place in relationship to the larger community of people, plants, and animals. This means understanding the rewards of working and playing in collaboration with others as well as being able to make the daily negotiations and compromises that collaboration requires.
Children thrive when they have stable, trusting bonds with important peers and adults. Families are of central importance to the development of each child, and their contribution to the learning process is fundamental. At the Children's School, teachers, parents, and children work interdependently to build a productive school experience and a caring community in which children feel safe, valued, and secure.
Several activities are happening in the inside and outside environments simultaneously. Children have a chance to explore together, as well as to pursue individual interests. Teachers understand the multiple ways of learning and provide for all learning styles. There is a group time for all, which may include reading, singing and movement, story making, celebrations, and problem solving. Children help prepare nutritious snacks in both the morning and afternoon programs.