The school supports the belief that children learn through play, exploration and discovery within the context of nurturing and reciprocal influences of children, parents and teachers. Our curriculum is based on the constructivist philosophy in which children construct knowledge and understanding from authentic experiences-they are encouraged to explore possibilities, invent solutions, collaborate with others, and try out ideas in the context of meaningful experiences. These real-life experiences make connections that inspire and provoke, and foster inquiry and critical thinking.
At the beginning of each day the children gather with the teachers and teaching parents to greet one another and share in a group experience that may include conversation about the encounters and experiences from the preceding days, information about projects and daily activities, stories and songs. We remember, share, reflect, offer and establish meaning together. The children pose problems to the community and collaborate on potential solutions and mutual understanding. Parents are encouraged to join and share with the children at this time. Children explore the classroom, continue previously started projects and work in small and/or large groups. The structure of activities, resources, and interactions within the classroom are organized in such a way to provide children with comfortable and familiar routines, yet at the same time, there is an emphasis on play and child-initiated projects. A variety of rich and authentic materials such as shells, wood, fabric, clay, collage materials of interesting color, size and texture are available. Snack is intended to provide, in addition to wholesome nourishment, an opportunity for children and adults to gather together. Children engage in active play, movement activities and dance, both outdoors and inside the school. We also take advantage of the beautiful Presidio on a daily basis. A trip to Crissy Field, a nature hunt for shapes, a tree investigation, the discovery of a sow bug in dirt, overturning a stump, impromptu trash pick-up with a discussion of what belongs in nature/what doesn't are experiences that honor the child's sense of wonder, curiosity, and belonging. We employ an outside Music Specialist to introduce instruments, rhythm, patterns in music, and songs to the children. Music is also integrated in the children's project work throughout the day. During the course of the school year we will have various guests, programs and trips connected to the children's project work. Some of these may include: visiting musicians and artists, and trips to museums.