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Five Mile River Nursery School

5 Pennoyer Street
Norwalk, CT 06853

(203) 838-4266


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We follow an Emergent style curriculum and use the Connecticut Preschool Curriculum and Assessment Framework in order to develop our goals for learning.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Multiple daily opportunities for conversation; listening; and discovery of language in a print-rich environment.
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

More Information

  • Puzzles
  • Multiple daily opportunities to develop math skills using games, manipulatives, tools for measurement, and props for experimentation with mathematical concepts such as money, time, quantity, sorting, grouping and patterning.
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • Visual displays of the classroom schedule
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

More Information

  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • Science activities developed over time: such as planting and harvesting vegetables; cooking and eating them, saving seeds to plant and harvest again.
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • Music to listen and dance to; music to sing; music as transitional cues; music specialists for weekly enrichment.
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

More Information

  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
  • gardening, big blocks for construction, creative play with large cartons and recylclable materials.
Other subjects taught Spanish; Science; Music; "Around the World" Multicultural Studies

From the Director:

Our curriculum is a highly intentional facilitated play approach. Teachers set up an environment for discovery and observe children in a natural play setting, using their observations to inform lesson planning based on the interests of the children in the group.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Teachers observe children using the Connecticut Performance Standards and Benchmarks, and plan activities to help children develop based on what they can do, and where they are developmentally.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"Our mission is to provide a warm, safe, nurturing environment for every child to successfully grow, learn and discover. We hope to create a framework of materials and an atmosphere of love and acceptance, and by helping your child make appropriate choices, build the foundation for later learning to meet the challenges of the ever-changing world."
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

Please visit our web site at and read our Parent Handbook to see our sample day plans.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Families are communicated with on a daily basis in person at drop off and pick up; in weekly newsletters sent home by email, or posted on bulletin boards, or copied and left in individual children's cubbies. Photographs of the weekly activities are disseminated in the same way. A school-wide monthly newsletter is distributed similarly. Each family is provided a substantial Parent Handbook upon enrollment, which takes place at an annual Open House. At the start of the school year there is a Parent Orientation evening prior to a child's orientation before children are left at school. Parent conferences are conducted twice in the nine-month school year on designated days dedicated to conferences. Parents will be shown a portfolio of each child's work; photos of them during the day; and a summary of the child's development will be recorded during the conference as mutual goals for the child's further development is discussed between parents and teachers. Parents are welcome into the school or classroom at any time, and may request a formal or informal conference at any time. Phone calls, emails and visits are also welcomed in order to answer any question or concern. Whenever a parent speaks another language, every effort is made to provide that parent with information about the child and the school in a language they understand.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

We encourage parents to leave as promptly as possible, but invite them to wait in the parent library until they can be reassured that their child is happily involved in school. Teachers will also call the parent to reassure them that their child has settled into the program. In case a child has an especially difficult time separating, we work together with the parent to help to ease the transition as best as possible.