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Apple Orchard

282D Newton St.
Brookline, MA 02445

(617) 731-6463


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • stencils, letter stamps, stemps, etc.
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • pattern blocks, measuring cups, sequence cards, thermometers
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • Farm environment rich with opps to watch 1st hand decomposition, recycling, natural life cycles, animal tracking, tadpoles
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • various cds, make instruments, 2 music teachers on sight
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

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • 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
Other subjects taught A large amoun of time is spent on nurturing and developing social-emotioanl skills required to suceed in group situations.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

At The Apple Orchard School we feel an environment of trust and positive feelings toward learning and toward people are the cornerstones of our philosophy.

The first three years of school are critical in creating this attitude. We hope that every child will find many areas of success and enjoy learning about himself and others, as well as beginning to learn about the large world of cognitive skills.

The school's goal is to foster in a child a feeling that he or she is a wonderful person, who can learn to cope with difficulties along with successes.

A Typical Day

Younger Groups - "3"s
8:15-9:30 Free Play (Inside)
9:30-10:00 Group Time (circle)
10:00 Bathroom Handwashing
10:15-10:45 Snack/Bathroom
10:45-11:30 Outdoors on Adventure
12:00 Carpool

Older Groups - "4"s and "5"s
8:15-9:00 Start Outside
9:00-9:30 Morning Meeting
9:30-10:30 Choice Time
10:30-11:00 Bathroom/Snacktime
11:00-11:45 Work/Adventure
12:00 Carpool

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parent's Role Parents are very important to the both the success of the school. Their role at the school is critical. Parents have many opportunities to get involved in their child's learning. Some of the various ways parents participate at The Apple Orchard are listed below: Parent visiting days: Beginning November 1st through the end of April parents are welcome to sign up in their child's classroom to spend the morning with the class. We ask that only one parent sign up per morning. Parent Class Evenings: Parents plan and coordinate these occasions with staff help in October to invite parents to learn more about what actually happens during their child's typical school day. Parents are free to explore the classrooms, materials and/or ask questions about the program. Parent Conferences: Conferences are available whenever a parent or teacher express a need or have concerns about a child. However, they are formally scheduled three times a year for all parents in the program. The first conference is scheduled in November, phone conferences are in February, and a final conference is in April. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend all conferences. Parent Representatives/Substitutes: Parents can also get more involved by signing up to be a class representative or a parent substitute. Parent representatives help coordinate parent evenings, or special events. Parent substitutes may assist in the classrooms whenever a teacher has a planned absence or professional day. Parent Memos: Teachers send home monthly memos to keep parents up to date on what is going on in the classroom. Reminders about special events (Pajama Day), Holidays, and themes being explored within the classroom are mentioned in the monthly memo. New Parent Evenings: In Late May, new parents joining the Apple Orchard community in September are invited to come meet the director and other new parents. This evening is an opportunity to ask questions and also to meet some current parents. Parent Workshops: Informal workshops are run throughout the year. The focus is on the challenges and difficulties that concern families with young and older children. In these groups, parents discuss issues such as sibling rivalry, discipline, effects from divorce, loss, toilet training, local area schools, and a range of other topics. Ref:

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

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


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

First - all new children (except class III) get a home visit from teachers prior to starting school. The 1st few days are condensed (1 1/2 hrs) and with only half the group to make less overwhelming. Parent can linger if needed but Parent Area with coffee provided for mingling and easy teacher access if a child is having difficulty.