Back to Needham Preschools

First Bridge Preschool

1132 Highland Avenue
Needham, MA 02494

Phone:
(781) 453-0400

Website:

Our program is a child's "first bridge" to the world. Child-focused curriculum based on play and social skills. A multi-age classroom, a close community of families, a nurturing and stimulating environment where children learn and grow in every way.

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      
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense
Time & space
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Music
Visual arts
Physical activity
Other subjects taught Block-building, dramatic play, music, movement, art, science, sand/waterplay, outdoor time, storytelling and more all help to enhance a child's readiness skills. Play is the most important way that young children learn. Our program gives children lots of time and space to play, to explore, and to grow.

From the Director:

Our classroom is designed to allow children the freedom to explore, create, and discover at their own developmental level using open-ended materials and activities. A major focus we believe to be essential for young children involves social skills. We foster kindness, respect for others, independence, and problem-solving. All of these skills and more are so important for children to make their way in the world.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Our two teacher/directors began our program 14 years ago. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge, and a complementary style of working together. They see each child as unique. Because they get to spend two years with most children, a close bond forms which extends to the child's family as well. Children's strengths are recognized and built upon while areas of need are developed and supported. Children feel very cared for and cared about. Many of these relationships have continued beyond the preschool years with older children often coming to visit, spend a morning, and help out in the classroom. What a testament to the teacher-child relationships.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Provide a fun, nurturing program where children blosssom in all ways and feel good about themselves.

A Typical Day

9:00 Start the day on the playground (so many kids have been up for hours - getting gross motor play early helps for better focus indoors). Each child is greeted individually.
10:00 Indoors for meeting time (songs, movement, language arts, science experiments, etc and discussion of day's offerings)
10:20 Snack
10:30 Free choice time - children choose where to play and with whom. Teachers provide many open-ended activities while always observing interactions and needs so as to be able to step in and make the most of the many teachable moments that arise
11:35 Clean-up
11:45 Circle time - quiet reading (children choose books to read to themselves) followed by songs, sharing, and good-byes
12:00 Children are picked up

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Because we are a small program of one classroom of 16 children, the teacher/directors are able to forge close bonds with families and have many opportunities for communication. Parents are welcome in the classroom any time - whether to bring a book, snack, or activity, or just to come in and play. It is made clear to parents that teacher may be called at home or emailed at any time. Many thoughts are shared both ways at drop-off and pick-up times and through annual parent conferences. Additional meetings by parent or teacher request are easily scheduled. Regular newsletters are emailed to families and everyone gets a copy of our handbook when they enroll.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school

Separation

Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Separation is part of the "curriculum" at any child-centered preschool. Because we are a multi-age program, separation is eased because half of the children are settled and comfortable on day one of any given year. The "new kids" see this and it helps them relax and join the group. Home visits just prior to starting help children form a bond with one of the teachers who is then familiar on the first day. Many children also spend a week or two at our summer program before starting in the fall so they are very ready to get going when September rolls around. Of course, getting comfortable with saying good-bye to parents takes a bit longer for some children. We are individualized in helping with this transition - easing both child and family through the process.