"Our classroom world is filled with deep imaginative play. We encourage children to discover their own special abilities and interests, to learn the pleasures and responsibilities of being a group member, and to build new friendships.
Russell's curriculum offers children a range of wholesome activities in a homelike environment, emphasizing natural materials and simple playthings that leave scope for children's imaginations. The children bake bread, make applesauce, paint and draw, or play with blocks, dolls, play-doh, sand and water. Older children are introduced to projects such as needlework and finger knitting. The daily routine encourages self-sufficiency. Children help to prepare a cooked snack, pour their own drinks from real china pitchers, and help to clean up after each activity.
Songs and storytelling play a major role at Russell. The children sing every day, learning many seasonal songs including ones from generations ago. Many children come home singing traditional English harvest songs or melodies that their great-grandparents knew as a child. Stories from long ago, told from memory, engage children's imaginations and help to stretch their attention spans.
The classroom atmosphere reflects a peaceful, inclusive philosophy. As children play, teachers remain in the background but work to preserve a gentle, cooperative tone within an "open classroom" format. Teachers proactively discourage weapons play and teasing. Hurting others emotionally or physically is not tolerated. Children participate in forming rules and discuss ways to make everyone feel welcome at school.
The classrooms at Russell are large, sunny, and simply decorated, providing a serene background for children's play. Children play outdoors in almost any weather. A large indoor "gym" area offers space for physical play on extremely cold and rainy days.
Excerpted from the preschool's website