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Children's Garden/Cambridge School of Weston

Georgian Road
Weston, MA 02493

(781) 642-8642


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Reggio-Emilia

From the Director:

Our program is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. The Reggio Emilia approach focuses on each child in relation with others—children, family, teachers, society and environment—and activates and supports these reciprocal relationships. Classroom teachers listen to and observe the students closely, adjusting the curriculum accordingly. Our curriculum is one that builds upon the interests of the children. We believe that children have many different ways of communicating. They represent their thinking through dance, drawing, painting, dramatic play, puppets, etc. Children make their work visible through their many different languages. We have noticed a strong similarity between Loris Malaguzzi’s The Hundred Languages of Children and Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. We offer children many ways of representing their thinking. (Copies of The Hundred Languages of Children by Loris Malaguzzi and The Real Head Start, an article about Reggio, by Howard Gardner are available upon request.) Topics of study and investigation arise from the talk of the children, from teachers’ passions and through community and family events. Our projects are in-depth studies of concepts, ideas and interests. The projects develop as children and adults work together to consider possible methods of exploring a particular topic of interest and work to represent their learning over time. Careful consideration and attention are given to the documentation of the various investigations and projects. Documentation helps to make parents aware of their children’s experience and allows the teachers an opportunity to reflect on their work with the children. Examples of documentation in our school include journey books for each child, documentation panels with photos and transcriptions of children’s verbal language, video clips, bulletin boards and special displays during family events.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The mission of The Children’s Garden is to create a learning environment where each person’s diverse and unique gifts are deeply respected, nurtured and celebrated. We are inspired by children’s passion, natural curiosity and magical interpretation of the world. We seek to add joy to discovery as together we extend each other’s thinking to construct new meaning.

The Children's Garden strives to provide a loving, safe, supportive, warm and friendly atmosphere for children, parents, and staff. Our goal is to create a nurturing, stimulating, developmentally appropriate program where children of varying ages, sexes, races, interests and abilities can develop their interests and skill.

We feel that preschool programs affect, and therefore must support, children socially, emotionally, intellectually, and physically. We plan our program to meet each child's needs in all of these areas, while balancing the needs of the individual with those of the group. We strive to provide a flexible program, which accomodates individual differences in children's temperaments and learning styles, while also encouraging a cooperative group spirit among the children.

Our primary goal is to foster children's positive self-esteem. In support of this goal, our program provides tasks children can master as well as appropriate challenges; encourages children's problem solving skills (socially, cognitively and physically); strives for a balance between autonomy and dependency; accepts and respects individual learning styles; promotes caring for others; helps children understand and appreciate individual differences and different cultural and ethnic backgrounds; and, most importantly, provides an atmospere of trust and caring among the children and staff. We believe that children learn through direct experience, experimentation, and adult example. Therefore, our program seeks to provide interesting, well-equipped, attractive, challenging classrooms, which will stimulate exploration and discovery.

A Typical Day

The program at The Children's Garden includes a variety of age-appropriate activities: gross and fine motor activities, fantasy and role playing, cooking, creative arts, woodworking, music, dance and science.

A daily routine is almost always followed. A schedule gives children a sense of predictability, safety, and an awareness of "what happens next." It provides children with the reassurance of knowing what is expected from them and what they can expect from their teachers.

A large part of each morning is spent as free choice time. Teachers set of a variety of activities, which involve many different skills, and allow children choices of activity. The morning also includes snack, group time, and outdoor time.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

arents are permitted and encouraged to visit The Children’s Garden, and their child’s classroom at all times while their child is present. We actively seek to create a caring community in which families, staff and children interact and grow.

We welcome input from parents on all aspects of our program. When a parent makes a suggestion as to our program or a policy of The Children’s Garden, an explanation will be provided if the suggestion is not adopted. If requested, the director will provide such response to the parent in writing.

The Children’s Garden assembles a Parent Committee each fall. The Parents’ Committee consists of one or two parent representatives, the director, and a teacher from each class. Meetings, which include the parent representatives, the director and a teacher from each classroom, take place three times a year to review policy, discuss fundraising, and to receive input from the parent community on issues relating to the general welfare and enhancement of The Children’s Garden community. Two weeks before the scheduled meeting an agenda will be posted so that all concerned can respond through their representatives. Parents may also come to a Parent Committee meeting to present an issue. Minutes are recorded at each meeting and disseminated to the community.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on