Back to Derry Preschools

Stepping Stones School of East Derry

1 Partridge Ln
Derry, NH 03038

Phone:
(603) 434-6900

Website:

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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

At Stepping Stones, we are concerned with every aspect of the children’s growth and development. Our program is holistic, encompassing interpersonal relationships and self-help skills, in addition to basic subject areas. It is our goal to accomplish learning in a way that will be both challenging and fun. We emphasize activities that encourage the child to participate in the learning process, not just merely observe it. We are more concerned with the process and experience the children have than the “product” they actually end up with. We believe field trips are an important and extremely valuable educational experience. We plan field trips as an extension of our classroom science and social studies curriculum. We work in small groups for math and language arts exploration. Through these activities your child will develop math readiness skills (counting, classifying, sorting, patterning, simple addition, measurements, etc.) and reading and language skills (left to right sequencing, letter recognition and beginning formation, phonemic awareness- including rhymes, syllables and letter sounds- and familiarity with many types of literature). Language is enhanced through conversation with peers and adults, music, puppets and story telling. Observation and problem solving skills are incorporated in every way possible.

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
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

More Information

  • Puzzles
  • Manipulatives, patterns weights and measurment, shapes, numerals
Time & space more

More Information

  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
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 Workshops on a Weekly Basis With The Older Children
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • Movement Class, Songs, Music Appreciation Class
Visual arts more

More Information

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

More Information

  • 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
  • Scooter boards, Tumbling Mat and Large Excercise Balls
Other subjects taught Spanish

From the Director:

At Stepping Stones, we are concerned with every aspect of the children’s growth and development. Our program is holistic, encompassing interpersonal relationships and self-help skills, in addition to basic subject areas. It is our goal to accomplish learning in a way that will be both challenging and fun. We emphasize activities that encourage the child to participate in the learning process, not just merely observe it. We are more concerned with the process and experience the children have than the “product” they actually end up with. We believe field trips are an important and extremely valuable educational experience. We plan field trips as an extension of our classroom science and social studies curriculum. We work in small groups for math and language arts exploration. Through these activities your child will develop math readiness skills (counting, classifying, sorting, patterning, simple addition, measurements, etc.) and reading and language skills (left to right sequencing, letter recognition and beginning formation, phonemic awareness- including rhymes, syllables and letter sounds- and familiarity with many types of literature). Language is enhanced through conversation with peers and adults, music, puppets and story telling. Observation and problem solving skills are incorporated in every way possible.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Our low student to teacher ratio enables us to get to know our children very quickly. As we work in small groups and with individuals we are constantly reassessing each of their strengths and weaknesses. Our kinesthetic approach to learning includes all children regardless of their learning style or ability.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"Teachers help engage our children in a way that makes learning both challenging and fun. They are encouraged to take an active part in their own learning process. We provide a child-centered hands on curriculum which stimulates intellectual, social, physical and emotional growth. We believe each of these plays an equally important role for future academic and social success. "
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

9:00 to 9:30 - Learning Centers
9:30 to 10:00 - Music, Spanish, or Movement
10:00 to 10:20 - Wash & Snack
10:20 to 10:40 - Greeting, Songs, Attendance & Calendar
10:40 to 11:15 - Special Activities & Projects
11:15 to 11:30 - Clean Up & Story
11:30 to 12:00 - Playground & Dismissal

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We have a unique system of transitioning our children and their families into our community at Stepping Stones. In September we invite parents to participate with their children in 3 seperate one hour playtimes in the classroom prior to the opening of the school year. These sessions are scheduled on the Wednesday, Friday and Monday before the school year begins and all new children are encouraged to participate. All new parents are also asked to attend an orientation meeting that same Monday evening. Tuesday is open house for all students and Wednesday classes begin. On your child's first day of school parents are asked to attend an information /social gathering while your children are in class. This is when an over view of the year is presented to parents and questions or concerns are discussed informally with our families.
We also schedule 2 formal conferences a year with all parents and host 2 open houses. Numerous other special events for families are scheduled throughout the year. Parents are encouraged to participate in their child's class as much as their schedules permit.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • 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
  • Email
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school

Separation

Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Seperation anxiety is handled on an individual basis. Parents and teachers work together to make sure their child's experience is a positive one.