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Willow by the Brook Preschool

1150 Pottersville Road
Gladstone, NJ 07934

(908) 439-3913


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We approach the education of young children through play-based discovery techniques and proven strategies that promote curiosity, creativity and competence. We strive to promote social, emotional and physical skills that will prepare our students for future academic success. Willow by the Brook's integrated curriculum allows students to learn material in great depth as well as to see the connection that naturally exists among classroom activities. Drama, creative play, premath, prewriting, science, social studies, music and art are woven into the curriculum and daily life of the preschool, creating opportunities for different modes of self-expression and interpretation.

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

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  • Puzzles
  • Hands on activities
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • Large motor activities related to time and space
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
  • Many opportunities for outdoor exploration
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • We offer a music program
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Free and expressive art is an important part of our curriculum
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
  • Tricycles
  • 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
  • Outdoor exploration
Other subjects taught Cultural Diversity Ethics and Virtues Commitment to Ecology Community Service

From the Director:

Our goal is to develop intellectual curiosity and independent thinking. Our program provides plenty of time for the children to explore the outdoors, interact with others, and express themselves in creative ways. The core of the Willow School experience is the development of a moral and ethical foundation. Through the school's Core Virtues Program, students have opportunities to assimilate and understand such moral imperatives as responsibility, honesty, respect and compassion. Each month a different virtue is emphasized in the preschool curriculum. Kindergarten readiness is an important aspect of our curriculum. Age appropriate assessment tools are used to assure our students are prepared for kindergarten upon graduation.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The Willow School is extremely proud of our highly experienced faculty and staff. The Willow School maintains a commitment to attracting and retaining the highest quality professionals in teaching and administration. Biographical information about each teacher and staff member is included on the school's website. Willow by the Brook makes every effort to meet the individual needs of each child.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Willow by the Brook inspires children to learn about themselves, to be aware of their presence and impact in the world, and to be respectful of nature and each other. We are committed to high standards that are hallmarks of the Willow experience.

A Typical Day

Morning Gathering - Everyone gathers for songs and sharing
Activity Time - Children work in groups on planned activities, special interests, creative art, prewriting and prereading skills,
Circle Time - Children enjoy music, dance and other physical activity.
Outdoor Play, Lunch, Story Time & Drama

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

The Willow School values parental participation. We have parent-teacher meetings, parental educational opportunities, annual progress reports, parent volunteer opportunities, an open-door parent-visitation policy, and family events throughout the year. The Director encourages parental input and communication.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

First separations are difficult for some children. We will make every effort to ease the transition from home to preschool. Parents will have the opportunity to meet with their child's teacher before the first day of school.