As a community of learners, children and teachers will collaborate to create opportunities that inspire learning. Most of the Edgewood House curriculum will be based on themes that have been gleaned from the children’s play. Some curriculum will be spontaneous as it emerges from play and a teacher guides an activity at the moment of discovery. Other curriculum will be developed from trends we have seen in group play and will be more formally planned in a collaborative effort with children, parents and teachers. As topics emerge from play, teachers provide resources, (literature, art experiences, science explorations, field trips or long term projects), to further the exploration. We will also take note of and are inspired by teachable moments throughout the day.
When no clear themes are emerging in the children’s play; teachers will provide invitations for activities based on concepts we believe children deserve to be exposed to; including seasonally and developmentally relevant activities that have potential to inspire further thought. We use routine times in our school day, (mealtime, small group, circle and choice times, and our end of the day quiet learning time), to reinforce the traditional early childhood concepts. We offer opportunities for gardening, sand and water play, gross motor physical play, block building, eco-design recycle art, age appropriate writing and journaling, language and literacy, art exploration, bird feeding, number sense activities, composting, animal care and pretend play throughout the school year.
Our low adult child ratios (1:6), small group size, and nurturing play-based routine is the most effective way to help children develop crucial thinking skills (Executive Functioning) for future academic and social success. Teachers use reflective practice techniques, and parent expertise regularly to make plans for each child. We continually assess the children on an informal and formal basis; rethinking expectations in an ongoing way. In the EHS curriculum model, teachers and parents are seen as guides (not directors) of the learning process, and the environment and the children are equally important members of the teaching team.