Noroton Presbyterian Nursery School
To encourage a young child’s positive self-image and feelings of personal worth and self-esteem.
To support and guide growth and understanding of relationships with other people.
To provide a loving, supportive environment for intellectual, physical, social, emotional and spiritual development.
NURTURING A LOVE OF LEARNING
Noroton Presbyterian Nursery School provides a loving, supportive Christian environment in which children, ages two through five, play, grow in confidence and learn. At NPNS, we balance empowerment with support to cherish and nurture each child’s potential.
Fostering a love for classroom experiences, our small class environment encourages children to collaborate, share and learn together. Children love to play - it is “the work of children.” At NPNS, we purposefully create meaningful experiences in an environment designed for play and exploration, which encourages each and every child to develop social awareness and responsibility. Our program has specialized, age-appropriate experiences to excite and encourage children on their journey to kindergarten readiness.
At NPNS, we believe children are born with a natural curiosity about the world and that nurturing this curiosity with careful listening and support is the foundation to successful learning. We have overlaid our traditional curriculum with the proven and highly respected Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. This approach allows children to learn through direct experiences, acquiring the core skills for successful learning through critical thinking and collaboration.
NPNS flourishes as a ministry of Noroton Presbyterian Church. Children’s spiritual development emerges when it is supported and surrounded by an adult world that models Christ-like behavior. The gifts of the spirit are taught and modeled in all our interactions with children. They are also the core of our weekly chapel service for the 4’s and Pre-K programs. Daily prayer, songs and Bible stories are integrated into our activities. The church further supports nursery school families by offering childcare through Tot Drop. It also invites NPNS families to its Oasis parenting program, Bible studies, and small groups.
The curriculum at NPNS is based on the standards set by the Connecticut Board of Education – Preschool Curriculum Goals and Benchmarks. It is emergent and developmentally based on the ages of the children attending the program. The curriculum allows us to maintain the integrity of sound teaching principles and at the same time have a strong emphasis on art, literature and science as a basis for learning. There is an education coordinator to assist staff in curriculum development and implementation.
NPNS provides a print-rich, language-rich environment in which books, visual displays and verbal interactions broaden the child’s understanding of the familiar world. Active play in our gym and on our playground helps to develop gross motor skills. Songs, instruments and creative movement in shared group time further enrich our comprehensive curriculum.
THE REGGIO WAY
The Reggio Emilia Teaching Philosophy
Over the past few years Noroton Presbyterian Nursery School has embraced the highly acclaimed Reggio Emilio approach to pre-school education, which studies have proven to be a highly effective approach to early childhood teaching and learning.
So, what is Reggio all about?
It is based on the beliefs that…
Young children are competent and capable.
Nursery school is one of the principle arenas where young children are first immersed socially, culturally, physically and
emotionally in teaching and learning.
Teachers can effectively support and nurture a child’s natural curiosity, enthusiasm and creativity, and provide an open and loving environment for children to explore open-ended materials and their environment.
Children express themselves in many ways, including dramatic play, collage, sculpture, words, song, movement, painting, drawing, building, music, and many, many more…
Teachers work with children and parents to help create an environment that encourages children to communicate
effectively, investigate problems and challenges, research topics of interest, and develop a love of learning.
The interests and work of the children should drive the curriculum, which in turn will foster more peer collaboration, critical and creative thinking, problem solving and deeper mastery of basic skills and independent thought and action.
The emphasis is placed on the process of learning rather than only the end product.
Basic skills such as literacy are best explored by young children through a context that is meaningful to them, such as a
mail center where children can explore the alphabet by writing letters to their classroom friends.
So here’s the question: This all sounds well and good, but what about the pre-reading, math, and science skills that are so highly regarded in this community? How will a child who has achieved a greater sense of self, a sense of community, and a sense of social responsibility fare in such an academically driven community?
Here’s the answer: Children exposed to this teaching philosophy, provided with inquisitive environments and encouraged to collaborate with peers, enter kindergarten with highly developed pre-reading, math and science skills. In addition to these basic skills, our students will also have a stronger sense of self and will be able to think, create, solve problems, and truly value the learning process. Seeing children engaged, taking ownership, supporting each other and sharing their curiosity is the joy each of our teachers witness and what makes us believe this philosophy has merits far beyond kindergarten, and into our students' lives forever.