Each class begins with a gradual transition schedule that suits its particular age group.  The experience of separation is most sensitive for the Two’s.  It is a slow gentle process, with the pace of separation determined on an individual basis.  This transition period usually lasts between two to four weeks, and parents and caregivers remain in the room or building to support children until they are ready to separate.  Teachers assess a child’s readiness for separation, discuss it with parents and together work out a plan that is gradual and nurturing.

In every age group at NPNS, our teachers support children in how to think about their interactions with others, and how to help children move through new social triumphs and challenges that are all part of a natural progression of growing up.
 

  • In our two’s program the children are introduced to learning and social experiences. The teachers engage each child in their creative endeavors as they explore materials that support self and social development.

  • In our three’s program children explore their independence, begin to build relationships with others, negotiate conflicts, and establish bonds. Teachers support children to further become the protagonists of their own learning. A great deal of the work in a three’s classroom is based on play, developing big questions, and exploring the world with their bodies, both independently and with others.

  • In the fours and fives the concept of community takes hold, and they become increasingly responsible for shaping their classroom culture with their friends. The children are developing the ability to engage in long-term projects that involve a more complex level of problem solving and collaboration with others. When children reach the fours, their curiosities begin to extend to the conversations of the world around them, and teachers follow these interests with emergent work with letters, words and numbers. They also surface and explore questions with children, and naturally pose more complex challenges such as an artistic response to a story or graphing ideas or interests.


Our days begin with a morning meeting: children greet one another and review plans for the day. Then they are off – pursuing their group’s growing study of construction or insects, moving through light and space, learning through language and literacy, creating sculptures with wood, exploring color with paint. During the course of the day, children may discover how letters can be made with their bodies, how water changes and moves, or how stories can be developed dramatically through make-believe. They might practice a quiet moment in movement or listen to a read aloud. The children discuss, investigate, discover, play, get to know one another, learn to resolve conflicts, and grow.

We aim to teach children that school is a home base for explorations. At NPNS, teachers pose positive challenges and respond to children’s ideas – using their perspectives to create meaningful studies of the world. A question about a colorful leaf becomes a study of trees; a look out at the construction site blossoms into a study of famous buildings. In our classrooms each day, children learn from “hand to head”, turning real-life experiences with materials, relationships and stories into ideas and concepts.

The classroom environment is enriched further by visits from our music and junior naturalist teachers.


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