Our Guiding Principles

The program at the First Presbyterian Church Nursery School is inspired by the progressive educational philosophy of developmental interaction and the pedagogy of the Reggio Emilia preschools. 

The Reggio approach reminds us to look at children’s abilities and potential rather than their imitations. Treating children as competent and capable supports the development of higher order thinking skills and performance.

We value play as the work of children and see learning as a social process which occurs in the context of community. Our program of integrated activities invites exploration, discussion, problem solving, critical thinking and creative expression. 

Teachers construct an emergent project based curriculum which prepares students socially and academically for a successful transition into ongoing schools. Honoring the individual needs and interests of our students, we prepare them for their educational journey by fostering a love of learning and supporting the development of a sense of wonder about the world around them.

Daily, children explore art, science, dramatic play, blocks, books, storytelling, manipulatives—using a wide variety of materials, including natural and recycled objects. Experiences that occur during children’s conversations and play, or are introduced by teachers, provide starting points for extended investigations in directions determined by interest and opportunity. Small group work with a teacher allows for deeper, more individualized exploration of a subject. Meetings with the whole group provide opportunities to hear each other’s thoughts and feelings, try out different points of view, and be part of the classroom community.
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