At West End Temple Nursery School, we strive to provide an atmosphere that creates a sense of community through encouraging participation in activities and in the classroom. Our program encourages the development of the whole child in a warm, secure, and caring environment. It is our belief that optimal development occurs when children are engaged in experimenting and exploring, in both an educational and social setting. We also believe that children sort out and come to terms with the world through play.
West End’s teachers plan developmentally appropriate activities and promote socialization. A rich assortment of materials is provided and we offer many opportunities for children to interact with peers and adults. Our goals for school readiness includes five areas (or domains): Approaches to learning, physical development & health, social-emotional development, communication, language & literacy and cognition & knowledge of the world.
We believe that this learning environment helps children develop the skills they need for future academic success. It is also our goal to encourage children to be independent, curious, confident thinkers, and problem solvers.
Four-year-olds are joyous, exuberant, energetic and ready for anything. They are excited by their freedom of self-expression. A typical four-year-old loves adventure, new places, new games, new books, and new activities. It is a pleasure to provide a child of this age with the experiences of prekindergarten. They are at ease with their abilities and independence. Nothing is better than the sparkling eyes of four-year-olds as they listen to a new book at story time or participate in an exciting science experiment. The questions asked and comments made by four-year-olds at circle time are filled with imagination and curiosity. They approach projects and activities with skill and concentration.
The five domains mentioned earlier provide the structure for state mandated standards for the common core. This system is designed to ensure that “each child receives a healthy start and attains the skills and concepts to have a successful academic experience.” (NYS Pre-K Foundation for the Common Core)
Pre-K teachers, caregivers and parents support each other to find out what their children are learning, what they enjoy and what they have mastered. They observe their play, work and interaction with others. We listen and converse with children. Teachers examine and comment on their creations/experiments. These tasks provide valuable information about each child which is shared with parents periodically.
We will dedicate our resources to support the common core curriculum and will design our budget to support purchases of developmentally appropriate materials. We provide opportunities for team planning based on the assessed needs of students. The director and teachers attend Professional Development seminars on a monthly basis. More information on school readiness goals and the common core is available at our school; please avail yourselves of this information.
Three-year-olds seem to blossom as we see the benefits of previous development come together and emerge in these more confident children. They are physically secure and socially confident. They have learned to enjoy interacting with each other. Cooperative play begins to take place by the time children turn three. Language means a great deal to three-year-olds. “We” and “friend” become favorite words. Three-year-olds are physical beings, who delight in the new found command they have of their bodies. Our preschool setting is an ideal place for three-year-olds to flourish and grow. Teachers encourage the spirit of three-year-olds and guide them in exploring their strengths and interests. The curriculum is designed to foster self-confidence as well as the mastery of early learning skills and problem solving techniques.
Two-year-olds are gentle, friendly little people. Movement becomes more comfortable when children turn two. Emerging communication skills make it so much easier for two-year-olds to get what they want from the world. Emotionally, they are calmer, surer, and better balanced than they were previously. Two-year-olds are happy much of the time. At the beginning of the year, teachers work with families to promote a smooth separation process. As the children adjust, teachers provide opportunities for them to expand and develop their language and motor control. Teachers also gently guide children in their interactions with each other. As a result, the children become self-assured preschoolers.