Children of nursery school age find beautiful, spacious and harmonious classrooms in which to play and learn. Careful attention is given to each child’s individual development — physical, social, intellectual, artistic, emotional and spiritual, which sets the tone for learning at Philosophy Day School. The children walk into a loving and welcoming environment the moment they appear at the door. The teachers are there to welcome each parent and child by name. These spontaneous interactions create bonds of affection and trust.
Children are delighted and challenged by a variety of activities; academic preparation; games and group lessons; arts and crafts; music and dancing; construction toys; outdoor play. Play, when skillfully supervised, is the essential work of childhood and an important part of developing physical, cognitive, social and emotional skills. Our spacious classrooms are well-equipped with materials that enhance imagination and socialization.
Language development and self-expression are an integral part of the curriculum. Cultivation of language in early childhood is of primary importance. Language skills build confidence and promote academic and social success.
Gaining maturity in speech and expression appropriate to this age level is encouraged. Preschool children learn to express themselves as they build vocabularies through stories, books, dramatic play and circle time. The Pre-K class "Getting Ready to Read" program helps them to develop and use many of the skills necessary for reading. Through the guided use of blocks, puzzles, and simple counting and sequencing games, the children develop number and spatial concepts.
Physical games and outdoor play in Central Park help them to develop healthy bodies and the social-emotional skills of good sportsmanship.
In work, play and interactions with others, the children are encouraged to be receptive and attentive to the activity and all that it encompasses – following instruction, paying attention, listening and watching, caring for personal belongings and classroom materials. We believe that learning to attend to one thing at a time fosters concentration, careful listening and accurate memory. Throughout the program the teachers set examples and maintain standards essential in the process of character building. The virtues of truthfulness, respect, generosity, courage and responsibility are valued and taught.
Parents are an essential part of preschool’s life. In addition to the planned parent/teacher conferences there is daily contact between the school and the child’s family.
Every morning the teachers are there early and anyone can speak to them if special instructions are necessary or any questions arise. Parents are invited to spend time with their children at the beginning of each day to help them settle into the classroom. They also may spend a part of the morning in the classroom, participating in activities as planned with the staff or accompany the group to Central Park. Additionally, the Preschool and Lower School community provides many opportunities for interaction among all the different ages of Philosophy Day students.
Older children visit the Pre-K classroom for reading time. Younger children look up to the upper classmates and try to emulate them as they pass each other in the stairwells and halls. Together, they learn compassion, patience and cooperation.
Nutrition and healthy eating play an important role in our program. Snacks, including fruit, cheese and crackers are available each day. Lunch is served in the classroom. The children sort their lunches into various categories and the meal is served family style.
Children learn to share, use simple table manners, serve each other and engage in meal time conversation.
Philosophy Day School’s Preschool Division provides an atmosphere of friendliness and mutual cooperation, which allows children to gain the confidence, independence and self-respect needed for their further development. Through simple activities they build language skills, learn how to attend, to concentrate, to listen, to remember. Their world opens up for them as they begin to help and care for each other. The curriculum, all the while, supports their growth: in developing a love of words through the stories they hear, tell and act out; in learning they way things work; in the enjoyment of movement through dance and playful exercise; in experimenting with color and proportion in their art work and creative construction projects.
Guiding and helping and, above all, watching are the teachers. The special interests and aptitudes of each child are encouraged and developed as appropriate to their age and maturity. Love and affection are showered equally on all.