Our program supports a child's learning through play, discovery and hands-on experiences. We provide a child centered curriculum that focuses on the needs, abilities, and interests of the young child.
Art at SJPPNS is a creative experience of discovery. Children are encouraged to experiment with a variety of materials and see what happens! What is important for a young child is the process of art, not the product. Each day there is easel painting, art media, and a play dough table with tools to explore. On our deck we provide carpentry activities with wood, glue, nails, and other assorted materials.
Science means discovery at our school. Any given day a child may enjoy bug collecting, squishing their toes in cooked pasta, dripping watercolors in a block of ice, dunking their hands and arms in a mixture of cornstarch and water, or scooping up rice in the sensory table.
We explore all of the math skills that a young child should develop prior to entering kindergarten. Children work with manipulatives such as small plastic dinosaurs, stacking cubes or buttons to pattern, sort, and count. Our small group times include math games and activities that are age appropriate.
Children are free to come to the table as they choose and participate in making their snack. At the kitchen area, children learn a variety of cooking techniques such as pouring, cutting, spreading and shredding while developing their social skills by interacting with the other children and the parent at the table.
Our outdoor environment is spacious, child centered, and open for exploration throughout the day. There are long bike paths, a challenging play structure and a large sand pond with running water. The sand pond is a favorite spot for building volcanoes, rivers and bridges. Making sand muffins and “cooking” swamp soup are every day sand pond activities. A water table with many funnels, cups, sailboats and containers is filled daily. There are also large blocks available for creating obstacle courses or building an airplane! A working children’s garden enables children to plant, grow, and harvest foods that can be used in the classroom for cooking projects. The children’s garden is also a place of observation, and is used for science projects, learning about life cycles, and composting.
Our directors share fun and engaging stories with the children each day. Children are encouraged to participate in the stories and act out special tales. The children learn songs, chants and fingerplays, which develop literacy and pre-reading skills. Each day a writer’s table is open, with a variety of materials to stimulate writing development. Parents are available to take dictation from children-a letter to a parent or teacher, a story to be read to the class or a description of the child’s picture. Our Book Nook is always stocked with favorite books and there is a huge, comfy chair for adults to sit with and read to children.
Music and Movement
Our school environment stimulates dramatic play and imagination throughout the indoor and outdoor areas. Our extensive dress-up area is always open for enjoyment. Princesses, cowboys, chefs and animals play at SJPPNS every day! We have a loft area with a kitchen playhouse for those who like to “cook”.
Adventures in music begin in the One-Day class and continues in our older classes. We build confidence and bring favorite books and nursery rhymes to life with dramas. We explore a variety of musical instruments, dance to old and new favorites, and build memory and language skills through rhyming games and finger plays.