Our curriculum is developmentally appropriate, emergent, and constructive. This means that our curriculum:
Is appropriate to the developmental stage of each child.
Is concerned with the process of learning rather than the product.
Allows the child to set his/her own learning pace.
Builds on the child’s own interests and abilities.
Encourages the child to question, hypothesize, experiment, discover, solve problems and develop cognitive processes.
Recognizes the value of play in a child’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development.
Classroom themes, projects and activities often emerge from the children's interests or from events in the life of the classroom or larger community. For example, in September Sitka’s streams are filled with salmon and the woods are full of ripe berries, so we venture outdoors for hands-on experience, then bring these themes back into the classroom with related stories, drama, science explorations, cooking projects, and art.
Children are encouraged to construct their own ideas and theories about their world through play, experimentation, and social interaction rather than simply receiving the information from adults. For example, children might explore the properties of weight and motion by constructing ramps and rolling objects; they learn much more through this hands-on experience than they would from an adult's verbal explanation or demonstration of these principles. Teachers observe and plan carefully to provoke, enhance and extend children's learning.
Play is the developmental task of children through which children come to know the world and their place in it. Through play and planned activities, children experiment, problem-solve, develop social skills, and creatively construct knowledge that is the basis for further learning.
Through our rich curriculum, stimulating classroom environments, and creative play opportunities children gain the skills needed for more formal learning in kindergarten and beyond. Our curriculum emphasizes the process of learning rather than the product. For example, we are more interested that children experience a rich and varied literary environment than prompting them to recite the alphabet. Our goal is to allow children to experience success and develop skills as a natural extension of their inner curiosity and joy in learning.
Development of language and literacy is strongly supported by a curriculum and environment rich with opportunity. The daily schedule and physical environment are constructed to allow for small-group and one-on-one interactions, which are recognized as best for language development. Exposure to high quality children’s literature is woven throughout the curriculum, and language and literacy are integrated into all activities.