Berkshire Country Day School’s Preschool program is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. The program provides a nurturing educational environment, while offering a child-centered curriculum to support each child’s learning style and development readiness. Our experienced and talented teachers cultivate and encourage each child’s development through experiences that foster a passion for learning. Children are encouraged to explore, play, take risks, listen, and find their voices in creative and expressive ways.
- A nurturing and stimulating educational environment for young children.
- Child-centered curriculum supports each child’s learning style and developmental readiness.
- Experienced and talented teachers encourage each child’s development through experiences that foster their passion for learning.
- BCD’s recently remodeled preschool rooms are open and bright, and provide ready access to the outdoors.
- The natural world is an extension of the classroom and used throughout the day to connect play and learning. Students use the pond and the miles of hiking trails as well as using found, natural materials in classroom projects.
- Specialty teachers lead classes in French, music, library, and physical education.
- Children gain confidence, adapt to group experiences, learn to respect others, find their voices, and become life-long learners.
- Children develop social skills and practice cooperation through purposeful work and play.
- Students share backgrounds, celebrate holiday traditions, enjoy food from all over the world, read stories, and listen to music to discover the differences and commonalities that we share.
- Children’s remarks, photographs of work and representations of their thinking and learning are used by the teacher to document and hypothesize about the direction of learning. These are displayed in the classroom and shared with visitors.
- Peer Reading program models and encourages reading in a healthy, social context with lower school partners.
- A variety of enrollment options available are available including an Extended-Day Program until 5:30 p.m.
Preschool Program Highlights
- Literacy skills progress through exposure to literature, storytelling, songs, reflective listening, and class meetings. This work develops a rich base in expressive and receptive language.
- Early math concepts are explored through hands-on use of materials such as manipulatives, puzzles, and blocks to promote the understanding of concepts, patterning, sequencing, comparing, and spatial relationships.
- Children are introduced to the scientific process by engaging in concrete activities such as observing and recording plant growth, caring for animals, following the weather, researching at the pond, and exploring the outdoors.
- Children are helped to express themselves and build vocabulary by being read to, looking at books, and conversing during circle and activity times.
- Children sing, dance, play rhythm instruments, and act out stories during music class and listen to music from all over the world.
- French is introduced through songs, stories, games, and play by a specialist.
- Imagination is encouraged in art and project-based activities; students have opportunities to be creative every day, using a variety of materials.
- The social studies curriculum emphasizes knowledge of the students’ families, communities, and the world around them. This understanding empowers students to feel connected and confident in school and in life.
The Reggio Emilia Approach – A Brief Introduction
The Reggio Emilia approach was developed in Italy in the 1940’s. The model has been embraced worldwide, considered by many today to be one of the best and most innovative models for early childhood education, and one that is most consistent with the way young children learn.
- Reggio-based programs share a core belief that every child brings with them deep curiosity and wonder and that each child is full of potential and interests. Teachers view each child as strong, resourceful and resilient.
- The program begins with learning about the interests and abilities of each group of children, finding out what fascinates them and using that as a springboard for introducing various components of study.
- Reggio teachers share a conviction that children are capable of contributing to their own learning through investigations and that their curiosity drives their interest to investigate. The teacher acts as a mentor who works collaboratively with the children to facilitate these investigations.
- The environment is considered to be an important teacher of our children, therefore classrooms are organized to facilitate exploration and learning, and outdoor investigations are a key component of a Reggio experience.
Learn more about this incredible preschool education that’s quintessentially the Berkshires!