Our early childhood programs provide a special learning environment for the youngest students at Pine Point.
The Preschool Program
In Pine Point’s preschool program children grow in a safe, nurturing environment that builds confidence and independence. Over a two or three year continuum, the program facilitates individual learning with a particular emphasis on play, while also cultivating critical thinking and a love of learning by instilling empathy, respect for self, respect for others and responsibility.
The preschool faculty is the heart of the program – all have earned bachelors or masters degrees in early childhood education. Faculty engage in ongoing professional development in early childhood teaching strategies. Teachers foster a positive, personal relationship with each child as they acknowledge and respect their differences. We recognize that each child develops at a different rate and teachers work with each child to provide support and instruction to best meet individual needs.
The academic curriculum includes weekly literacy, math and STEM activities. Center time and circle time are designed to be flexible, allowing students to approach tasks at their own developmental levels. Children work in small groups, participating in both teacher-directed and student-directed activities.
We value the importance of play as children learn about the world around them and develop a strong sense of self. Activities and materials are designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity while building independence. Children develop early literacy skills by using both receptive and expressive language through play. By using a combination of direct instruction and play-based centers, children develop a love of books, print and phonemic awareness, letter recognition, and a rich vocabulary. Preschool students also explore a variety of manipulatives to encourage problem-solving, patterning, and number sense. Fine and gross motor skills develop as children utilize small and large muscles in their daily activities. Throughout the day, students are learning to work both individually and with peers.
Spanish is taught in short sessions several times a week by the Spanish language teacher. Instruction includes music, movement, and games to make learning fun. During the second year of preschool, students take science classes taught by the lower school science specialist. Activities are hands-on and are directly related to the classroom curriculum.
Preschool students have the opportunity to play outdoors several times a day as weather permits. Research shows that the benefits of outdoor play include the development of executive functioning skills that help us plan, prioritize, troubleshoot, negotiate, and multitask. Outdoor play also provides exercise and opportunities for risk-taking and socialization as well as an appreciation of nature.
Members of Our Community
Preschool students at Pine Point School are members of the Pine Point community. They have the unique opportunity to experience learning beyond the classroom. Daily, students “travel” to a class in music, physical education, or creative movement where they are taught by teachers trained in each discipline in a specialized space on campus.
Students are also introduced to our love of multi-age learning through partnerships with second grade reading and writing buddies, attendance at the monthly Lower School Morning Meeting, participation in all school hot lunches, and attendance at school performances.
The significance of what it means to be a good citizen and an active community member are demonstrated through our service learning program. In preschool, the curriculum integrates theme-based fundraising activities that allow the children to experience the joy of giving back.Past service learning projects have included a hat and mitten drive for families in need and a fundraising project to help local animal shelters. Within the classroom, students have enjoyed traveling petting zoos and visits from community members.