Kindergarten

Elementary School

Kindergarten year at WNS

Kindergarten is a play-based program that is driven by a constructivist philosophy, supporting the idea that children make meaning from asking questions and solving problems in their immediate environment. In addition to spacious and engaging classrooms, kindergarten students enjoy an outdoor learning center with a garden, working stream, sand area, and materials to explore, investigate, create, and play in an organic and authentic way. The scientific experimental model in our kindergarten curricula forms the basis for teaching and learning. Students are asked to hypothesize, test, and defend their ideas. They document learning using many different systems of artistic expression to both explain and investigate concepts.

CURRICULUM

The WNS constructivist learning center

Constructivist, Reggio-inspired schools like WNS are based on the learning theories of Vygotsky, Piaget, and Dewey. Reggio educators believe that young children are capable of rigorous curriculum within a developmental framework that allows them to explore, test, and question their world. The Reggio model at WNS incorporates all of the philosophical ideas and educational pedagogy embodied in our philosophy, engaging students in inquiry and learning that is organic and authentic.

Building a strong home-school connection is integral in the Reggio-inspired classroom. Opportunities for children to extend their inquiry-based explorations to the home are provided. Parents have numerous opportunities throughout the school year to experience their children engaged in Reggio-inspired activities.

The scientific experimental model forms the basis for teaching and learning. Students are asked to hypothesize, test out and defend their ideas. They document learning using many different systems of artistic expression to both explain and investigate concepts. Reggio-engaged teachers work closely with our art specialist who plans with classroom teachers to develop inspired long-term projects of study.

Outdoor and indoor spaces are rich in visual images and objects to provide provocations for inquiry and research, and children are expected to respect environments and care for them. Students are encouraged to question, probe, and engage their innate curiosity.

Children are encouraged to see themselves as an important member of the classroom and school community, making choices that will enhance the experience of all students. Students participate in real activities as part of the learning environment. Children learn about cause and effect from real life experiences.

Documentation of student learning and making learning visible are important benchmarks of a Reggio-inspired program. Similar to the portfolio approach, documentation of children’s work in progress is viewed as an important tool in the learning process for students, teachers, and parents. Pictures of children engaged in learning experiences, documentation of their words as they discuss what they are doing, feeling and thinking, and the student’s interpretation of experience through the visual media are displayed as a graphic presentation of the dynamics of learning.

Our Program

  • Full-day program.
  • Student to teacher ratio of 9:1.
  • Three classrooms of 18 students, with two lead teachers per class for flexible groupings and differentiated instruction.
  • Nurtures students’ intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development.
  • Students strengthen literacy and math skills, learn about their world through social studies and science, and attend weekly classes in art, music, Spanish and physical education.

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