At Mayapple School, we have a philosophy of engaged, meaningful education. Our curriculum is “deep and rich.” Here’s what we think that means at the preschool level:
- Children have opportunities to learn new ideas and explore them first-hand. Real learning directly addresses interesting topics and meaningful activities. Preschool is not just “cute.” We have real work to do here. Read more about our unit topics here.
- Both open-ended and self-correcting materials are used, allowing for creative manipulation and learner competency. Students are increasingly challenged in using the materials as they become more familiar with them.
- Important learning areas include: maths, literacy, outdoor and nature education, art and music, fine and gross motor skills, social and emotional awareness, and practical life skills. Creativity in all areas is nurtured through direct engagement with the learner.
- For many students, this is the first time that they are part of a community of learners. Group work includes games, creative play, and social skills that children learn best while working with their peers.
- Because intrinsic motivation within a child is so important, independent work is self-selected. While available options are taught and guided by teachers, the child works at his or her own pace. Children are not rotated through centers.
- Positive discipline is used. Children learn to control themselves, not have others control them.
- Grades, gold stars, and vague praise are not used. Instead, children are encouraged to develop their own evaluation skills through questions such as “What do you think?” Written feedback is used for parent-teacher conferences.