From the Directors
Welcome to Rye Presbyterian Nursery School. As a progressive preschool, inspired by the “Reggio” philosophy of how young children learn, our program uses an emergent curriculum that builds upon the interests of the children. “Project work” evolves from the children’s ideas, and as teachers and children collaborate to research these ideas, each child is encouraged and stimulated to explore, to experiment and to discover, using their own unique learning style and interests.
Teachers document each child’s progress, validating the children’s abilities and enabling authentic ongoing assessment, rather than assessing through a single testing situation. This approach helps children to develop their curiosity, creativity, concentration and listening, and observation skills.
As preschoolers play and negotiate with their classmates, they develop an awareness of their own feelings and the feelings of those around them. Children learn to make choices, consistent with their desires, yet respecting the rights and feelings of their classmates. As they learn to interact positively with other children and adults and practice conflict resolution skills when needed, their own self-esteem increases.
RPNS is committed to working effectively with students of varying abilities and, to that end, part time early childhood professionals provide additional instruction in speech, occupational therapy and educational support when needed. We are extremely supportive of parents who wish to seek evaluation and remediation for their child, who may be experiencing difficulties.
Parent participation is one of our most important goals at RPNS and it is encouraged in many ways. Opportunities are provided for parent workshops, special classroom visits, attendance on field trips and participation in our Parent Organization. Our Reggio inspired project approach provides documentation of the children’s work for parents to read, enjoy, and follow their child’s progress.
We believe that play is the universal language of children and the medium used to encourage children to touch, feel, smell, hear, and see their world. As they play with blocks, children learn the principles necessary for math skills. When they manipulate puzzles and enjoy other sensory experiences, they are increasing the perceptual development that is a prerequisite for reading. As they paint, draw, and play with small manipulatives, they develop the dexterity needed for writing. And, as they involve themselves in each of these activities, they are interacting with others and practicing the language and social skills that are so necessary for them to succeed in their world beyond preschool.