Read how our Quaker-inspired philosophy comes to life in our early education program.
Ours is an emergent Early School curriculum through which children construct their understanding of the world by experimenting, playing, questioning, discussing, and wondering.
Individually and in groups, through themes or in-depth projects, they explore, make choices, and encounter diverse and wondrous worlds. They care for their school and the larger community through service work, and learn to delight in the natural world through outdoor play and trips afield.
We believe that the spirit of creativity and a sense of awe for our amazing world and everything in it are sparks to be ignited and flames to be fanned, creating a lifelong curiosity for investigation.
Within our overall program, each campus is distinguished by its own guiding inspirations and led by the shared work of its unique students and staff. The source for these inspirations can be found in leading educational theories and frameworks, and our staff continually build upon their knowledge and experience with professional development opportunities in both established and cutting edge early education models.
The Reggio Emilia Approach
This model promotes the rights and potential of children, teachers, and parents, marked by attention to the affirmation of competencies, collegial and relational-based provocative experiences, the importance of environments and spaces, educational documentation, and listening.
This dynamic classroom approach has students actively explore real-world problems and challenges and acquire a deeper knowledge. Students work on a project over an extended period of time and demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing a public product or presentation for a real audience.
This approach emphasizes direct, hands-on experiences with people, objects, events, and ideas. Children take the first step in the learning process by making choices. Teachers, older students, and parents then offer support to gently extend and "scaffold" children's thinking and reasoning.
Taking children out together into the community is such an important part of our curriculum, and a way that we hope to serve the community—this allows children to be seen and heard! By sharing the strong potential of our children as learners and community members, we open people's eyes to the rights of all children. Sara Orphanides, Durham Early School teacher
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