Each preschool classroom uses thematic units to provide activities that foster academic development and social interactions. We believe that children learn through meaningful play and, therefore, the daily routine is centered around developmentally appropriate activities. Our curriculum is based on the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Milestones and Foundation Blocks to prepare our students for kindergarten. Values such as sharing, manners, and respect for one another are established through warm relationships developed with new friends and loving Christian staff members. Quality early learning matters, so we work hard to build top-quality early learning experiences for all of St. Andrew Preschool children.
Play is essential to a child’s brain development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children. This type of play is student centered which is guided by the students. The students choose how they are going to play and what to play with. There is room for much imagination and creativity in this type of play. Children are given the opportunity to freely explore a variety of materials everyday in addition to teacher created materials. All enriched play centers are stocked with a variety of academic content as well of enhancing social skill .that help the child learn as they play. These centers include math, science, literacy, writing, fine motor, creative drama, art, music, technology, engineering, sand and water.
Top 6 Reasons for Play:
- Helps children learn about the world and society
- Promotes problem-solving
- Promotes creativity, imagination, cognitive, social, and emotional development
- Can be used to deepen understanding of classroom content
- Enhances language and cultural development
- As the research shows, play is an important part of the classroom because it helps develop the child in ways that other pedagogies and strategies cannot. Play is sure to develop the whole child, not just the cognitive parts.
Integrating Play Within Curriculum:
In order to implement play in a structured and effective manner, it should have a place in a preschool curriculum. There are many benefits to building curriculum on play. First, it assures that content will be developmentally appropriate. Then, it creates differentiation for the students. This is because play is determined by the students. The students decide what they want to learn or how they will learn through their play.
Research shows that play has a positive impact on students in their development, therefore it is a large part of the curriculum in St. Andrew Preschool. When children are able to select what they learn, they will be more engaged and able to attain the information.