Our mission is to provide a developmentally appropriate program in a warm, constructive environment where children will grow in independence, concern for others, and readiness for future educational experiences. Each child is appreciated as an individual who possesses unique abilities and talents. Children of all races, religions, family backgrounds, and cultures are welcome and treated with respect and consideration.
St. Saviour’s Church Nursery School is a non-profit, non-denominational school located in Old Greenwich, CT. We are licensed by the State of CT ( license #12356) and accredited by the National Association of Young Children (NAEYC program ID #340972). We have part day programs for two, three, four and five-year-olds.
Our small, intimate environment allows us to know each child, appreciating his or her unique abilities. With the support and guidance of a highly qualified and professional staff, we expand your child’s world.No more than sixty children occupy our small school at any given time. We maintain excellent teacher to student ratios, with a team of three professional staff members in each classroom.
The core of our daily program is a literature-based curriculum. Classic stories as well as rich contemporary literature become the central theme for integrated learning experiences that cross all learning domains. Over a period of weeks, children are encouraged to explore their experience of the story by using an ever-changing palette of materials in the creative materials center, block center, dramatic play center, sensory table and literacy center. Children are encouraged to direct the path of the curriculum to reflect their particular needs and interests.
We also use the Project Approach, or project-based learning, to encourage curiosity, child-directed learning, and frequent immersion in the cycle of inquiry. Judy Harris Helm in her recent Becoming Young Thinkers provided the following description of deep project work. “Project work is about children experiencing the joy of solving a problem, investigating a process, and developing confidence in their own ability to learn. It’s also about children building mind and brain capacity as they think deeply to analyze, to synthesize new ideas, and to create meaningful artistic expressions, constructions, and other creations.” This is an excellent summary of our experience engaged in project work.
The Project Approach has strong similarities to The Storybook Journey, but the deep exploration that ensues is based on a topic of interest in the child’s world rather than a story, non-fiction rather than fiction, the cycle of inquiry rather than the strengthening of imagination. “The direction of a project is determined by child interest and engagement. It is the children’s questions and what they find out that determines the direction and outcome of the project.” Deep project work and storybook journeys work in tandem quite beautifully.
Children learn best when learning begins with what they already know and capitalizes on emotional involvement with the content. When children actively construct their own knowledge (rather than simply memorize what others have learned) they are more likely to be motivated in the learning experience. In the process, intellectual abilities become stronger and can lay the foundation for a lifelong disposition to ask questions, seek answers, and make sense of significant events around them. At the same time, the development, application, and strengthening of vital social competencies occur, also with implications for lifelong use and value. Both project work and storybook journeys light up classrooms with child learning and bind children and adults into learning communities.
Project work is also the focus of our extended day program, “Young Investigators” which engages four-year-old children that register for this Tuesday-Thursday after-school exploration of a topic that is authentic, tangible, relevant to the group of children, builds on what the children already know, offers opportunities for field work and investigation, and offers opportunities for higher level thinking.
The Connecticut Preschool Framework is used through observation to authentically and meaningfully assess each child’s progress. This information is shared with parents throughout the year.