As we head into winter and enjoy all the activities that come with it, please note that state guidelines require a PCR test for all individuals crossing state lines. Students will be required to submit a negative PCR COVID test to the health office before a student can return to campus every time they travel to a “High Risk” state. Learn more

Early Childhood Program

Our Approach

Our youngest students are adventurers: they are eager to connect, explore and learn. We support them in their growth and independence during this very special time through a thoughtfully-sequenced curriculum that creates an environment filled with possibilities. We honor the social and academic learning that happens through play and exploration. Art, music, and movement bring joy and creativity to each day. Our Early Childhood Program follows an integrated curriculum model that teaches children through meaningful context. By introducing an overarching big idea then weaving traditional subjects such as math, literacy and social studies around one central theme, students are able to access information and skills in a deeper, more meaningful way. Even our youngest students begin to see themselves as writers, mathematicians, artists, musicians, athletes, scientists through daily explorations and activities. 

At Brookwood, we teach and model kindness, compassion and social competency; it is our belief that all children can feel that they are contributing members of a community. Using five basic tenets as a foundation—empathy/civility, sense of self, resiliency, advocacy and personal responsibility—students learn to pay attention to their feelings and emotions, and respect and honor those of their peers. Students are exposed to regular mindfulness practices where they begin to acquire the tools to work with daily situations. The service learning projects are also used to teach students about local and global issues through research and action.

 

Classroom Communities

At Brookwood, teachers lay the foundations for strong class communities: expectations are shared, routines are established and rules are created in order to help all kids be their best. We devote the beginning weeks of school to practicing the skills needed to create and maintain a cooperative and collaborative environment. Classroom communities are created anew every September—each one unique and distinct, molded by the personalities and passions of its students and teachers—with the overarching goal of honoring all individuals as members of our broader, vibrant Brookwood community.

Building Relationships Across Grades

As part of our Personal Growth and Development (PGD) program, EC students meet with fourth grade buddies regularly to foster a greater understanding of what it means to be an empathetic and responsible member of our school community. It is a wonderful opportunity for both the younger and older students to form relationships that last throughout their years at Brookwood.

 

Curriculum Overview

Mathematics

A central focus of our math curriculum is developing each child’s beginning number sense (good intuition about numbers, their magnitude, relationships and how they are affected by operations) through daily practice. We find math in all aspects of our day. Mathematical concepts are woven throughout our daily routines and lessons; for example, during Morning Meeting, children use schedule cards to learn about number groups, counting and patterns. Students are exposed to number and operation, geometry and spatial concepts, measurement, and patterns/algebra. They learn different ways of thinking about numbers and solving problems by working with their classmates. They also analyze data and build math strategies by talking about how they came up with their answer (i.e. “There are 12 cards. I know because I counted them.” or “There are 12 cards. There are five on the top and five on the bottom and two more.”)

Literacy

Students are immersed in print and language during the course of their day. From environmental print to sitting in our classroom library with headsets that play a read along book, they are seeing and hearing words. Our literacy curriculum is filled with games, big books and integrated phonemic awareness activities that support all children in their emergent reading and writing skills. We believe that a strong foundation of writing begins with oral narratives. Our goal is for students to build effective communication skills, and with three, four and five year olds, this begins with oral language and is then supported with illustrations. Children begin to build foundational literacy skills, and most importantly, see themselves as readers and writers.

Outdoor Classroom

You can find our Early Childhood students outside for much of their day! Outdoor experiences provide opportunities for children to engage in both social and academic learning. Through unstructured outdoor play, children gain understanding of the dynamics of social interactions. Guided explorations of our natural world bring opportunities to ask questions and develop answers based on background knowledge and observation. When they explore nature, students engage in the type of study that both promotes scientific understanding and also develops the foundational skills of problem solving. Our goal is to demonstrate curiosity and a passion for social and academic exploration, enabling EC students to see inquiry as a dynamic, enjoyable and exciting endeavor. From creating artistic sculpture gardens using recycled materials to conducting scientific-driven field work on nature walks, students utilize the natural elements of our campus throughout the fall, winter and spring seasons.

Social Studies

Our social studies curriculum is based upon the themes of community and responsibility. Students begin to see themselves as members of a community outside of their families, and build awareness about how their actions and contributions affect their peers. Common aspects of cultures are explored, including religion, language, music, education and celebrations. We help children expand their viewpoints, learning about the world beyond their own experiences. We integrate an anti-bias curriculum in our social studies units in order to share a different perspective with the children. What makes us similar? What makes us unique? We also look at each child’s favorite food. Where does it grow? How does it get here? Does everyone in the world have access to it? Through food, students explore geography, civics, economics and history.

Library

Students visit the library at least once a week for a dedicated library class where they are exposed to a variety of story types and lengths, especially through children’s literature, that enhance the classroom curriculum. Reading is the core of personal and academic competency and students begin by “reading” images to discern meaning. In addition to learning how to locate the early reading section of the library and find specific books with assistance, students begin to understand the responsibility of book care by borrowing and returning books and materials. Our extensive 18,000+ volume collection serves as a valuable resource for students and faculty throughout the school year as part of our integrated curriculum model, and it also provides families with a variety of child and adolescent development resources.
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