Kensington Nursery School serves children from ages two to four. We have five class groups that meet at different times during the week, utilizing the two classrooms in our building. Learn more about our curriculum, classes, and extended day.
Curriculum at the Kensington Nursery School is developed by the educational staff and is implemented in a partnership with the co-oping adults. The curriculum is thematically based and developmentally appropriate. Daily planning includes opportunities for small and large group, active and quiet, and indoor and outdoor activities. Children are encouraged to make choices. Physical, cognitive, sensory and emotional skills are developed through opportunities for play, experimentation and exploration in the following classroom areas or “centers.”
Includes graphic arts (such as paint, crayons, chalk) as well as modeling materials (including clay, play dough, slime), paste and collage and a diverse collection of other “found objects.” Art activities provide opportunity for motor, self-expression and creativity. It is the interaction with materials rather than the finished product that is important.
Kitchen/Dramatic Play Area
Includes use of thematically based “prop boxes” to create interesting environments for fantasy and make-believe play. Kitchen or “housekeeping” equipment includes furniture, dishes, clothing and other materials familiar to the child. Dramatic play provides opportunities for role-playing in make-believe and real life situations. It builds creative thinking, language, social skills and self-image.
Block Building Area
Includes blocks of different sizes, forms and materials (such as unit blocks, hollow blocks, cardboard bricks) with a variety of accessories (vehicles, animals, people, puppets, mats, etc.) designed to enhance the play. A large, carpeted space is provided to allow for large constructions. The open-ended quality of blocks lends itself to satisfying experiences, both simple and complex. Math, science, language, motor and problem-solving skills are just some of the areas complemented by block play.
The versatility of sand, wood and water provide a framework for many developmental concepts. Natural materials are used both indoors and outdoors. Sieves, funnels, hoses, shovels, spoons and a variety of containers are used extensively for sand and water. Child-sized tools, glue, tape and wood scraps provide opportunities for building. Motor, mathematical, creative, social skills are encouraged along with scientific exploration.
Small motor materials such as puzzles, pegs, beads, etc. promote the use of cognitive, eye-hand and problem-solving skills. Generally a quiet activity, manipulatives may be used individually or with a small group.
A comfortable space, arrayed with carpet and pillows, invites children to explore the world of books. Books of stories, poetry, non-fiction, as well as, picture books are made available. Stories are part of every day’s routine, whether by books, puppets, felt board or role-playing.
The playground is considered an extension of the classroom. Outside time is part of everyday play. Children work actively trying out ideas, games, roles and the environment. Children run jump, skip, hop, climb, slide, swing, push, throw and dig, as well as, collect and examine natural objects. A variety of climbers, wheel-toys, digging areas, swings, slides and dramatic play areas are provided.
Experiences are provided to promote the development of skills in observation, problem-solving and understanding of cause and effect. These activities provide exposure to mathematical concepts of measurement and afford opportunities to use skills in comparing and contrasting. Children are encouraged to expand their appreciation of their environment and the natural world through exploration and experimentation.
This portion of the class provides an opportunity for each child to participate in a large group activity where ideas are shared and demonstrated. The class is gathered as a whole group for ten to fifteen minutes to engage in social activities such as games, singing, dancing, role-playing, as well as, listening to a story with relevant discussion.
The KNS curriculum is play-based and includes developmentally appropriate and thematically based activities. Daily planning includes opportunities for small and large group, active and quiet, and indoor and outdoor activities. Children are encouraged to make choices. Physical, cognitive, sensory and emotional skills are developed through opportunities for play, experimentation and exploration in classroom “centers.”
Tuesday and Thursday
9:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.
The curriculum focus for our youngest children is primarily on their social-emotional growth. Typically, this is their first time in school, and one component of this experience is helping them master their feelings concerning separation from their parents and/or caregivers. The building of positive relationships between parents and teachers is the foundation for a child’s constructive experience with starting school. The twos class creates a safe and age-appropriate setting, while providing an introduction to the routines and tasks of a typical school day. Experiential activities offer learning through dramatic play, simplified art and other projects, music, outdoor play, toys, blocks and games. Story times and group gatherings are kept purposely short for this group. There are no field trips for this class.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
9:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.
Most children in this class have been in school already for a year. Some art projects include multiple steps, and music and stories are more complex. Books may be acted out, and pre-literacy skills such as patterning, predicting and extending are encouraged. The children have daily job assignments to teach cooperation and increased responsibility. Activities include music/movement, art, sensory table, dramatic play, manipulatives, reading, and outdoor play. An emphasis on self-help skills, sharing, and cooperation drives this curriculum. Several field trips are planned throughout the school year.
Monday through Friday
9:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.
The fours consists mostly of children who will be attending Kindergarten during the next school year. An important focus in this class is helping children develop the emotional readiness for the Kindergarten experience. An atmosphere of cooperation, shared responsibility, and competence is created with daily jobs, responsibilities, and logical consequences for the students. The themes and centers in this classroom allow for more in-depth learning and independent problem solving. Physical, cognitive, sensory and emotional skills are developed through opportunities for play, experimentation and exploration in “centers” including art, dramatic play, water/natural materials, manipulatives/fine motor, block building, books/storytelling, gross motor/outside play, music/circle time. Several field trips are planned throughout the school year.
Tuesday and Thursday
11:45 A.M. – 2:15 P.M.
The majority of this class is also new to school, and the year begins much as the twos class. As the attention spans of the older twos and young threes increase, they are able to pursue activities for longer periods of time, concentrate more fully, follow directions more quickly and so forth. They are usually able to take turns and tolerate the frustration of waiting, and transition times are easier. Activities and learning centers include opportunities for: dramatic play, block play manipulative and other toys, and experiences with sand and water play, books, music, movement and many outdoor activities. The curriculum is balanced between a focus on their social-emotional, cognitive, and physical growth. There are no field trips for this class.
Monday through Thursday
12:00 P.M. – 2:30 P.M.
Many children in this class transition directly to Kindergarten the following year. As this class is a mixed-age class, it is also one that can be repeated. An atmosphere of cooperation, shared responsibility, and competence is created with daily jobs, responsibilities, and logical consequences for the students. Curriculum topics emerge naturally from the interests of the children and/or seasonal motifs. Physical, cognitive, sensory and emotional skills are developed through opportunities for play, experimentation and exploration in “centers” including art, dramatic play, water/natural materials, manipulatives/fine motor, block building, books/storytelling, gross motor/outside play, music/circle time. Centers are the same as in the fours class. Activities are individualized and differentiated based on the ages and stages of this mixed-age class. Several field trips are planned throughout the school year.
For A.M. 3s and A.M. 4s
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
11:30 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.
The Extended Day Program is an unstructured class experience open to children enrolled in either the A.M. 3s or the A.M. 4s class. Extended day is being offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and is $65 per month for each day enrolled. It’s also available for drop-in for $25 per day.
Extended Day begins when the morning classes end and runs until 2:00 pm. There is a paid assistant so no co-oping is necessary.