Pre-K at Walden School
October 11, 2012
Did you know that a child’s vocabulary typically triples between the ages of three and five? At Walden School, Pre-kindergarten children are nurtured in a language-rich environment that values imagination and storytelling. With opportunities to learn new vocabulary in science, art, music, dance, library, and physical education, Pre-kindergarten students at Walden participate in all the same specialty classes as the older children. The school’s progressive philosophy addresses all aspects of a child’s growth: a strong academic program challenges intellect; an emphasis on self direction builds feelings of competence and self esteem; individually-paced learning and a respectful approach to problem-solving stress the value of each child’s unique abilities and character.
The facilities at Walden are physically geared towards children with an intentional organization that encourages social interaction and collaborative learning. Older students are mentors to younger students in the multi-age classrooms and teachers listen, observe, and ask questions to stretch students’ language and cognitive skills. With a wide range of experiential, hands-on activities, Pre-Kindergarten students test ideas and solve problems while increasing physical coordination and strengthening motor skills.
Starting in Pre-Kindergarten, students at Walden get to make choices and learn how to take care of themselves and others. Preschool Director Tina Riddle says, “Children’s play is their work and we want to respect that, so we refer to their daily activities as ‘jobs’ and encourage the children to choose jobs that are interesting to them.” By fostering social and emotional development in tandem with cognitive development, Walden teachers build close connections with students and their families.