Forest’s Edge Nursery School at Friends School Haverford
For students who are at least 2 years and 7 months by September 1.
Exciting News — we’re starting small! Friends School Haverford is now offering a flexible schedule, full-day, nature- and play-based nursery school program especially for little ones who miss the preschool cut-off date. Our unique curriculum encourages and celebrates curiosity, imagination, and exploration.
Each day, children in the Forest’s Edge Nursery Program at Friends School Haverford delight in nature exploration and experiences that spark curiosity and imagination. These experiences begin (and extend) into the woods – digging and searching for creepy crawlers, collecting and building imaginary settings, planting seeds and observing their growth, painting with natural materials, singing while stomping in puddles (and thinking about how ‘big’ the splash may be), planning with friends and teachers.
On the Forest’s Edge, the class meets for Morning and Afternoon Sharing. Children are given opportunities to share their appreciation and observations of the beauty surrounding them. Early literacy and imaginative play take place through reading picture books, dressing up using “props” from the classroom and nature, singing, and listening to the voices of friends. What do you hear the chickadee sing as she shares her story? Science and math discoveries occur through learning about numbers, patterns, reasoning, and problem solving. How many acorns can we drop into our bucket to fill it to the brim? Fine motor and sensory development is fostered through activities that promote eye-hand coordination, self-help skills, and small muscle control. What does the clay feel like in your hand? What patterns do you see from your tree rubbing?
The physical space of the indoor classroom encourages engaging encounters and relationship development. The arrangement of the classroom and materials promote choice and agency. The schedule allows for a balance between individual, small and whole group activities, as well as child directed and teacher initiated activity. The classroom opens into a green space designed for discovery – gardens, the FSH “puddle,” a chicken habitat, a greenhouse, butterfly garden, bee observatory, shady and sunny areas, climbing structures (trees and playground equipment), and the beautiful campus of Haverford College.
The program is based on the fundamentals of Howard Gardner, Lev Vygotsky, and the Reggio approach, as well as research that emphasizes nature-based curriculum. Reggio education promotes the understanding that children are curious, full of knowledge and potential, and intrigued to make connections to the world. There is an intentional model of collaboration and cooperation. Our emergent curriculum provides a framework for inquiry, observation, and listening to the voices of each child in the class community.
The Forest Edge program is a wonderful first “step” into the world of inquiry that our Friends School Haverford community embraces!
Flexible scheduling is available, up to 5 full days with before and after care add-on options; 3-morning minimum.