top of page

Curriculum

Our goal is to provide the child with a nurturing environment that fosters creativity, stimulates the imagination and intellect, where they can develop the skills necessary for life-long learning and academic success. At BHNS, we provide the most optimal learning for young children through our play-based curriculum, where children transition into a school environment with joy and excitement for learning. 

 

Play-based curriculum combines open ended play with thoughtfully guided participation in activities and projects. Play is the mechanism for growth and learning across all domains of a child's development. Teachers guide children’s play and participation in meaningful activities, helping them adapt their knowledge to a new situation, and provide support for emerging new skills. Activities include theme-based projects throughout the year, music, arts, open-ended manipulative materials, science, cooking projects, carpentry, storytelling, games, and outdoor play.

20230112-bhns_0001final-hifinal.jpg
nursery school 15.jpg

Through play children practice new concepts to make sense of them. Development alongside and amongst peers further broadens their understanding with opportunities for mastery through continued play and problem solving. With the scaffold of teachers to co-regulate and guide emotional learning, children are offered opportunities to strengthen emotional functioning for goal-oriented collaborations, imperative for school readiness and becoming life-long learners.

 

Development is a lifelong process. Early childhood development theory, as well as current understanding of brain development, informs that if you can learn to play well, then you embody the ability to adapt, master new skills, problem solve, express emotions, self-regulate, strengthen executive functioning and resilience.  Our curriculum and philosophy support this optimal development. 

The classrooms are set up intentionally to support both self-regulation of social and emotional behavior as well as cognitive self-regulation. These include areas for self-chosen and self-regulated tasks, areas with choices and materials that can be accessed and used without adult intervention, as well as areas of play offering tasks supported through scaffolding by teachers, problem solving invitations and closed-ended activities that have clear goals and steps involved. 

 

Opportunities for gross motor and outdoor play are similarly carefully planned and provide opportunity for sensory integration. 

 

In addition to the morning curriculum, Hawthorne Pre-K offers an art history curriculum. In two-week intervals, they learn about different artists and are able to produce their own art in the style of each artist studied. Twice during the year they bring home a portfolio of art produced in the style of Van Gogh, Matisse, and Mondrian, among others.

nursery school 11.jpg

Time for Twos

Time for Twos

We are committed to supporting both child and parent transition to preschool with ease.  Time for Twos is an opportunity for children between 2 and 2.5 years old to attend Belvedere Nursery School with a parent or caregiver on Thursday afternoons.  Because the format is a condensed version of the regular TTh morning program, both child and parent will feel more confident when the transition to the morning program occurs.  Time for Twos gives students the opportunity to become familiar with the classroom and outdoor space, meet some of the teachers they will be with when they join the TTh Class, and get to know the routines and expectations of the preschool classroom.

Eligibility

Children must be 2-2.5 years old. 

bhns-20221214_0449final-hifinal.jpg

Daily Routine:

3:00-3:25

Arrival and free choice play time outside or inside

3:25-3:45

Circle Time with music and explanation of the art activity for the day

3:45-4:15

4:15-4:30

Art activity and free choice play time

Snack and story for the children; parent discussion group for the adults

The art activities are designed to introduce the children to a variety of mediums and methods.  Simple art and craft activities include painting, gluing, printing, marble rolling, finger painting, sponge painting, chalk rubbing, etc.  

 

The parent discussion time has two benefits: it is the only time during the afternoon at school when children and parents aren’t participating in the same activity.  As they enjoy a snack and listen to a story, children can see their parents nearby.  Additionally, the parent discussion time is an opportunity to get to know one another.  We discuss a variety of topics which may include: toilet training, holiday stress, routines at home, sibling rivalry, etc.  It is meant to meet the needs of the parents, so discussions vary based on the questions and interests of the group.

Belvedere Nursery School 

Tuesday & Thursday

This program is often a child's first experience of being away from parents in a school environment. Teachers create a nurturing environment for children to develop a secure transition into school.  Through our research supported play-based curriculum children learn to navigate peer interactions, accept instruction from positive and caring teachers, gain skills in social and prosocial behavior, self-regulation, and cognitive abilities. Through our grounded yet flexible schedule and daily routine the children become confident in their transition to school.

 

Our teachers lovingly guide children through play and meaningful activities, providing support and scaffolding for their emerging new skills, broadening understanding and concepts. Daily activities include music and circle time, free choice time, arts and crafts, participation in unit projects, movement, and gross motor activities, small group time including language activities, all intertwined in play. Each part of our day is carefully planned with intentions to support the dynamic dimensions of your child’s development. 

Eligibility

Children must be at least 2 yr 6mo. 

Schedule

8:30-11:30am; optional lunch program from 11:30 - 12:30pm

nursery school 16_edited.jpg
nursery school 13.jpg

Daily Routine:

Our consistent daily routine provides comfort and security for the children, while also allowing for natural flow and soft transitions, and supports intrinsic motivation.  An example of a day in the classroom may look like this:

8:30-9:05 

9:05-9:35 

9:35-10:30

Arrival and free choice activities

Circle Time

Free choice activities inside and outside; 

planned art projects and activities

10:30-11:30

Snack/small group time-five groups

11:30

Dismissal for students not staying for Lunch

11:30-11:55

Free choice activities inside and outside;

Planned art projects and activities

11:55-12:05

Whole class story time

12:05-12:30

Lunch

12:30 

Dismissal

Belvedere Nursery School 

Monday, Wednesday & Friday

This program builds upon the skills that the children have acquired in the previous year yet continues to provide a nurturing environment for optimal development. Increasing skills for independence and self-regulation continue to develop through our play-based curriculum. Children are gaining confidence in learning, with new opportunities for more complex skill building and peer engagement with the scaffolding of teachers, and develop increased abilities in motor, language, and cognitive skills. A Sneak Peek of Hawthorne Pre-K is offered for all MWF students and their parents in the spring.  Additionally, students are encouraged to attend some or all of our summer school programs in order to become familiar with the Hawthorne campus and teachers.

Eligibility

Children must be three on or before September 1st. 

Schedule

8:30am – 12:30pm

bhns-20221214_0540final-hifinal.jpg

Daily Routine:

Our consistent daily routine provides comfort and security for the children, while also allowing for natural flow and soft transitions, and supports intrinsic motivation.  An example of a day in the classroom may look like this: 

8:30-9:05 

9:05-9:35 

9:35-10:30

Arrival and free choice activities

Circle Time

Free choice activities inside and outside; 

planned art projects and activities

10:30-11:30

11:30

Snack/small group time-five groups

Dismissal for students not staying for Lunch

11:30-11:55

Free choice activities inside and outside;

Planned art projects and activities

11:55-12:05

12:05-12:30

12:30 

12:30 

Whole class story time

Lunch

Dismissal

Preparation for Afternoon Program for children who stay

12:30-3:00

Optional Afternoon Enrichment Program

Enrichment Programs

This optional program is offered from 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm for children who are enrolled in the MWF Morning program.

 

This program allows the children to participate at BNS in smaller groups. Because of State mandated provisions for rest time for this age group, space is limited. It is a fun-filled opportunity to form new friendships and explore science, art, games, literature, and language arts. Every afternoon includes:

  • A quiet time.

  • A circle time where movement is encouraged.

  • Free time outside.

  • A project based on the theme of the day.

bhns-202213_0100final-hifinal.jpg

Hawthorne Pre-K

Eligibility

Children must be 4 on or before September 1st

Schedule

Monday-Friday 8:30-2:00

This program is located at the Hawthorne Campus in the Community Congregational Church classroom space. This program was established to meet the specific developmental needs of 4- and 5-year-olds and developing skills not only for successful transition to grade school, but to instill a love of learning, and promote optimal social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development.  Our play-based curriculum introduces new concepts and knowledge through high interest theme-based projects throughout the year. Each year, the projects are inspired and refreshingly varied, as the teachers learn about the children’s interests. Through guided activities and play, teachers scaffold learning and support the children’s increasing abilities across each developmental domain (social-emotional, cognition – including math, science and executive function, language, and literacy, physical, and arts/sensory). Reading and math readiness skills are reinforced through a variety of activities, listening to stories, dictating, labeling, sequencing, and music. Children build a strong foundation of curiosity and learning, which then continue to aid in accommodating new and more complex subject matter in subsequent years. During these years, children are moving from independent and parallel play to cooperative play, and our experienced teachers provide scaffolding to strengthen emotional and executive functioning for goal-oriented collaborations, imperative for school readiness and becoming life-long learners. Children are encouraged and supported to accept responsibilities, and have active roles in their classroom, and continue to gain skills for independence and self-regulation. 

bhns-20221214_0841final-hifinal.jpg

Art Enrichment

In addition to the morning curriculum, Hawthorne Pre-K offers an art history curriculum. In two-week intervals, they learn about different artists and can produce their art in the style of each artist studied. Twice during the year, they bring home a portfolio of art produced in the style of Van Gogh, Matisse, and Mondrian, among others.

Daily Routine:

Our consistent daily routine provides comfort and security for the children, while also allowing for natural flow and soft transitions, and supports intrinsic motivation.  An example of a day in the classroom may look like this: 

8:30-9:10 

9:15-9:45

9:45-10:25

10:30-10:45

10:45-11:15

11:20-11:45

11:50-12:15

12:15-12:35

12:40-1:05

1:05-1:35

1:35-1:45

1:50-2:00

Arrival/Free Play

Morning Meeting

1st Project/Free Play

Snack

Small group work

2nd Project/Free Play

Lunch

D.E.A.R-Rest time

Music/P.E./Art History

Art Project/Free Play

Clean Up Together

Big Story/Dismissal

20230112-bhns_0075-Edituntitled.jpg

Summer School 

We offer up to five weeks of summer school (typically the last two weeks of June and the last three weeks of July) for students currently enrolled in our program. 

 

We take the students on an imaginary trip each summer: Australia, Africa, Mexico, or Hawaii.  Following the same daily routine with the same teachers as the school year, but with fewer students and a slightly shorter day, summer school gives children a chance to transition to their fall class with ease. 

bhns-20221214_0850final-hifinal.jpg
bottom of page