The educational philosophy of Belmont Cooperative Nursery School is built upon the belief that children are naturally curious and it is their curiosity that drives them to learn, think deeply, and contribute powerfully to their own educational experiences. We believe that authentic learning happens through direct experience and the classroom should be structured in a way that allows children to follow their natural curiosities so that the more formal curriculum can emerge from their interests. Giving children endless opportunities to express themselves, explore their relationships, engage fully in nature and play are critical to our success.
We are constantly working to provide curriculum that recognizes and prioritizes the natural development of the child, as well as, the relationships that they have with their peers, their environment, and the larger community. Both the child and the class community are active in the construction of knowledge. Our focus on the process – not the product – encourages students to hypothesize, problem solve, and think critically about themselves and their work.
Engaging families in the learning process is essential to the ways in which the BCNS supports the children and develops a meaningful learning community. We strive to build a strong bridge between the child’s life at home and school and work in many formal and informal ways to include families. The partnership begins before school starts when a teacher visits the child at home and continues throughout the year via parent helping in the classroom, parent/teacher conferences, parental co-op jobs, field trips, informal check-ins and other family engagement strategies. We recognize for many children that this is their first time away from their caregivers for a sustained period of time, and we strive to make the transition as smooth as possible for parents and children alike.