Our mission at Foundations Community Nursery School is to create an environment where trust and consistency is established between faculty, parents, and children. We accomplish this through a focus on building connections, holding ourselves accountable, fostering autonomy, and finding words for our experiences and feelings.
FCNS is a play-based preschool. What you will find is engagement, problem solving, and plenty of play.
FCNS embraces play's unmatched benefit. Play allows children to explore social relationships and expectations without the worry of grown up consequences. Language, both verbal and non-verbal, is strengthened through play and helps assist with problem solving skills. Play also allows for unmitigated and unparalleled joy.
That is not to say 'play' equals setting children loose and walking away. As educators, our role is to use a child's natural inclination to play as an entry point for language, problem solving, math, relationships and an understanding of the world around. Daily rug times and structured 'typical days' allow children to know what to expect. Yet we prioritize capitalizing on a learning moment, or fostering a human relationship over artificial confines of a schedule.
PLAY IS VITAL
Play is the cornerstone of learning. We believe in the unmatched benefit of play, especially in young children. Play in preschool allows children to explore social relationships and expectations without the worry of grownup world consequences. Language, both verbal and non-verbal, is strengthened through play and helps assist with problem solving skills. Play also allows for unmitigated and unparalleled joy.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Skilled educators truly listen to children. We listen to their conversations, their problems and their solutions. As facilitators in learning, we ask questions, and narrate situations to help gain clarity. We emphasize the importance of words and discussions, be they in one-on-one, small, or large group settings.
EMPATHY BUILDS COMMUNITY
Fostering empathy in children helps build our community, and in turn, our world. Identifying, naming, and discussing various feelings when they arise are the foundations to fostering empathetic human beings. Cultivating empathy takes practice and experience.
REFLECTION BUILDS KNOWLEDGE
Reflection enhances meaning, encourages insight and deepens learning. We use reflection as a strategy to help the students better understand themselves, their actions and their decisions. We want our children to be the producers, not just consumers of knowledge.
WE ALL WANT TO BELONG
Children need to feel that they belong; that they are part of a group to which they add value. We strive to create a community that values what they think, what they say and what they feel.
CHILDREN BUILD THE CURRICULUM
An emergent, child-led curriculum supported with thoughtful and intentional teaching is the best practice for most children. Meaningful investigation into questions they raise creates an abundance of opportunities for learning as well as ways to demonstrate knowledge.
RESPONSIBILITY TO DOCUMENT GROWTH
We closely observe and document the growth of children in our care. Through portfolios, observations and parent/teacher communication, we have an intimate understanding of where children are in each stage of development. As needed, we offer additional resources to support each child's growth.
SUPPORTING PARENTS AND FAMILIES
"Parents don't come full bloom at the birth of their first baby. In fact, parenting is about growing. It's about our own growing as much as it is about our children's growing, and that kind of growing happens little by little."
Through discussions, workshops, and parent engagement, we can develop strategies that make family dynamics richer, and more connected. It is in these intentional moments that we are afforded the opportunity to stop and truly support a child.
A ritual to start our day, morning meeting allows us to acknowledge each other and say hello, talk through what we have planned for the day, and allow for a moment to discuss topics on our minds.
We believe in child-led learning. Their daily environment offers art, blocks, literature, imaginative play, and plenty of large objects to manipulate and explore, relevant to their interests that day.
Music and movement helps children's brains recognize patterns, develop rhythm, explore feelings, and understand how their bodies move in their space, setting the groundwork for math proficiency, literacy, and artistic expression. Children will sing, dance and use a variety of rhythm instruments during this time.
We want children to trust their bodies. If they are ready for a snack at any point in the day, they are welcome to take their lunchbox to the snack table and take a snack break!
During outside time, there are even more opportunities to stretch their muscles and explore their physical world. Whether it's riding bikes around a painted track, or unearthing treasures out of the sandbox, the outdoor play house, mud kitchen, pebble river, and climbing dome offer ample opportunity to get messy and learn!
After washing our hands, it's time to gather for lunch. Children will be bringing their own lunch from home, and for the time being, there will be no food sharing at school.
We'll wrap up lunch time by cleaning up, and gathering for a story read by the teacher. After the book is read, the group will reflect on their day, review the plans for the next day, mark off the calendar and sing goodbye.