Our private preschool program helps your child transition from the familiar world of home to a new community of learning, teachers, and friends. In a safe and caring environment that functions as a playschool on New York City’s Upper West Side, preschoolers at Bank Street School for Children build a sense of themselves as individuals and as members of a larger social group. Your child will be surrounded by dedicated, knowledgeable faculty, many of whom have graduate-level education from Bank Street Graduate School of Education, a world-recognized leader in progressive education techniques and early childhood education.
Social and emotional learning is at the core of the 3/4s curriculum. A home visit by teachers and a phase-in period of small-group activities build comfort and confidence. Time in the classroom gradually increases, and children embrace the rhythms of life at school. Teachers help children identify and name their feelings, recognize the impact of their words and actions, and use language to solve problems. Each child builds strategies for coping with strong emotions and communicating with adults and classmates.
At this age, children learn by doing, seeing, experiencing, and feeling. Our preschool curriculum helps children build a sense of self, discover their role within a classroom community, and recognize and appreciate our differences. As they learn through play, children build their gross and fine motor skills, make meaning of their experiences, and learn to express what they learn about the world.
Children are encouraged to make choices in their play and to work both individually and in small groups. They use open-ended, sensory materials such as blocks, water-and-sand play, drawing, painting, collage, clay, and small construction materials.
As 3/4s students become more comfortable in the classroom, we gradually introduce them to the larger Bank Street community. They begin to visit the Music Room, Movement Room, Library, and participate in Lower School assembly. Our curriculum also draws inspiration from the world outside of Bank Street. We take trips in the neighborhood—going to the market to buy ingredients for cooking, observing sprouting buds and flowers, and collecting photos and nature items. Throughout the year, we talk about how things grow and change and children discover new talents, abilities, and independence.
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