Philosophy and Curriculum Development

Children come to our individual lives and our school with a natural curiosity.  They want to know how the world works.  At Woodside our purpose is to teach – an awesome responsibility and one which we take very seriously.  We continually ask ourselves how best to support the curiosity, nurture the emotions, guide the behavior, and foster the development of the young body.

Look to the child

In order to accomplish this purpose, we accept our part in the teaching of young children in concert with their families and other community members and are guided by a very simple philosophy . . . LOOK TO THE CHILD.  At Woodside we trust their natural curiosity and their desire to learn.  We respect the whole child and provide an environment that fosters a mutual respect for all members of the Woodside community.

The converted barn facility is designed with the needs of the young child in mind.  In addition to the physical space, our child-centered programs provide enriching opportunities for children to satisfy their natural curiosity.

Equipment and materials foster creative and imaginative play and exploration.  Teachers are trained to understand the development of the whole child and to observe the individual children in their care.  Our fenced outside playground is an integral part of the learning environment.  The outside classroom includes many opportunities for climbing, gardening, water and sand play, sliding, and experiencing the natural environment.

We strive to know the young children in our care.  We observe, question, and listen to them.  And we study about them.  Our curriculum is based on a study of theoretical principles of how children learn, hand-in-hand with knowledge of the needs and interests of the individuals in the classrooms.  We provide opportunities for creativity, discovery, and, most importantly, problem solving.  We seek to construct knowledge.

We are grounded in the natural life cycles and processes that interest the children.  The butterflies and the snow squalls outside our windows inspire and challenge us.  The make-up of the school community, with its diversity and richness, provides us a resource for our studies.

Finally, we strive, with love and respect, to give young children the most precious commodity of all . . . TIME; time to explore, to choose, to make noise and to make friends, to be brave and to be cuddled, to be thoughtful and to be guided . . . to smell, to touch, to listen, to speak, to write, to climb, to be our friends.  We also give them time to be ready, competent, and eager to move on.

Curriculum at Woodside is defined as “what we do”.  All teachers at Woodside, at all levels, develop curriculum based upon New Hampshire Early Learning Guidelines.

The key components of our plans are:

  • observation of the individual children in our programs – interests, needs and strengths
  • knowledge of child development
  • collaboration with families and parents, i.e. what they bring and who they are
  • interests of staff