Early Childhood

Learn more about our Early Childhood Program:

Transitional Kindergarten

The Early Childhood Years are a time when children develop a sense of belonging, self-worth, and self-esteem–essential elements that form the foundation on which all learning is built. At Lesley Ellis we believe that all children are naturally curious, capable learners. The Lesley Ellis Emergent Curriculum Philosophy is one that builds upon the interests of the children. We do not separate the curriculum into discreet blocks of time for math, language, etc. Rather, children learn about themselves and the world around them through investigation and discovery, as well as art, dramatic play, and social interaction.

This philosophy has four essential elements:

The Environment

Our preschool and prekindergarten classrooms offer a “just right” space for our youngest learners, while our transitional kindergarten classroom helps students transition into a more structured learning environment and support a growing sense of autonomy. Exploration and discovery are encouraged and peer interactions are promoted, fostering feelings of belonging and community. Multiple outdoor options offer unique play opportunities.

The Role of the Educator

Teachers serve as nurturer, guide, and partner in learning and discovery. They are valued for their experience and ideas, acting as co-constructors of knowledge and learning alongside the children.

Observation and Documentation

Teachers listen and observe children’s play carefully. Photography, video, and written notes document children’s work and representations of thinking. Our teachers are committed to reflecting on their practice and continuously adjusting the program.

Project Approach

Our Project Approach is an open-ended, in-depth study of an everyday topic. These are child-initiated active learning experiences. Children feel ownership over their learning, which in turn creates motivated learners who can grow as individuals and collaborators.