Kensington's Seven Opportunities for Learning
Education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself.
We believe that learning begins at birth and that we are entrusted with children during the most receptive period of their development – the first six years of life. Our educational philosophy is grounded upon a solid understanding of child development and as such it embraces the principles of respected educational theorists including Piaget, Vygotsky, Dewey, Montessori, R. I. E. Pikler, and Erickson.
Incorporating these guiding principles into our daily curriculum, we have designed a rich and varied environment that encompasses a wonderful balance of seven distinct opportunities for learning.
Throughout the Kensington day, whether in small or in large groups, individually at free play or together at circle time, children become confident learners. When using gross or fine motor skills, they gain spatial awareness. Through hands-on explorations or using only their cognitive skills, they make sense of the world around them.
- Learning Through Play and Experience
From early interactions as infants, to developing friendships and problem solving, play ‒ or as Kensington calls it, learning through experience ‒ is one of the ways children construct knowledge. Stimulating play gives children the freedom to explore their classroom environment, practice skills, and learn about themselves and their world.
- Learning Through Small Group Investigations
Young learners gain knowledge through observation and conversation. As children interact and explore in a vibrant classroom of intriguing interest centers, they learn from each other as well as from teachers.
- Learning Through Class Gatherings
Circle Times and All School Assemblies are opportunities to interact and share ideas with peers and adults. Within this framework children learn to take turns, to listen and respond. They ask and answer questions, fostering their language, cognitive, and social skills.
- Learning with Thematic Explorations
Kensington School uses the Project Approach to learning to involve children in sustained, collaborative investigations. These monthly themes draw on their current knowledge and interests. Discussion, fieldwork, visits with “experts,” review, and culminating projects engage, challenge, and enrich our young learners.
- Learning through Readiness Curriculum Instruction
Proven curriculum materials provide an accelerated learning opportunity. Our phonics based reading readiness program, University of Chicago’s Everyday Mathematics®, and a multi-sensory approach to handwriting constructs the academic foundation critical to a child’s future school success.
- Learning with Enrichment Specialists
Our trained specialists bring a variety of unlimited opportunities for creative expression (art experiences, music gathered at the piano), motor movement (gym), linguistic instruction (Spanish), and skills enhancement (Tutoring Academy, Enrichment School). Incorporating these exceptional educational experiences into the child’s day, enhances intellect, promotes creativity and improves social skills.
- Learning through Fine and Gross Motor Skills Development
Practice and encouragement are key to both fine and gross motor development. Scissors, puzzles, and manipulatives promote dexterity and help children develop the precise movements they need, such as cutting, grasping, and writing. Gross motor activities, on the other hand, foster spatial awareness and cognitive skills, as well as build "healthy bodies and strong minds."