THE PINE CREST ORIGIN:
Pine Crest School is an expansion of Willow Street Schoolhouse, a well-regarded preschool in an El Cerrito home since 1992. In 2016, we were thrilled to provide the community with another high-quality child development program that maintained the same play based, nature-inspired, emergent curriculum environment that the families and educators of Willow Street embraced for many years.
THE IMPORTANCE OF NATURE:
A large part of our emergent curriculum is utilizing the natural environment that we are so fortunate to have on our multi acre campus. Through regular nature walks on trails around the property, children are provided an opportunity to fully engage their senses while slowing down to closely examine their surroundings. From climbing on logs to uncovering insects beneath pine cones, the natural world is unmatched in providing a magical space for children to connect with their peers and teachers. Play in a natural space stimulates and develops a child’s mind and body to an even greater extent. When engaged in dynamic and varied nature play, a child encounters unpredictable challenges, which become opportunities for decision-making, problem-solving and creative thinking.THE ORDER/flow OF THE DAY:
8:00 - 9:45AM
Children gradually arrive. Parents and teachers check in with each other to support the child in a successful transition for the day.
Morning gathering time. Each classroom meets to greet each other, ask questions about the day, discuss ideas, engage in movement games, read or sing songs.
Morning snack is prepared by the school and enjoyed by the children.
10:15 - 12:00PM
The children move freely through the program, choosing to be inside the classroom or outdoors. Ongoing projects are available, as well as an array of different activities for the children to engage in. Small group excursions around the campus, walks to resource the local community include the library and neighborhood parks.
Lunch, children bring their own. Teachers join them for eating and conversations. After lunch, children enjoy outdoor play.
Children in the half-day program are picked up, nap mats are set out for extended and full day children. Story time begins.
The children rest and have quiet time in their classrooms.
Children in the extended day program are picked up. Afternoon project work, indoor and outdoor classrooms.
Afternoon snack is prepared by the school and enjoyed by the children.
Outdoor yard play and full day children picked up.