Program for Young Children

In the Program for Young Children (PYC) children, teachers, and parents are partners in learning. The teachers care deeply about children and believe that the experiences and knowledge young children bring to school, combined with their natural curiosity, sense of wonder, and joyful exuberance, are the foundations for learning. Learning is supported in all curricular areas as children are encouraged to think creatively, solve problems, make decisions, and expand their critical thinking skills.

Teachers are dedicated to providing a quality education for young girls and nurturing their growth as risk takers, problem solvers, and communicators. The cornerstone of the PYC is based on the image of a child who is rich of humanity, competent, and powerful. Emphasis is placed on seeing each child as unique, with rights rather than simply needs.

Teachers work collaboratively to ensure each child’s development and wellbeing. They strive to understand each child’s present theories about the world, and know intuitively that knowledge cannot be transmitted that it must be created. The teachers recognize that knowledge needs questions, reflections, mistakes, doubts, hypotheses, interpretations and understanding. Children are provided with opportunities to make meaningful connections and a context to express their own theories, curiosity and interpretations.

The children’s ideas develop through project investigations lasting varying lengths of time. The teachers follow the children’s learning by listening to where they are in their understanding of certain concepts and then offer back to them challenges and experiences which will provoke further investigations and stimulate the construction of new knowledge. At the start of an investigation or project, the teachers hypothesize the learning potential and possible paths for exploration and discovery. As a project develops, children, teachers, and parents are able to utilize each other’s resources and draw on the strengths of all community members. In the PYC, the curriculum has been developed to ensure consistency with the Lower School curriculum, providing for a smooth transition to Form I.

A reciprocal relationship between children, teachers, and parents is key to the success of our program. Parent participation takes many forms and includes day to day interactions and special events (parent breakfasts, school celebrations). Communication with parents also includes: photographs, transcriptions of children’s dialogue, samples of children’s work, videos, and daily reflections.

It is the hope of every educator in the PYC that each child will grow with confidence, secure in the knowledge that she is a very special person, and that she will look forward to the next phase of her education with excitement.

Angie McLarty,
Interim Director of the Program for Young Children