At Cambridge-Ellis School, teachers plan child-centered, emergent curriculum. Teachers draw the themes for learning directly from observing children’s interests and plan activities in response to them. We offer activities that challenge children at their developmental level and allow them to interact with a rich variety of materials. We believe that children learn best through play, active participation and engagement with teachers, peers, and materials. Our daily practice ensures attention to social emotional learning, as teachers model positive interactions and conflict resolution.
The curriculum at Cambridge-Ellis School is designed to promote social and emotional, cognitive, and pre-literacy skills and to provide a foundation for the study of mathematics and science. We have great respect for children as thinkers and learners and value their contributions to joint investigations.
The arts and sciences are integral to our programming. Children are naturally curious and love investigating the world around them. Each classroom has a weekly cooking day on which they cook their own snack. Cooking projects incorporate foods from different cultures and our emphasis is on healthy cooking. In the spring each classroom grows herbs and some vegetable to use as ingredients, deepening children’s understanding of the food we eat. Teachers bring natural materials into the classroom for observation and exploration. Our full time arts educator leads the Arts Adventure program. Each classroom participates in this individually designed program each week. Depending on the themes identified by the classrooms, Arts Adventure extends the curriculum to incorporate art experiences through music, movement, and a magnitude of fine arts exploration.
Teachers support young children’s natural curiosity with indoor environments that encourage artistic, scientific, sensory, verbal, written, and mathematical expression. Each classroom is equipped with large and small blocks, manipulatives, and games, and offers dramatic play and building spaces, sensory, science, and writing tables, a large art area, and a cozy book area. Complementing each classroom’s reading material is our extensive and newly revised library.
Our two gated playgrounds—uniquely spacious despite our urban setting—are wonderful extensions of our indoor classrooms. Children develop their imaginations, physical strength, social skills and confidence during their daily outdoor time. Playground structures and equipment mirror the natural environment in which they are situated and encourage a multitude of opportunities for natural play and physical expression.