I found myself reverting more and more... to the belief that the most important phase of a child’s life was the beginning of it. He or she must be started right.
Young children at Randolph are supported in all aspects of their social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and artistic growth. We focus on the development of the whole child, emphasizing play as the primary way in which young children work and learn. They make choices and learn to be independent decision-makers who are members of a respectful learning community.
At Randolph School, children learn by doing. Whether balancing on the rope bridge, making apple prints, or measuring flour for a cake, they are exploring their world and constructing their own understanding of how it all works. Children at Randolph learn to make their own choices as they become more and more independent, whether they are putting away their lunch containers all by themselves or deciding between playing in the dressup corner and planting seeds in another room.
In our early childhood program, the emphasis is on social learning. How do we help each other in a community? How can I get my needs met? What do I do when a friend leaves me out? How can I take care of someone who is feeling sad? In each and every interaction, we find opportunity to learn a new skill or express a new idea.
At the same time, teachers guide and nurture children's cognitive development by observing carefully and then presenting the appropriate activity or challenge – making a menu and pricelist for a restaurant, learning a new poem, writing signs for a zoo in the Blockroom, telling a story. Storytelling, reading aloud, and poetry are important in the Downstairs. The foundation is being set for future adventures in writing and reading. Read more about early language and literacy at Randolph School.
And, of course, the environment is also a teacher – both the indoor spaces and materials and the natural world outside. Wonderful selections of materials are available to the children in all of their investigations.
The home-school partnership is so important at Randolph School. Teachers and parents engage in ongoing dialogue throughout the year, including email "snapshots" written by teachers, conversations on the porch or on the phone, parent-teacher conferences in November and April, and mid-year and end-of-year narrative reports. Read more about why we write narrative reports as one way to assess and share what we know about each child.