The BCS Classroom:
A Multi-Age Learning Environment
For over 42 years, BCS has successfully implemented a multi-age, non-graded teaching and learning model. Teachers and parents at BCS recognize and support the following concepts:
- Individuals learn at different rates and with different styles and interests.
- Learning is enhanced by positive interactions with people and the environment.
- The optimum environment for children's learning supports risk-taking, enhances self-esteem, and encourages decision-making.
- Effective education must include the social, emotional and intellectual development of each child.
- Compassionate communication and clear boundaries enhance self-esteem and model healthy social behavior.
- Students learn best when they are highly involved in their own learning process, ultimately learning by teaching themselves.
Our preschool, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes are integrated into one multi-age classroom. Class teacher: Heidi Alford
The preschool curriculum follows a developmentally appropriate daily routine of circle time, art, story, singing and outdoor play. Cooking, gardening and other simple activities are incorporated seasonally. Children experience being part of a group and are helped to communicate their feelings and needs effectively.
Our class follows the Reggio Emilia approach to preschool: we are child centered, and the curriculum emerges organically from the interests of the children. The emphasis is on meeting the needs of each child for healthy development within the context of the group, with special attention given to the development of language and social skills.
Preschool children at BCS may attend 2-5 mornings or afternoons per week. There is also an extended day program which preschoolers may attend. Class size is small, and parents are encouraged to participate as time permits.
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten
The pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children share space with the preschool children. For these children, we emphasize hands-on, experiential education with exposure to reading, writing, math and science. Within the daily structure, children engage with these subjects according to their needs, interests and level of skill development.The development of language and social skills continues to be emphasized in this group as well as in the preschool classroom.
Kindergarten students at BCS may attend alternating days, mornings, afternoons, or full time (9am-3pm daily). Pre-K children are usually about four and a half years old in September. They typically have some interest in reading, writing and math, or have had several years of preschool and are just ready to move on. Children who turn five in the fall also are identified as pre-kindergarteners