Curriculum Detail

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The Pre-Kindergarten curriculum is rich and varied, responding to the many ways that children learn and grow. Pre-Kindergarten children are learning to reason and use logic; they learn routines and can follow directions; their ability to use language to solve problems increases; and they enjoy being a member of a group or team. Further, their interest in words increases, and they are beginning to incorporate letters or words into their pictures. They like rote counting and are practicing one-to-one correspondence.

Students become increasingly willing to take risks in their learning and are better able to accept mistakes. In Pre-Kindergarten, part of the day includes many choices; other time is devoted to focused work, such as studying patterns, investigating one of the five senses, or developing ideas that illustrate our similarities and differences.

The Letter of the Week study, which spans much of the school year, is a dynamic experience that includes imaginary travel on a magic plane to new locations; tasting new foods during snack time; reading a special story; participating in a science experiment; and an introduction to handwriting—all of which connect with the chosen letter of the week.

  • Pre-K Mathematics

    Pre-K mathematics includes use of mathematical language; developing number sense; one-to-one correspondence; ordering; comparing; predicting and estimating; sorting; and writing numbers. The students find mathematical experiences within the natural environment, the symmetry of a leaf, the effects of temperature change on water, and other such tangible real-world scenarios.
  • Pre-K Science

    Pre-K students expand upon Nursery’s science explorations with trips to Central Park and an apple orchard. Each week, students participate in a new science experiment that leads them to ask good questions and use all five senses to predict, observe, and document their experience. The experiments are hands-on exercises, such as color mixing, and testing salty, sweet, and sour tastes.
  • Pre-K Social Studies

    Pre-K social studies responds to students’ increased curiosity about their world and focuses on what they know best: their families and homes. It engages children as they learn about commonly shared experiences and identify differences. Pre-K students participate in a variety of activities throughout the year that nurture interconnectedness and a sense of place within families, school, larger communities, and the world. These activities include field trips, cooking, art projects, and narrative illustrations.
  • Pre-K Physical Education

    In Pre-K, students master basic locomotor movements and manipulative skills through carefully structured games that are playful and creative in nature. They are introduced to a wide range of materials—including different types and sizes of balls, beanbags, beach balls, and balloons—all of which encourage the development of eye-hand coordination skills.
  • Pre-K Music

    Music is experiential, and each child is encouraged to participate based on the premise that experiencing music precedes intellectually understanding it. Our music program involves movement, singing, and ear-training games. It also emphasizes singing and the sequential development of musical skills. Students experience and explore concepts such as meter, form, dynamics, rhythmic notation, and melodic notation. The curriculum includes drama games, creative movement, and folk dancing.
  • Pre-K Spanish

    The Pre-K experience is an introduction to comprehending different ways of thinking, communicating, and living in a global society. Teaching language at a young age facilitates the development of foundational skills, including listening, speaking, and phonics. With time, students progress to acquiring more sophisticated skills—such as reading and writing—that enable them to be communicative risk takers.
  • Pre-K Art

    Many projects stem from source materials found in Central Park. Materials are studied in depth in the art studio, and are eventually incorporated into artwork. Projects build students’ vocabulary around artistic methods, materials, and tools. Students are exposed to various artists and artistic traditions from around the world as they gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of art and artistic processes. They become fluent in artistic practices and begin to see the connections within interdisciplinary projects.
  • Pre-K Language Arts

    Pre-K language arts engages children in a variety of language and literacy activities that include recognition of sound-symbol relationships, phonemic awareness, narrative storytelling, writing uppercase and lowercase letters, recognizing print in the environment, and varied fiction and nonfiction literature to support literacy instruction.

    Morning meeting times are an essential period when children “read” the Message of the Day, with its intentional word content. As their literacy skills increase, children begin to “decode.” Every day, time is scheduled for them to “Look at a Book;” such moments serve as an introductory independent reading period in which the children can engage with texts. By the end of the year, Pre-K students have gained significant skills in reading and writing readiness that will be the foundation for their language and literacy growth in Kindergarten.


  • Photo of Jennifer Golanka
    Jennifer Golanka
    Pre-Kindergarten, Head Teacher
  • Photo of Allison Nessim
    Allison Nessim
    Nursery, Associate Teacher
    (212) 426-3300
  • Photo of Rebecca Shavzin
    Rebecca Shavzin
    PreK, Associate Teacher
  • Photo of Andy Wilson
    Andy Wilson
    Director of Lower School
    (212) 426-3305
Ambitious academics.  Engaged students.  Balanced lives.

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  • Nursery - 5

    1 W 88th St. 212.426.3300
  • 6 - 12

    312 E 95th St. 212.426.3360