For many families, it all starts here. The Nursery classroom is where a child will begin to become an independent individual and a lifetime learner. Trevor’s Nursery program lays a strong foundation for enduring skills and knowledge.
Nursery is a nurturing program that fosters a trusting relationship between students and teachers. This trust allows a child to feel safe to take positive risks to engage, explore, and create. Central to the curriculum is the focus on social and emotional development—becoming familiar with the classroom and teachers, learning to be comfortable in a group setting, developing routines and accepting transitions, establishing emotional security, developing relationships with teachers and peers, and exploring the world. To that end, the homeroom serves as the primary space for the Nursery, reducing the number of transitions for the children.
A Nursery student’s work is his or her play. A typical three-year-old is still in an egocentric stage of development, and while play might only be in parallel, there is a growing understanding of others beyond oneself. Play time is called Choice Time, a deliberate means of introducing the fundamental concept of making choices.
Regular use of outdoor spaces with climbing equipment and large blocks greatly enhance the young students’ development of gross motor and social skills as well give them an opportunity for imaginative play. Sand and water tables are vehicles for exploring mathematical and scientific concepts as well as strengthening fine motor skills.
Counting games and songs are instrumental in teaching numbers in a fun and accessible way. Cooking can also bring math and science to life, as students ponder questions such as, “How many cups of flour do we need to make play dough?” And, “Is a cup the same size as a spoon?”
Nursery children are endlessly curious, always observing the world around them. They ask themselves: “What happens if we do this? How does this feel?” They are like sponges, soaking up all the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and feelings that they encounter. Nursery teachers carefully plan rich and thoughtful scenarios that stimulate learning. Tools such as wooden blocks, water and sand tables, discovery tables, bowls, spoons, and hourglasses, add to the experiences that lay the foundation for future understanding of concepts in physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, and more.
A young child’s world starts with a strong sense of self. Teachers help to expand this sphere of understanding to other people in their lives. Who are the people in your home? Whom do you love? Who are the people in your class? Whole group activities such as Morning Meeting allow for sharing stories about family life and school news.
Oh, how three-year-olds love to move! Teachers channel this passion with playful, structured movement activities such as dance, yoga, and games—all of which contribute to students’ body and space awareness and development of gross motor skills. Nursery students learn about safety by introducing the concept of one’s own body in space, with the labels “My Body” and “Your Body.”
Music is the natural medium for learning in young children. There is an innate interest in all things musical, especially when it is tied to movement. Songs and instruments are regular features in the classroom. Stories, games, language, and even directions are taught with music.
Young children have a neuroplasticity that enables them to learn language relatively quickly, especially when puppets, dancing, singing, and food are involved! Through engaging activities, children are exposed to basic vocabulary words, proper articulation, and pronunciation. These lessons help to develop both speaking and listening skills.
In Nursery, art is about exposure to a variety of materials and giving students the opportunity to explore them. Tearing, gluing, drawing, and painting are among the artistic activities that contribute to fine motor skill development and help to open a child’s eyes to his or her ability to create art.
Jonah Dragan, a native New Yorker, received a Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College and a Master of Science in Education from Bank Street College. Since then, he has taught early childhood at independent schools around the city, including Blue School, The Calhoun School, and Packer Collegiate Institute. Jonah is excited by Trevor's respect for exploration, natural curiosity, and inquiry-based learning, and he is thrilled to be joining the community!
Stephanie graduated from Lehman College with a BA in Psychology and Early Childhood Education. She is working toward her MA in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College. Previously, Stephanie was a Spanish Immersion Teacher at Avenues: The World School in the nursery and pre-Kindergarten classrooms. Stephanie is excited to join the Trevor community and enjoys the way Trevor offers many opportunities for students to collaborate with their community and with other grades.
Tim Graduated from Roanoke College with a BA in Political Science. Tim comes to Trevor after working at Playland Nursery School and New Canaan Country School. At Playland Nursery, Tim served as an assistant teacher for the three- and four-year-old preschool class; he was also an assistant teacher in New Canaan Country School’s Extended Day Program. Tim was responsible for planning science curriculum for both programs and is currently a head counselor at Camp Playland, where he plans and implements group dynamic activities for eight- and nine-year-olds. Tim appreciates Trevor’s focus on inquiry-based learning and is excited to work and learn from such talented peers.