We believe that early childhood is a time of natural exploration and discovery. We know that young children learn by “hands on” experiences.
Our teachers are highly qualified to scaffold each child’s growth and development in a natural way to help them discover answers to their curiosities about the world around them. Children come into our world eager to learn and discover and the teachers want to support and engage them in a way that will turn them into lifelong learners.
We have a multi-cultural play-based curriculum that encourages learning through art, language, music, pre-math, pre-reading, science, and socialization. Although we prepare children for kindergarten, we do so in a way that makes learning a more natural and fun experience and focus more on the children’s interests when we build our emergent curriculum.
Our main teaching philosophy is focused on the concept of community. We want the children to learn what it is like to be a part of the community and how they can contribute to the community. We take daily walks in the Inner Sunset community and we know all of the surrounding businesses where we also take mini field trips. For example, Easy Breezy and Hometown Creamery open their doors for us before their business hours to allow the children to take a tour, and Park Smile welcomes us to visit and chat about dental hygiene. For Halloween, we go trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. And as a way to say thank you and to give back to our neighbors, we take the children caroling in December. We also visit and invite SFFD and SFPD into our school every year to talk to the children about different ways to be safe.
In addition to teaching the children about our neighborhood community, we also teach the children how to be a part of their school community. We encourage the older children to help out in the younger classrooms, and we also teach children to ask their fellow classmates for a helping hand to see if they can solve the problem together before asking a teacher. Our end goal is to mold our children into kind tiny humans who know how to navigate living in a city.
Our Pre-Kindergarten class takes monthly field trips to the California Academy of Sciences. We are taking advantage of our close proximity to the museum. We take the children to document in their science journals – explore, observe, document, and label. And then we take them back every month to observe and document any changes. At the end of the year, parents can see the fine motor development in their journals as well as the growth in their observations (teachers write down their words for their observations).
To facilitate an age appropriate curriculum, we have four separate classrooms, 2’s and 3’s, 3’s and 4’s, 4’s and 5’s, and Pre-Kindergarden.
- Flexible scheduling, including extended care
- Low child-teacher ratio (6:1)
- Four classrooms to facilitate age-appropriate learning
- Daily excursion to Golden Gate Park and surrounding gardens
- Monthly field trips to places in the community to encourage community building
- Strong Pre-K (4-5’s) program: Our Pre-K classes take monthly field trips to the California Academy of Sciences to document in their science journals; visits to kindergarten classrooms to mentally prepare for the transition; learning how to be a part of the community and how even tiny humans can make a difference. See an example of Stepping Stones Preschool’s community involvement in our Community Recognition section!