Westfield Friends School

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Now Accepting Applications for First Friends Preschool

 
We are excited to begin laying foundations for life for the littlest members of our community in First Friends Preschool this year!
 
First Friends Preschool features both a 2 year-old and 3 year-old class and is housed in its very own historic brick building. Stop by and see our amazing learning space that is flooded in soft, natural light through its many windows. It's a perfect space for active little bodies with curious minds! Additionally, a dedicated outdoor playspace for the preschool is enclosed with a safety fence and features a mud kitchen, HUGE sandbox, a grassy shaded area for running and exploring, and tree stumps for imaginative play.
 

First Friends Preschool is a nurturing and stimulating educational environment for young children that helps navigate the transition from home life to school life. In addition to our core child-centered curriculum which focuses on supporting each student's learning style and developmental readiness, preschoolers receive instruction in "special" subjects including P.E., music, and Spanish. Technology instruction will be focused on making and building through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) activities which enhance problem solving. These activities will sometimes be small group activities led by a teacher, and at other times will be learning center activities. While computers and tablets are useful learning tools, we believe, and research supports, that there is value in limiting screen time to allow other skills to develop at this age. Screen time will largely be reserved for parents to use with their preschool children at home. It is in our Pre-K program that students begin limited and guided instructions with chromebooks and desktops in addition to continued work on coding, innovating, and problem solving with "low tech" materials.


Our preschool students are part of our existing "buddy" program in which our older students are each paired with a younger child to work together once per week. Older buddies help model and encourage emerging literacy and math skills and engage their little friends in meaningful play framed in a healthy, social context. This provides opportunities for our littlest to understand that they are important and valued members of our community who are known and loved by all in the school. Our older students learn leadership, compassion, patience (!), communication skills, and also enjoy rockstar status with the younger ones.


At Westfield Friends School, we believe and teach our children that all lives are precious and important and that it is our responsibility to protect and preserve the natural and physical world around us. As a Friends (Quaker) school, we frame all of our learning and social activities using the Quaker testimonies commonly referred to by the acronym SPICES. These SPICES guide and support our actions and interactions:




Preschool Curriculum Concentrations:


  1. Emerging Literacy Skills

  2. Emerging Mathematic Skills

  3. Science and Nature Studies

  4. Social Studies and Multicultural Awareness

  5. Art and Music

  6. Spanish

  7. Yoga and Mindfulness

  8. Quaker Studies

  9. Dramatic Play

  10. Self Image and Self Awareness

  11. Interpersonal and Problem Solving Skills


Our 8.5 acre campus provides convenient access to nature. As often as possible, science and nature studies are incorporated in our out of doors "classroom" where our students can observe, touch, explore, and appreciate nature. Additionally, we offer an animal studies program in conjunction with PAWS Discovery Farm and the Garden State Discovery Museum in which students learn about special furry, scaly, and feathered visitors to our learning spaces!

 

Of course, we also offer unstructured play time, as we firmly believe that learning occurs during fantasy play. It is through this type of individual exploration that children of this age begin to construct meaning of their world.


We hope your child will join us for a year of growth, learning, and discovery in our values-based, nurturing preschool program.

 

To attend our an Open House to learn more about First Friends Preschool, please RSVP here. You can also use this form to request tours on alternate dates.