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academics-preschool-curriculum

Growing independence and an exploration of learning.

Students in our preschool program are exposed to a wide range of topics. Teachers skillfully incorporate math and language arts into learning experiences centered around the emerging interests of our youngest students. Students learn about story composition through hearing, telling and sharing stories. Outdoor play engages students in scientific thinking about the natural world. A love of animals may evolve into an animal study with a focus on habitats and life cycles. Early math skills are nurtured through exploration and construction. Block structures are not just amazing creations, but also opportunities to determine how tall and wide a structure is and to identify block shapes and attributes.

Play and exploration are the foundation of helping students to develop early academic and critical thinking skills. The collaborative nature of our preschool program helps students to listen and learn from others’ ideas, creating an environment that is rich in conversation, reflection and truly student-centered learning. When students ask questions, we recognize those questions as important. Time and space is made for discovery of answers.


Featured Programs

AFS Outside

Our beautiful 50acre campus is home to a rambling creek, wooded groves, and an abundance of green space. These outdoor spaces provide countless resources for exploration and study for our preschool students, who spend time on creek walks, the study of our natural environment, environmental art projects and outdoor play.

Our youngest children enjoy a nature playground and outdoor classroom adjacent to their classrooms that includes platforms for creating imaginative settings such as tree forts; areas for building with all sorts of natural materials, spaces for making art and music; and plenty of open areas for running, climbing and playing games. It is the first nature playground in a school in Pennsylvania to be accredited by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

These vital spaces offer the varied experiences of exploration and imaginative play that are such critical development experiences for young children, while building an appreciation for the natural world that surrounds us.

Art & Music

Regular exposure to art and music instruction is an integral part of our preschool program. Through the arts children learn to problem solve, take risks and communicate through the act of creation, an act that requires full participation of the body, the mind, and the spirit.

Art in preschool is an introduction to a range of art materials and techniques such as clay, paint and collage. Creative exploration, self-expression and the foundation of students’ identity as artists are encouraged and cultivated in the Early Childhood art program. Many projects are developed to extend the group’s classroom study to the art room.

Musical experiences in preschool focus on on developing musically independent students who experience, explore, listen to, perform, notate, and create music. Class activities use speech, song, movement, drama and instruments in varied but integrated ways of performing. Most importantly, music is viewed as a pleasurable experience shared by a community in which each participant contributes to the final result.

Spanish Language Instruction

With the belief that learning a second language is vital work both for the developing brain and for the shrinking boundaries of the globe, Spanish language education begins in our preschool program. With their boundless curiosity and developing linguistic skills, 3 and 4 year olds are the perfect age to begin learning a new language.

Students in our preschool program begin to learn to use the Spanish language as a communicative tool. Class activities encourage the use of language in authentic situations such as describing self and environment, counting, identifying weather and time, and following classroom commands. The approach is hands-on and includes the use of games, puppets, props, dialogues, storybooks, music, technology and visiting native speakers. Instruction is conducted in Spanish, but is integrated with the overall classroom curriculum.

Extended Day & Enrichment

The Extended Day Program at Abington Friends School takes place before and after school hours and offers a safe, fun and supportive environment to meet the needs of students and families during before and after-school hours. The Extended Day program also provides programming on select school closing including inservice days, parent conference days and some vacation days.

In addition to the after school Extended Day program, AFS provides free, early morning childcare beginning at 7:30 a.m. for all students ages 3 through 4th grade.

After school hours, the program is an extension of the experience we cultivate daily. Whether it is through arts and crafts, games, music, or sports (when age appropriate), this program provides safe and enjoyable care for AFS students three years old through the sixth grade.

Seasonally, additional after school enrichment opportunities are available according to age, appropriate offerings, and family interest. Enrichment classes vary by grade and season. In the past, some of the courses offered include Chess, Violin, Clay Creations, Soccer and Cooking.

Our extended day program is staffed by Lower School classroom teachers and other part-time school personnel. The Extended Day faculty participates in our opening days inservice training and are seen throughout our daily program and act as substitutes when needed.

Emergent Curriculum

Early learners have a considerable capacity for exploring topics that are meaningful and important to them. In our emergent curriculum, topics for study are discovered together, then explored in depth and detail.

Our preschool classrooms are true learning laboratories, offering the tools and materials to inspire delight, curiosity and inquiry in each child. For example, a project on transportation may emerge after teachers observe the children in the block area and this theme continues to emerge in their play. A study of birds may emerge as the children notice and discuss many different birds on walks around our campus.

In our preschool classrooms, we often say “nothing without joy”. We continually work to build intrinsic motivation and a longterm love of learning in our youngest students in order to create a solid foundation for the academic and social emotional growth that lies ahead.

Learning and Growing together

The Abington Friends School educational experience is rooted in partnership with families. Working together, home and school are better equipped to nurture the entire student they through their educational growth and development. This strong partnering foundation allows each student to enjoy the many benefits that grow out of the community atmosphere. Our families share our goals of educating the whole child, supporting Quaker values, and creating a learning environment that exemplifies excellence in education.

Our partnership with families spans the the school year and includes all-school service events, educational workshops for parents, our winter and spring programs, community programs and much more! We welcome parent and family involvement in building our school community.

Want to learn more?