Individualized, 21st Century Focused
Beginning with our infant and toddler programs and continuing straight through preschool, Old Hill's curriculum is individualized to most effectively stimulate the healthy development of each child. Our teachers are experts at using developmentally appropriate activities, materials and interactions with children to ensure they are happy and engaged each day as they learn through purposeful play. In addition to encouraging independent exploration and enjoyment of their
environment, we create regular opportunities for preschoolers to play and work together in ways that help develop important social and 21st Century Skills including creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, cooperation and problem solving. From creating and building fun projects together to cooking and engaging in science experiments, our children learn independently and through working closely with their friends.
Infants & Toddlers
During the first three years of life children are discovering many important things about themselves and the world around them -- they are learning who they are, how they relate to the people in their lives and how people respond to them. During this time, their brains are being "wired" into patterns for emotional, social, physical and cognitive development. Old Hill's infant and toddler program is designed with these important concepts as its building blocks. In addition to providing stimulating, age appropriate materials and activities, our teachers cuddle, talk with, sing to, rock and hold babies and young toddlers regularly, providing them with important bonding experiences. We ensure they are happy!
Individualized Care - While there are milestones children normally reach during specific age ranges, we understand that children each grow and develop at their own pace. By providing nurturing, responsive care to each individual child according to his/her own developmental stage, Old Hill's teachers ensure that children experience the positive interactions and activities they need to develop a strong sense of autonomy and the kind of self-confidence that encourages them to investigate their environment and discover wonderful new things about their world and themselves. This level of care and encouragement helps to set the foundation for a love of learning.
Development of the Whole Child - In addition to individualized programming, Old Hill's children are provided with a variety of stimuli and activities each day, all of which are designed to foster development of the whole child -- this includes development of language, cognitive, social, sensory and gross and fine motor skills. Classroom experiences include listening to various genres of music, participating in art and craft projects and water play and working with developmentally appropriate materials including blocks, a variety of manipulatives and puzzles, dramatic play items, dolls, puppets, items from nature and more. Gross motor development is encouraged with activities both indoors and on our outdoor playgrounds. Most importantly, interactive experiences with teachers throughout the day include learning and communicating through baby sign language, singing, talking, reading, rocking, finger plays, puppets and one on one bonding and play.
From about 36 to 60 months of age, children experience significant growth in four general areas of development: social/emotional; physical; cognitive and language. Old Hill's preschool program is designed to address all of these important developmental areas.
Preschool and Pre-K
Child Directed Play and Activities
Because children learn most effectively through hands-on activities in which they develop important conceptual understandings in the context of their play, our program provides ample time for children to follow their own interests. As experts at using developmentally appropriate activities, materials and interactions to ensure each child is happy and engaged throughout the day, our teachers provide gentle guidance to ensure choice time play and activities are fun, purposeful and productive. Our carefully designed interest centers include writing, math and manuipulatives, library, blocks and building, dramatic play, science, art, puzzles, a sensory table and a computer learning center among others. Through engagement in these centers each day, children develop strong foundations for academic and social success as well as self-help skills and independence.
Teacher Involved Activities
Our teachers use one on one interactions, exciting small group projects and daily circle time to help further the development of math, language, critical thinking and other academic skills as well as social and self-help skills. Teacher guided group projects and activities such as cooking, building and collecting/sorting/classifying are frequently utilized to foster creativity, collaboration and cooperation skills as well as independent problem solving skills.
Special programs provided on-site during fall and spring semesters include Foreign Language with LinguaKids, Hands-on Science with Mad Science, Nature/Animal based education with Animal Embassy and Music and Movement with Creative Music. Old Hill also offers optional weekly Fun Bus fitness sessions during the fall and winter along with fun and educational field trips to places such as Compo Beach, the Fairfield University Quick Center for the Arts, the Maritime Aquarium, Stepping Stones Children's Museum and more.
The combination of hands-on activities and purposeful play in which Old Hill children are involved each day along with the fun teacher interactions, group projects and enrichment programs offered ensure our children are happy and engaged while they grow with us. As has been attested by many Kindergarten teachers who have received Old Hill students over the years, our children leave us not only meeting but exceeding the Kindergarten Readiness Skills they need to be successful in school and in life.
Outdoor play and connecting with nature is an important part of Old Hill's culture and program. We strive to resurrect the joyful and healthy experience of playing, relaxing and learning outdoors. Our lovely, tree shaded playgrounds provide a wonderful, fresh air environment for children to enjoy on a year-round basis. We use this space for play as well as learning.
One to two times daily, as weather permits, our children venture out to run, jump, climb, slide, ride tricycles, play in the sandbox and play ball. In fall, they play in the leaves. In winter, the snow. In summer, we provide sprinklers and other types of water play for them to enjoy.
Nature experiences are also an important part of Old Hill's program. From container gardening with herbs, vegetables and flowers to collecting and sorting leaves, rocks, bugs and other items, we ensure that our outdoor space is always a fertile ground for learning.
During the summer, components of our day such as circle time, story telling, group projects and other activities may be held outside as well.