Welcome to Little Reds!
Little Reds is a co-ed early childhood program serving children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old. Little Reds is for preschool aged children (2 - 5 years old) and Littlest Reds is for the tiniest members of our community (6 weeks - 2 years old). We believe that all children have the potential, curiosity and interest to succeed, especially when they are provided with the freedom to navigate their own learning with the support of experienced teachers.
Our co-ed classrooms embrace the Reggio Emilia-inspired philosophy, which allows for the teacher, child and classroom to work in collaboration. This promotes inquiry, discovery, literacy and numeracy so that RPCS Little Reds students are prepared for kindergarten and beyond.
Our teachers support both academic and character skills, such as persistence, curiosity, communication, creativity and innovation. They observe and analyze the interactions of all students, then plan and create a learning environment to guide each student as he or she progresses. This can take place indoors or in our outdoor classroom and gardens, allowing our students to have hands-on, authentic learning experiences at all times.
This comprehensive and innovative approach sets our students up for intellectual and personal success by establishing a strong foundation of academics and a love of learning.
Lisa Teeling, Lower School Head
Tynaya Quickley, Director of Early Childhood Education
- The Reggio Emilia-Inspired Philosophy
- Social-Emotional Development
- Sample Daily Schedule
The Reggio-Emilia philosophy believes that all children have the innate curiosity, initiative, interest, creativity, confidence, open-mindedness, and persistence to create meaningful educational experiences that result in deep and lasting learning.
Learning in the Little Reds classrooms is brought to life through the collaboration of the child, teacher and classroom. Children have the freedom to navigate their learning, teachers have the flexibility to cultivate meaningful experiences, and the classroom environment has boundless inspiration. Our classrooms are carefully and methodically structured to promote inquiry, discovery, literacy and numeracy. Little Reds students are equipped to thrive in kindergarten and beyond. In addition to academics, Little Reds also emphasizes both social-emotional development and physical education.
Special area classes include music, dance, technology and innovation, world languages, art, physical education, and library. A perk of Little Reds being nestled in the heart of a K-12 school is that our students get to take advantage of a variety of activities that would typically be extra-curricular for this age, but are built right into our school day! These special classes are taught by experts in their fields and often take place outside of the preschool classrooms in music studios, dance studios, innovation spaces, world language classrooms, art studios, gym spaces, and libraries. More to explore!
Social-emotional development focuses on the child’s increasing capacity to understand and regulate emotions, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships with peers and adults, and make responsible decisions. By playing and working with each other, children practice their social skills with guidance and support from adults and peers.
|7:30 - 9:00 a.m.||Arrival and morning play in the Outdoor Classroom|
|9:00 - 9:30 a.m.||Special area classes: music, dance, technology and innovation, world languages, art, physical education, and library. These special classes are taught by experts in their fields and often take place outside of the preschool classrooms in dance labs, music studios, or innovation spaces.|
|9:30 - 10:00 a.m.||
Morning snack: Children are provided with a healthy, organic snack each day that includes a fresh fruit or vegetable to accompany crackers, string cheese, or cereal. Items vary daily and all allergies are taken into consideration. We are an allergy-aware environment.
|10:00 - 10:30 a.m.||Morning meeting: This time focuses on singing songs and reading stories, as well as different developmentally appropriate activities. Examples include counting classmates and trying to guess how many are missing, or engaging in a new topic by exploring authentic materials or items like bok choy, a stethoscope, or insects. It is also the time to set the tone of the day by going over what activities and special area classes will take place that day.|
|10:30 - 11:30 a.m.||Center time/small group instruction: "Provocations" are set up to provoke inquiry and questions. Loose parts, such as rocks, stones, seashells, twigs, leaves or recycled materials, stimulate creativity, exploration, and imagination. This time can also be used to work one-on-one or in small groups on different content areas, such as literacy and numeracy, patterning, bookmaking or cutting skills, to name a few.|
|11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.||Late morning play in the Outdoor Classroom|
|12:00 - 12:45 p.m.||Lunch|
|12:00 - 12:30 p.m.||Pickup option #1|
|12:45 - 1:00 p.m.||Storytime: Children select books and the class reads together.|
|1:00 - 2:30 p.m.||Nap or rest time|
|2:30 - 3:00 p.m.||Afternoon snack: Children are provided with a healthy, organic snack each day that includes a fresh fruit or vegetable to accompany crackers, string cheese, or cereal. Items vary daily and all allergies are taken into consideration. We are an allergy-aware environment.|
|3:00 - 4:00 p.m.||Afternoon play in the Outdoor Classroom|
|3:00 - 3:30 p.m.||Pickup option #2|
|4:00 - 6:00 p.m.||Extended Day: Children have free play in the Outdoor Classroom and are encouraged to do arts and crafts, ride bikes, play in the sandbox, play at the sensory table or use their imaginations to role play. During this time, our highly experienced Extended Day teachers also set up storytelling hour when children dictate creative stories while they are transcribed by the teacher word for word. At the end of the week, children perform their stories with classmates. This connects to our Reggio Emilia-inspired philosophy because it speaks to the concept of the child as the protagonist and it demonstrates to children that their words and ideas are important.|
|3:30 - 6:00 p.m.||Pickup option #3|
The most genuine learning happens when students are engaged through hands-on experiences. By planting a butterfly garden and watching a caterpillar on milkweed grow into a chrysalis and transform into a butterfly, our Little Reds explore the life cycle of nature, and a lifelong love of animals and the natural world is born.
The Reggio Emilia-inspired philosophy in our Little Reds program emphasizes learning through the natural world. Our students experience first-hand the food cycle, science and the environment by planting a garden, harvesting, and preparing and serving vegetables (carrots, radishes, kale, green beans) for a shared community feast. Bonus: Because the children are so invested in the process, even our pickiest eaters are willing to experience new flavors and try all of the vegetables. After the harvest, our children have a salad bar party!
No matter the weather, every week the Little Reds explore the backwoods, five acres of trees, wetlands and a stream. Discoveries abound: the crunch of fallen leaves, the wetness of green moss, the pop of flowers in springtime, the mystery of footprints in crisp white snow. The Reggio Emilia-inspired approach to learning encourages curiosity and hands-on experiential learning.
As children start exploring the world around them, a great place to start is with themselves. In the Reggio Emilia-inspired philosophy, self-portraits help children understanding symbolic representation. This creates an opportunity to discuss who we are as individuals in relation to the world around us.
Our Little Reds explore the world beyond their classroom, from the innovation spaces at RPCS to the local library and grocery store, to encourage community and collaboration. Relationship building and teaching empathy and compassion are key components of the Reggio Emilia-inspired approach.
Our children use the playground to climb, jump and run, and also to read, write, learn, explore, and create art. It is a place to interact with each other and the natural world. We select greenery that encourages visits from butterflies, insects, hummingbirds and squirrels. We hang feeders in hopes of spotting feathered friends. We have decomposing logs and rocks for our children to turn over and find worms, centipedes and other critters. Plus, we go outside in all kinds of weather: warm, cold, wet, snow. With all of these different seasonal elements in play, we constantly have new and exciting learning opportunities to explore seasons and nature’s life cycle.
The Reggio Emilia-inspired approach at Little Reds harnesses the children’s interests to build critical thinking and developmental skills. After many of our families traveled over the winter break, the students pored over maps to see where they went and then created maps of their own, an intentional exercise that encourages fine motor skills as well as mental imaging and spatial representation.
In the Little Reds classroom, no two arts and crafts projects are alike, as our teachers plan and provide materials, but not end products. The Reggio Emilia-inspired approach encourages students to come up with their own artistic vision and plan. The result? Beautiful, original artwork that encourages fine motor skills and emphasizes creativity, individuality and innovative ideas.