Little Reds teachers at Roland Park Country School hold a strong belief that nature and the outdoors provides a valuable learning experience all its own. They guide our young children toward healthy relationships with their world by encouraging inquiry and first-hand experiences. The classroom curriculum is enhanced by regular exposure to the natural world through the Reggio-inspired playground space, the Backwoods and an integrated garden program. Learn more about our outdoor classrooms at Roland Park Country School
Preschool students in the 2s, 3s and 4s classes play daily in a nature play space adjacent to their classrooms, where they hunt for worms, crickets and grubs, watch a variety of caterpillars in a butterfly garden (which they plant and tend), and feed and observe birds, squirrels and even the occasional hawk. They also take time to relax and explore in a sensory garden.
On “Forest Fridays,” the preschool students love exploring the Backwoods and always find something new, including red bellied salamanders, deer rubbings, patent leather beetles, and worms. These Backwoods include a high oak canopy, native Maryland trees and perennial plants, wildlife, a spring-fed stream, a gazebo, a bridge, and a dam and spring house built in the 1850s.
RPCS students, including the preschoolers, focus on growing vegetables and herbs for their school community. By planting seeds in early spring, caring for their gardens, harvesting, preparing, and eating the produce, students learn about the life cycle of plants and people and the interconnection between them. At the end of each school year, students leave having planted a summer garden, and they return in the fall to harvest it.