Classes



Playing, exploring, and creating together.

NCRC's emergent curriculum is developed by exploring what is relevant, interesting and personally meaningful to the children - whether it is the study of mushrooms, birds, the post office, or the Arctic Tundra. Teachers use the children's interests as a starting point, weaving in the skills the child needs, creating an educational space of remarkable teachers who are creative, intentional and dedicated.


Class Descriptions



NCRC offers six classes for children based on chronological and developmental ages. These age-based groupings allow teachers to tailor the curriculum to the children’s developmental needs and interests.


Bunny Program (2 ½-year-olds)

  • Classes may include a student with special needs who attends school for an additional afternoon to receive individualized support through our Early Beginnings Program

As the first school experience for many students, children are supported in developing a sense of trust and security while at school. At this age, children learn most successfully when they are actively engaged with hands-on learning materials. The children are encouraged to work cooperatively with their classmates, initiate their own activities, and to talk about their thoughts and feelings. As they play and work together, the quality of their thoughts and actions becomes the framework of the classroom curriculum.

2017/18 School Year: Children born between November 2014 and March 15, 2015

Beehive Program (3-year-olds)

  • Two classes with three teachers
  • The children attend school five days per week, either in the morning or in the afternoon.

As this is the first school experience for many students, children are supported in developing a sense of trust and security that promotes self-esteem. The goal at this age is to help the children develop a positive attitude toward learning. The teachers cultivate curiosity and creativity through a variety of theme-based activities in a fun and enriching environment. Children are also given opportunities to practice and enhance their emerging communication skills through a language-rich classroom environment.

2017/18 School Year: Children born between May 2014 and October 2014

Sunshine Program (3 ½ -year-olds)

  • Two classes with three teachers
  • The children attend school five days per week, either in the morning or in the afternoon

Teachers promote an integrated developmental approach to learning where each aspect of growth is present within every activity pursued in the daily curriculum. At this age, children begin to show interest in cooperative play and develop the social skills that support more complex play schemas. The confidence children gain through positive social relations encourages them to be more curious, more active and more creative learners. Children are inspired through the play-based curriculum to ask questions, explore, and take risks.

2017/18 School Year: Children born between November 2013 and April 2014

Rainbow Program (4-year-olds)

  • Two classes with three teachers
  • The children attend school five days per week, either in the morning or in the afternoon

At this age, children are able to take ownership of their learning and environment. Students are exposed to a wide variety of information through daily activities, classroom materials and peer interactions. The materials used in this class are often self-instructional and encourage individual discovery and exploration, satisfying the natural curiosity and motivation of the young learner. Children are able to realize their own capabilities and develop a strong sense of self. Teachers also support children as they develop and maintain more complex and involved relationships, promoting a sense of respect for others and building a classroom community.

2017/18 School Year: Children born between May 2013 and October 2013

Explorer/Treetop Program (4½ - 5-year-olds)

  • Each program has one class with three or four teachers in each
  • The children attend school five full days per week

Teachers plan curriculum that will meet the varied interests of the children, broaden their experiences and enhance their creativity, with the goal of encouraging and strengthening each child as a unique person. At this age, children show a vigorous, imaginative and playful unfolding, using materials to recreate past experiences, anticipate future roles and explore current activities. They are curious and easily engaged in the excitement of new undertakings. The teaching team is committed to exposing our students to the natural world through environmental awareness, natural exploration, complete use of senses, and sharing responsibility of our job as nature ambassadors. Teachers prepare age-appropriate activities that target pre-math, pre-reading and pre-writing skills, and are tailored to the developmental needs of the children.


2017/18 School Year: Children born between May 2012 and April 2013


Typical Class Progression





Depending on their individual development and needs, children may take an alternate path that is determined in consultation with teachers, the Child Development Team, and parents


Classroom Routines



The daily class schedule provides a balance of open-ended and structured time. Daily classroom routines contribute to a feeling of security because children can predict what will happen and when. Routines help children develop scripts and a balanced acceptance of change and transition.

The four main elements of the day highlighted below are based around a specific theme or unit each class is learning. A class may have a doctor's office set-up during dramatic play to teach the children to care for others, a building block area during free choice time to teach the children about the foundation of bridges, or a garden station during small groups to learn about the growing process.

Circle Time/Morning Meeting



  • Promotes social communication
  • Children share information with their friends and discuss questions posed by teachers
  • Cognitively process and respond to a variety of ideas, stories, songs, and instructions
  • Motor skills are practiced through signing and finger play, sensory experiences, yoga stretches, and breathing exercises.

Small Groups



  • Children meet in small groups facilitated by a teacher
  • Allows teachers to monitor children’s development while supporting children who learn best in a more intimate group

Free Choice Time



  • Provides self-directed play
  • Children explore the classroom independently, invite other children to join them in play, and engage in activities
  • Gives children the opportunity to utilize their imaginations through block play and dramatic play with peers
  • Provides time for children to retreat to book corners for reading

Outdoor Play



  • Endless possibilities for honing skills and sharing friendships
  • Key part of each classroom’s curriculum
  • Children are provided with additional materials to extend outdoor play (chalk, bubbles, etc.)
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