A Play Based Approach

"Where children and their ideas are taken seriously.”

There is a reason we believe so strongly in this motto. At Park West, we encourage children to explore the world around them and to think critically. Our trained teachers are excellent ambassadors for assisting the child through this exploration and in developing their ideas.

Park West’s ambition is to challenge and guide every child to develop in physical, cognitive, social, emotional and moral domains according to their own abilities and circumstances. We provide various play situations because play is where children are most intellectually and emotionally involved. We encourage children to expand their world view by incorporating the ideas of other people into their decision making and to think about how they affect each other. By encouraging trial and error, asking questions that stimulate thinking and using language children are encouraged to try out their ideas and to make their own new discoveries.

Each class structure is set up to provide predictable routines and procedures. We offer open-ended materials which appeal to a wide variety of developmental levels and interests. We offer children opportunities to mentally and physically engage with materials, and we make play, experimentation, and social interactions a priority.

Park West doesn’t engage in direct academic instruction nor do we have a rigid curriculum that requires us to transmit specific information to the children. Rather, it is our school’s purpose to encourage thinking and develop new ideas. Our teachers are trained to follow classroom interests and ideas which further engage children and expand their knowledge.

We follow the ideas presented by Jean Piaget and our classrooms are modeled after the constructivist theories. By following this theory our children leave Park West with the ability to negotiate … and are ready to embrace the more academic learning that is required in Kindergarten.

Classroom Materials

A sample of the materials that your child will find in each classroom includes:

  • Tactile: play dough, silly putty, cornmeal, sand, water, cornstarch, ice, snow
  • Sand tables: sifters, funnels, sand wheels, animals
  • Water tables: gutters, measuring cups, funnels, tubing, water animals
  • Tools: magnifying glasses, rulers, tape and scissors, tape recorders, crayons and markers
  • Puzzles: particularly those that introduce categorization, identification and terminology
  • Ramps and marbles
  • Natural objects: living and non-living
  • Blocks
  • Imaginary play: dress up clothes, kitchen, food accessories
  • Musical instruments
  • Books