Learning through play is at the heart of the CCNS experience. Our emergent-based curriculum, inspired by the philosophy of Reggio Emilia, builds upon children’s natural curiosity and interests. Skilled teachers carefully observe their students at play, responding, extending and guiding towards new learning. When a topic of interest lends itself to further exploration, teachers and students work together to plan out a more robust project of study. Students ask questions, gather resources, conduct “fieldwork,” document their findings and report on their new discoveries. This "project approach"delivers on important learning goals while deeply engaging children, building motivation for continued questioning, and fostering a life-long love of learning and exploration.
All learning experiences at CCNS are planned to meet the goals and performance standards of the Connecticut Early Learn and Development Standards (CT ELDS). This document, with its guiding principles, is at the center of our curriculum as it provides developmental expectations across the eight key domains: social and emotional development, physical and health development, language and literacy, creative arts, mathematics, science, cognition and social studies. The CT ELDS is a publication of the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood and is designed to articulate with the National Common Core Standards that are in place in all pubic and approved independent schools in Connecticut.