At Gold Mountain Community School, we provide a play-based developmentally appropriate program where learning is active, dynamic, and fun. Children are invited to choose their activities in a safe and rich environment full of opportunities to learn. We encourage children to explore, inquire, experiment, discover, move, imagine, socialize and reflect. Warm and caring adults are available to support and guide, while modeling respectful behavior and problem-solving skills. We believe that child-directed play, supported by a variety of interesting materials, innovative activities and obliging adults best fulfills the young child’s mental, physical, emotional and social development. Learning in this way is the best foundation for a successful future.
Our flexible curriculum allows the interests and needs of the children to guide their explorations and activities. Our hands-on experienced-based program includes daily offerings in math and science, art and drama, literacy, music and movement, various foreign languages, and America Sign Language. Special visitors share their time and interests, and we occasionally visit nearby downtown locations such as the Prichard Art Gallery. Interested family members are always welcome to join us at any time.
Teachers act as guides and facilitators, encouraging children to ask questions, seek answers and solve problems. Teachers support the development of social skills, by modeling compassion and respect, encouraging communication, giving empathy and negotiating conflict.
Our program style is supported by the most current child development research. We are also influenced by leaders in the field of early childhood education including Jean Piaget, John Dewey, Loris Malaguzzi (Reggio Emilia approach), Rudolf Steiner (Waldorf Model), Magda Gerber, Bev Bos, Lisa Murphy, Nellie Edge, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
Experience isn’t the best teacher, it’s the only teacher.
“It is through real play that children make some of their greatest discoveries: whom to trust, how to differentiate true from false and reality from fantasy, when they are ready for the next real challenging experience, where their boundaries end and the next person’s begin, and why things are the way they are.”
– Chris Mercogilano, from his book In Defense of Childhood-Protecting Kid’s Inner Wildness