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Early Childhood Development (ECD) For Ages 3 and 4

The Kew-Forest School Early Childhood Development Program Actively engages each child in learning by creating a rich environment for cognitive, social and emotional development. Our students: • Learn cognitively through activities and experiences using concrete materials. • Through group activities, learn social skills such as how to become a member of the group, and emotional skills, such as understanding what others want and need. • Gain essential skills by interacting with classroom materials, while building independence and confidence. Our multi-age classroom provides benefits to each child through: • Observation and practice. The older children become natural role models of positive behavior, and the younger children observe and emulate these behaviors. • Peer mentoring that encourages cognitive development. • A family-like environment. • A natural cycle of development in the classroom each year. Last year’s younger children become this year’s older children, and there is a new group of younger children to mentor. Look on the back cover of this brochure to learn more about the benefits students of the Kew-Forest Early Childhood Development Program take with them when they transition to Kindergarten.

Our carefully designed curriculum meets the needs of each child. It includes: • A rich variety of materials and approaches. • A balance between skill building and project work, and between teacherdirected activities and student-selected activities. • Teacher observation and assessment of the children on a continuous basis. • Interesting activities that appropriately challenge each child at his or her level. Our 6:1 student-teacher ratio allows: • Close monitoring and guidance, and an understanding of each child’s individual needs. • Teachers to hold a “mirror” to each child to help him or her to reach her natural potential as an individual and as a member of a group. • Students to explore concepts in depth to solidify understanding. • A series of uninterrupted work cycles in the morning and in the afternoon. • Specialty classes that enrich learning and provide natural “breaks” in each cycle. • Faculty to facilititate new experiences, constantly monitoring progress through a carefully-developed educational sequence. Unfold this brochure and peek inside to learn more about our curriculum, our philosophy, and approach, and the values that guide the Kew-Forest Early Childhood Development Program.

The curriculum emphasizes “21st Century Skills and Values”

Kew-Forest sparks a love of learning from the earliest years in its Early Childhood Development program, where three and four year olds come together in a self-paced model of differentiated learning.

• Creativity • Critical Thinking • Communication • Character • Collaboration • Cosmopolitanism

Integrated approach to curriculum • Thematic units include applications for multiple disciplines. • Specific concepts and skills are taught in a sequential and developmentally-appropriate manner. • Each of the curricular areas are explored as “centers” in the classroom.

Language Arts • Language-rich materials encourage and engage students (books on display, informational text, moveable alphabet, variety of writing materials). • Both the pre-reading and prewriting programs correspond with Kindergarten reading and writing programs.


Speech and Language


• Students learn how to hold books, listen to stories read aloud, play with letters and words, and begin to notice print in the environment, including letters in drawings.

• Children build a larger vocabulary from the language of people around them and from new ideas in books. They begin to use language that is more complex, with complete sentences and sentences with multiple parts.

• Children discover writing through “scribbling” and drawing. They reuse and repeat the same scribbles and drawings and then begin to use real letters to represent meaning.

• Students start to name pictures in books, understand that sounds have symbols, recognize letters, recognize names and labels, begin to rhyme, and pick out individual words and letters.

• Students develop communication skills including making eye contact and speaking clearly, and they demonstrate the ability to listen to others while they speak.

• They progress by first using letters to represent words, then using vowels and consonants in combination, then beginning to employ phonetic spelling. Students will also use the teacher as a scribe to communicate their ideas.

Math • The program introduces and reinforces beginning math concepts and skills, with an emphasis on developing an understanding of what numbers mean and how they are used. • Children explore concepts through games and the manipulation of concrete objects (counters, base-ten blocks, etc). • The older children are introduced to more formal text materials that help them transition to Kindergarten math. • Children gain skills and understanding related to visual discrimination, spatial relationships, sequencing, adding and subtracting, estimating, geometry, measurement, and graphing.

Specialty Classes


• Students learn specific skills in Art, Music, Physical Education, Spanish and Technology through work with Specialist Teachers multiple times a week.

• Close connections are made between science and math (through activities such as cooking, gardening, and observing weather systems).

• An interdisciplinary approach helps foster small and large motor development.

• Emphasis is placed on observing objects and aspects of nature, comparing and contrasting, experimenting, and drawing conclusions.

• Field trips provide experiential learning opportunities beyond the classroom.

Social Studies • Students build an awareness of self and self in community through exploration of classroom, school community, neighborhood, cultures, and holidays. • Children learn basic geography and map skills. • Students develop practical life skills and build character.

Did you know that The Kew-Forest ECD Program offers: •

Full-day and half-day options.

• Daily, nutritious hot lunch and snacks that are included in the cost of tuition. • Drop off as early as 7:30 a.m. • Transportation and/or AfterCare until 6 p.m. at an additional cost. • A dynamic, professional faculty. • A warm, welcoming community.

Long-Term Benefits of The Kew-Forest ECD Program • Strong academic preparation directly aligned with the Kindergarten curriculum. Classroom activities build a foundation to learn key concepts at The Kew-Forest School in Kindergarten and beyond. • Classroom space connected to the Kindergarten class gives students and teachers the opportunity for collaborative learning. Full-day ECD students eat lunch with the Kindergarten class. • With a focus on personal development, students become successful members of their class from a very young age in a supportive environment that fosters learning. • Practice of life skills (such as decision-making, as well as handling physical and emotional impulses appropriately) enables children to be successful in Kindergarten and the years ahead.

To schedule a visit or learn more about the tradition of excellence at The KewForest School, please call 718-268-4667 or e-mail We also invite you to explore the many resources available at 119-17 Union Turnpike, Forest Hills, NY 11375-6143 The Kew-Forest School is incorporated not-for-profit in the State of New York and is tax-exempt under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code of the Internal Revenue Service. Gifts to the School are taxdeductible to the full extent of the law. The Kew-Forest School does not discriminate because of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, or sexual orientation in the administration of its admissions, employment or educational programs or policies. The Kew-Forest School is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the New York State Association of Independent Schools, and the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation and is approved by the New York State Department of Education. K-F is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and the Secondary School Admission Test Board.

Kew-Forest ECD Brochure  
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