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Arts in the Garden School

Petaluma, CA

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About Arts in the Garden School

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Natural Environment: Our expansive and beautiful outdoor environment encourages self-initiated play that promotes social, emotional, cognitive and physical development. Children spend time exploring, discovering, digging, running, tumbling, hammering, gardening, dancing, water, sand and gravel-pit playing, gathering in the redwood grove, exploring under olive and fig trees, acting on a stage, standing on a ‘mountain’, or interacting with our neighboring horses, chickens and sheep.

Nurturing: Children’s social and emotional development are a key focus in our work with children. We hold a deep understanding of child development following the theories of Dewey, Erikson, Vygotsky, Piaget, Montessori, and Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. We are skilled in the arts of observation and reflection, in line with Reggio Approach, in order to meet children where they are and support their individual needs.

Curriculum: Children stretch their imaginations through thoughtfully prepared explorations in the environment that build kindergarten readiness skills in all academic areas. By integrating a highly informed arts (broadest definition) and project approach into our curriculum we encourage creative and critical thinking. Our school has the unique assets of professional art and music studios (called "ateliers" in Reggio schools, a French term describing places for artistic creation and study) for children to expand ideas through their many languages of expression (or "the hundred languages of children" - a poem written by Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the Reggio Emilia approach).

Making Learning Visible: The children’s work is deeply valued and made visible with documentation in many forms throughout the school. Everyone is involved in the creation of documentation that provides children, staff, parents and other observers with deeper understandings about the process of thinking and learning in all ages and stages of development.

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