Beverley Hills Church Preschool values the growth and development of its children, families and educational staff. As a cooperative preschool BHCP works to foster a community that benefits all. Children are provided a unique preschool experience in which the staff – in collaboration with their parents – is dedicated to guiding them towards achieving their fullest potential socially, intellectually, physically and emotionally. Parents experience a supportive environment where their involvement is encouraged and they can participate in the processes of education as well as experience growth in their understanding of their child and the job of parenting. Teachers teach by learning, and are rewarded with a rich and stimulating workplace that values them as learners in their own right with a personal vision for excellence in their teaching practice.
Underlying our educational philosophy is a set of core beliefs shared by the families, staff, and governing structures of the preschool. Specifically, we believe that:
- Childhood is a special time to be cherished; children have the right to create their own unique childhood culture in the company of others and facilitated by caring adults
- A child’s development is a collaborative process involving the child, peers, the family, teachers, and the community
- All children have a strong, natural desire to learn using all their senses, and a playful curiosity about the world around them
- Children have an array of intelligences that enable them to act upon the world in personally and culturally meaningful ways: socially, intellectually, physically and spiritually
- Teachers are guides and facilitators of children’s learning, who are themselves learning from the children, parents, and each other to build their teaching practice
- Children gain a sense of self-worth in relationship to the community’s expectations of them; they are due respect, honor, and dignity as unique human beings living in community and as part of a community
- The learning environment must value the learner and be joyful, stimulating, accessible and secure from the child’s perspective, and invite exploration, deep engagement, creativity and wonder
- Our school fosters risk-taking in a safe environment, and is a learning lab for children, teachers, and families
We at BHCP work to guide each child toward achieving her or his fullest potential while fostering a sense of security and confidence. As a community, BHCP offers a meaningful forum from which parents can grow personally in their understanding of their children and the educational process.
BHCP’s preschool program is implemented within a framework of developmental appropriateness. All aspects of the program reflect an understanding of each child’s uniqueness and consideration of both individual and age appropriateness. We are an inclusive preschool and children of all abilities are welcome in our program. We recognize play as the natural mode of learning and therefore spend the majority of each school day engaged in child-initiated activity.
Children’s interests, questions, problems, and creative ideas, along with those of the teachers, are incorporated into planned activities (curriculum planning) as well as spontaneous responses. Teachers combine their understanding of child development and their keen observations of the children in their class to provide a program that is dynamic, unique, and reflective of a variety of current practices in early childhood education.
Beverley Hills Church Preschool’s great vitality springs from the partnership between our parents, children, and staff. Working in concert to give life to our mission, families and teachers draw on each others’ perspectives, knowledge, and wisdom. This partnership, in turn, is made possible through the ongoing support of our founding parent, the Beverley Hills United Methodist Church. Altogether, this well-spring of resources and diversity of voices enable BHCP to be a highly participatory and many-textured community of engaged and enthusiastic learners of all ages.
Reggio Emilia Inspired
As a natural outgrowth of our communal values and our beliefs in the capabilities of young children, we have had numerous learning encounters over the past decade with the innovative approach to early childhood education found in the public preschools of Reggio Emilia, a community in Northern Italy. Over time, we have become increasingly inspired by the methods, structures and philosophical underpinnings that give such stunning vitality and strength to the Reggio Approach. As a result, the influences of Reggio Emilia are seen more and more in our classroom environments and in our whole community’s existence.