Our Curriculum

At the John Winthrop School for Young Children, the child is at the center of all we do. We believe that children thrive in a playful environment that supports their development of a lifelong love of learning. Children’s development is nurtured on a continuous and individual basis. Teachers gain deep insight into children’s development using observation, conversation, a standardized norm-referenced developmental screening, and meetings with our Early Childhood Development Consultant. Classroom experiences are planned based on teachers’ extensive knowledge of child development and their in-depth understanding of each individual child. The curriculum is also informed by children’s curiosity, community events or resources, family interests, and topics that are worthwhile and relevant.

Our program goals for children include the development of:

  • A positive self-image.
  • An enthusiasm for learning and becoming an active, self-directed learner.
  • Pro-social behavior and skills such as engaging in collaborative play, resolving conflict with others, and functioning in large group interactions.
  • A feeling of community and the development of respect and empathy for others.
  • Self-help skills that foster health and independence.
  • Emerging cognitive, social, language, and physical skills.
  • The confidence to reach their individual potential.

Our Toddler Program

15 months to 2.8 years old

The toddler years, are an exciting time of firsts in the lives of young children and families. At John Winthrop School we encourage toddlers’ development of a positive self-concept and the social and language skills needed for successful peer interactions. Peer interactions grow more robust as children’s language skills begin to flourish and they have increased interest in cooperative play. We support children’s peer interactions by providing a safe environment for children to practice their negotiation and communication skills. Toddlers are ready to assert their independence. We are supportive of their growing autonomy and provide children with numerous opportunities to exercise their self-help skills while also offering nurturing support when it is needed. We promote children’s development of empathy by offering a variety of opportunities for perspective-taking through the use of literature, role playing, and other group activities. When planning curriculum teachers take full advantage of the limitless opportunities that exist in the Back Bay community, such as frequent walks in the neighborhood, visits to the farmer’s market, exploring the Public Garden, and visits from local artists, musicians, and more.

Our Preschool Program

2.9 to 5 years old

Preschoolers are curious about the world around them. At John Winthrop School, teachers respond to children’s natural inquisitiveness and allow the children to drive the focus of the classroom curriculum.   During the preschool years, children are strengthening the social, cognitive, and motor skills they developed during toddlerhood. At John Winthrop School we nurture children’s emerging self-concept and support the development of positive self-esteem by supporting peer interactions and emphasizing cooperative play. As preschoolers develop more of an awareness of the world around them, they typically begin to be more interested in literacy and numeracy. We respond to this emerging interest in a variety of ways, including daily numeracy activities, making available fiction and nonfiction books for children to read with a teacher or independently, integrating opportunities to practice handwriting into multiple areas of the classroom, daily opportunities for building with a variety of materials, and opportunities to practice math and language skills with direct teacher support. Learning in our preschool classrooms is experiential – children test theories and practice skills in hands-on ways. We emphasize the importance of a social-emotional framework that is the foundation of future academic and social success.

John Winthrop School Student Examines a Blueberry

Summers at John Winthrop

Currently enrolled families are invited to enroll in the summer program at John Winthrop. We currently offer five two-week sessions of fun, exploration, and discovery during the summer months. During our summer program, children will benefit from the continuous care of our school year teachers. The summer program features the same high quality programming as our school year program with the addition of daily outdoor water play and special events or visitors during each summer