Building Blocks Day School follows a developmental approach to curriculum. Developmental appropriateness encompasses (1) age appropriateness – knowledge of typical developmental stages and (2) individual appropriateness – seeing each child as an individual.
In the book, Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children From Birth Through Age 8¹, the National Association for the Education of Young Children states: “A developmentally appropriate curriculum for young children is planned to be appropriate for the age span of the children within the group and is implemented with attention to the different needs, interests, and developmental levels of those individual children.” This approach to curriculum is further outlined whereas:
A. Developmentally appropriate curriculum provides for all areas of a child’s development: physical, emotional, social, and cognitive through an integrated approach.
B. Appropriate curriculum planning is based on teachers’ observations and recordings of each child’s special interests and developmental progress.
C. Curriculum planning emphasizes learning as an interactive process. Teachers prepare the environment for children to learn through active exploration and interaction with adults, other children, and materials.
D. Learning activities and materials should be concrete, real, and relevant to the lives of young children.
E. Programs provide for a wider range of developmental interests and abilities than the chronological age range of the group would suggest.
F. Teachers provide a variety of activities and materials: teachers increase the difficulty, complexity, and challenge of an activity as children are involved with it and as children develop understanding and skills.
G. Adults provide opportunities for children to choose from among a variety of activities, materials, and equipment; and time to explore through active involvement.
H. Spanish immersion, English and American Sign Language program.
Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs, NAEYC by Sue Bredekamp and Carol Copple, Editors