At Presbyterian Nursery School & Kindergarten (PNS&K) in Westfield, New Jersey, we promote discovery through playful experiences. Play is a skill children learn early on in their development. Our innovative educational programs build on a child’s instinctual approach to interacting with people and places and offer them a fun, supportive space where they are guided to explore the world around them through investigation and inquisitive thought. Our students are encouraged to build a strong self image, gain confidence, utilize critical thinking skills and develop positive relationships with others. We find, the secret to our success is creating an ideal environment where teachers can inspire their classes, where parents are engaged and where children play to learn.
Our Curriculum and Educators
The school’s curriculum encompasses the areas of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, creative arts and music, all rooted in play. The curriculum meets or exceeds New Jersey’s state education standards for early childhood education. Time is incorporated into the daily schedule for exploration, creativity, dramatic acting, dancing, building, storytelling and group circle time for sharing of thoughts and ideas. Often, days are enhanced with walks to local points of interest and special guests.
A highly qualified teaching staff is a critical part of our well-loved programs. There are two full-time teachers in each our classrooms, creating a low teacher to student ratio ensuring individualized attention. Each head teacher has a Bachelor or Masters degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education and each assistant teacher has their Child Development Associate (CDA) or Bachelor degree. In addition, nearly all of our educators have at least ten years of teaching experience and most are parents of alumnae who wanted to continue to remain a part of our community.
Our Goals for Students
- Develop confidence in themselves and their decisions enabling them to explore the unknown.
- Develop social skills and positive relationships with others.
- Develop and implement critical thinking skills.
- Develop a love of learning and discovering the world around them.
- Develop fine and gross motor skills and coordination.
- Develop communication, expressive/receptive language skills.
Our Picture-Perfect Setting
Our school is located in the heart of town and nestled alongside beautiful Mindowaskin Park. PNS&K classes use the park as their nature discovery center and the school is in easy walking distance to plenty of vibrant downtown establishments for community field trips. Our school has three large outside playgrounds overlooking Mindowaskin pond and fountain. PNS&K boasts bright, spacious classrooms, an indoor playground and our beloved Turtle Garden, an enclosed courtyard that is inhabited since 1983 by four local Box Turtles. A private, safe drive enables drop-off and pick-up directly onto our playgrounds. When weather permits, students begin each day with outside play fostering gross motor and social skill development. We find our playgrounds enable an easy transition to the start of the school day with friends while overlooking the park.
PNS&K was founded in 1948 as a mission of the Presbyterian Church in order to promote active learning for children in the greater Westfield area community. Children are accepted into the school regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. The Education building was added in 1964 and the school was able to expand to welcome more members of the community at large. The school is licensed by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. The present church structure adjacent to the school was built during the early part of the Civil War and was dedicated on March 25, 1862.