Our Curriculum: The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool

The Orchard Academy at Camp Harmony is proud to use Teaching Strategies for Early Childhood's The Creative Curriculum for Preschool as a base for academic success.  The Creative Curriculum for Preschool is an award-winning curriculum that works hand-in-hand with our Arts program to build a truly holistic approach to child-centric education.  Using exploration and discovery as a way of learning, The Creative Curriculum enables children to develop confidence, creativity, and lifelong critical thinking skills.

The Creative Curriculum for Preschool:

One of the areas that sets The Creative Curriculum and The Orchard Academy at Camp Harmony apart from other schools is the focus on longer-term investigations versus shorter-term themes.  Instead of a traditional preschool week-long focuses, our Investigation Areas (or Studies) span four to six weeks and allow for children to truly explore a topic inside and out.  Studies are tangible, avoiding the abstract, and present students with a hands-on approach to learning while engaging all five senses.

Literacy and Mathematics take center-stage as lynchpins for preparing our students for future academic success.  Educators in all classes embrace early literacy learning, being sure to integrate literacy skills intentionally and incorporate language and literacy learning into everyday classroom experiences.  Similarly, our educators constantly explore math components and employ practical strategies for promoting mathematics learning throughout the day.

With over 50 years of child care experience, we know that no two students learn in the same ways or process information using the same set of strategies.  The Orchard Academy takes great pride in our ability to differentiate learning for each individual student, developing educational goals, objectives and outcomes to suit that specific learner’s needs.  Our curriculum presents educators and parents with 38 objectives for development and learning, each of which are used in formal and informal assessments that allow teachers to adapt lessons to where students are, not where they “should” be.

Our curriculum is not only research-based, it’s research-proven—validated and shown to be effective by extensive research conducted by independent researchers. From multi-year efficacy studies to peer-reviewed journal articles and research foundation papers, this vast body of research helps prove that you can trust our curriculum to help you deliver positive outcomes for your child.  To read more about the research, including studies and published papers, click here.

TOA’s goal in terms of progress reports is to create something that is emblematic of who we are and what we do.  Specially, TOA wants to provide families with something real and tangible that speaks to and provides feedback on the real goals we use day in and day out.

The Creative Curriculum, our educational foundation, is based on a number research-based objectives for development and learning, each of which speak to every piece of what we do in our classrooms, Arts areas, hallways, lunch room, playgrounds and throughout our days.  As we’ve said time and time again, for us, every minute of the day is a teachable moment and our children deserve something that is representative of that engagement.

TOA proudly presents our version of the report card: the Learning, Advancement & Development Report or what we are calling the LADR (pronounced LADDER, like the thing you climb).  Our LADRs are age-appropriate with different LADRs for Birth to 2, 2 to 3, 3 to 4 and 4 to 5 years old and list 50 different goals, skills and benchmarks for our children.  Descriptions under each category are robust, showing you not only the overarching category but also the specific developmental standard for that age, like the sample below:

LADRs are completed twice during the year and we encourage our parents to read and review them to see what amazing progress their children are making.  In addition, should a parent want to discuss any aspect of their child’s LADR, they're welcome to schedule a phone call or meeting with their child’s educators to provide any specific feedback.

We look forward to our LADRs serving as another example of our commitment to education and the seriousness to which we approach our children’s early childhood experience!