Mission & Philosophy

Mission & Philosophy

Mission

Apple Orchard School focuses on the growth of the whole child through a play based, creative, nature focused curriculum. We promote this growth through a warm, engaging, and stimulating environment rooted in deep caring, and trusting relationships among teachers, children, and families.


Philosophy

We believe preschool children learn best through hands-on exploration and play, which is at the core of our curriculum. Play develops the qualities children need to lead happy, productive lives such as persistence, planning, problem solving, ability to communicate and capacity to collaborate.

Play is a primary learning path at Apple Orchard School, and our unique farm environment provides unlimited opportunities for skills learned through play to be applied to classroom foundational learning. At this age, we believe that sitting and having a child count blocks doesn’t compare to jumping from stump to stump while counting, or noticing how many ducks are on a pond one day compared to the next. We want to capitalize on what engages children at this age so that they are excited and interested in learning!

We use the farm around us not simply because it is available, but also because there is a direct and positive correlation between contact with nature, imaginative play, and learning. Both in and out of the classroom, we do frequent art projects and participate in the exploration of building, estimating, measuring, and structural problem solving in keeping with the trend of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math).

One parent captured our curriculum focus well stating, “I am thrilled that we have been able to find a preschool for our daughter that elevates play and concrete activities over academic concerns. You don’t pretend to do things, but you really do them. I love it that the kids pick vegetables, collect eggs, and cook snacks together. I think it’s nothing short of fabulous that the children got to watch ducks raised from eggs and set free on the pond.”

To learn more about our program, philosophy, and curriculum, please download our Curriculum Guide below.



Mission & Philosophy
  • “Apple Orchard is truly a model school, the best place on the planet to send your child to jumpstart his or her education.”

    Current Parent
  • “The grounds are like being in another, simpler world.  During a parent visit, taking a winter walk, I could see the joy in the children’s faces as they skipped, ran, got distracted, picked up a stick or rock, and then continued on their way.  How often do you see a child skip these days?  You do at AO!”

    Former Parent
  • “The staff is genuine, friendly, exceptionally knowledgeable, and competent.  They know your child’s habits, likes, dislikes, anything you can think of, and challenge them in a way that incorporates the natural world into the learning plan.”

    Former Parent
  • “All of our kids left AO with a deep appreciation for the outdoors and animals. This is a gift we could not have given them in any other pre-school setting.”

    Former Parent
  • “Apple Orchard is a magical place for our children as they learn without knowing they are learning! Friendships are formed which last a lifetime as our children develop a love for each other, their teachers and nature.”

    Current Parent
  • “All of our children have attended AO and completely embraced and loved every aspect of their experience. Combining the outdoors with traditional learning fosters an early school experience that has cultivated both academic growth and social development in our children.”

    Former Parent