A Caring, Play-Based Preschool in the Heart of Union Square

Community Preschool is an urban Somerville preschool where the focus is on children's play and their social and emotional growth. 

Play Is How Children Make Meaning

At Community Preschool, we consider play the most critical component of school.  While all children have unique learning styles, the desire to play is a common factor. Play is the vehicle by which children incorporate and build upon new ideas. Play helps children feel safe to explore, wonder, and create. Play demonstrates the questions and interests of children that teachers can use to guide instruction.  Research has shown that meaningful play in early childhood that is observed and extended by teachers is the most productive and useful way for children to learn.

At Our School We Have Time To Play

At Community Preschool children have extended, open-ended time to play throughout each school day. With a mind to the many learning styles of children, activity areas include dramatic play, science discovery, art, music, drama, literacy, and movement. Teachers use their experience of child development and classroom observation to embed skills-based activities using the Department of Education Standards for Preschool.  Children at Community Preschool play at open-ended choice time, dictate and perform stories, exploring the natural and urban environment, and connect to the community of their class.

Preschool Is A Time to Grow Socially and Emotionally

Children who feel like they are part of a group are more likely to become confident learners. At Community Preschool, we understand that all children do not develop social skills at the same rate, and that preschool is a time for learning to grow, express, and regulate emotions. For these reasons, socially and emotionally responsive curriculum is a foundational part of our teaching.

At school, students learn to express challenging emotions, listen respectfully, and work as a group to solve problems and evaluate solutions. Through this practice, students become more able to recognize the different experiences and feelings of their classmates. Group problem-solving, puppets, charts, role play and free play are some of the ways teachers at Community Preschool help children to become confident members of a learning group.  When children learn to work together, respect differences and similarities, they come to better understand who they are as peers and learners.

Curriculum That Matters to Children

At Community Preschool we value all types of learning styles.  During the school day, children explore art, writing, science, and movement with a focus on open-ended exploration and layering learning as students’ ideas and understanding build. We believe that students should be connected to their community – the community of our classroom, our families, and the urban environment of Somerville – and teachers plan curriculum that builds these connections. Teachers also use the interests of children to create emergent curriculum.  Children inspired to learn when their passions and interests are at the heart of their curriculum.   Teachers combine a variety of curricular styles: Reggio Emilia, The Project Approach, and emergent curriculum. Students also learn through doing – whether we are dancing, painting, walking near our school, building, writing, or making use of the many community resources in Somerville Union Square -- we believe that children learn through having real experiences.