Head of Preschool
718-599-7300, ext. 5020
Brooklyn College-M.S.Ed.- Early Childhood Special Education
Welcome to the Preschool division at Williamsburg Northside School! My name is Bridget Lambrechts and as part of the Northside community for the past fourteen years I am honored to collaborate everyday with a group of highly passionate, caring, and dedicated educators. Our school finds inspiration from the Reggio Emilia approach and embraces the principles that guide it. We believe strongly that all children are strong and competent and we strive to create a community founded on the idea of respect – respect for ourselves, respect for each other, and respect for the environment. With a background in Early Childhood Special Education, and having worked with children ages birth through five with a wide range of needs and abilities, I truly believe that every person brings value to a community. While visiting the preschools and infant toddler centers of Reggio Emilia Italy, I found a connection between my beliefs and their belief that all children have their own ideas and opinions early on and that respect for each individual is the foundation for a successful classroom. As Head of Preschool, it is my goal to create an environment where children feel empowered to explore and where every child’s voice is represented. Our teachers are here to listen to the children and facilitate opportunities that help them find answers to their questions and guide their grow both as individuals and as members of a community.
I see the preschool years as foundational years and at Northside you will find a program that sets the stage for continued and future growth. Our emergent and play based curriculum allows us to address the whole child, preparing them emotionally, physically, and cognitively for the next steps, all while maintaining a joy for learning.
I invite you to come in and experience the joy, collaboration and community yourself. With exciting classrooms, a rooftop playground and garden, and an art studio just waiting to be explored, you may not want to leave!
Our Preschool program is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education and values each child’s individuality within the context of a community. Classrooms engage in an emergent curriculum that is co-constructed by the students and the teachers. Classes take part in investigations of materials and topics that are of interest to the children and are chosen based on the teachers’ observations in conjunction with their knowledge of child development, and their objectives for the year. Through both child-directed and teacher-facilitated activities, children are given the opportunity to fully explore the world around them. A multi-sensory approach is used in order to meet the varying learning styles and developmental needs of each child. Children will engage with and express themselves through a variety of media, including, but not limited to, paint, clay, collage, music, dance, storytelling, blocks, natural materials, and recycled materials.
In the Preschool 2’s program there is strong focus on transition and becoming part of a group. For many children, this will be their first time in a classroom setting and away from the one-on-one care of a parent or guardian. The teachers’ goal is to help the students begin to understand that they are part of a larger society. Activities and daily routines will help guide children as they learn to share both materials and attention with others. Sensory explorations support student growth through whole body engagement. In the Preschool 3’s program teachers will build upon the students developing social skills as they continue to foster a respect for community. As topics of interest emerge in the 3’s program, classrooms will delve deeper into explorations. Nurturing the students’ growing abilities and increasing attention spans, questions and theories will be explored from many angles. While time engaging in project work is an important part of the day, all aspects of the preschool schedule are filled with numerous opportunities for skill building and learning. Throughout the preschool experience teachers will use the developmental milestones set forth by the New York State Early Learning Guidelines as well as their own professional experiences, to provide opportunities that help each student meet age appropriate expectations and challenge them accordingly.
Consistency and predictability within the preschool daily schedule is an important factor toward building community and relationships among peers and adults alike. While there is flexibility in routine, the components of the day remain the same from class to class. Each group participates in group conversations at morning assembly, engages in project work, and has opportunity for unstructured gross motor exercise. Ample time is also allotted for meals, play, read-alouds, rest time and bathrooming. Students in the preschool have a rich schedule that is augmented with music and art enrichments.
In young children, music and movement is a fundamental means of self-expression. Every child’s natural interest in music is fostered through emphasis on process (rather than product or performance), creating music, music appreciation and musical games. The joy children feel when they first explore sounds and movement is the foundation for a long musical life. Such core concepts as rhythm, melody, and structure are revealed through games and improvisation. Each year, children revisit the concepts they learned during the previous year, adding new skills and deepening their experiences.
Engaging with art materials is a vital way for children to actively learn about and make sense of their world. Children at the preschool visit a dedicated art studio space and meet with a full time art faculty member to explore methods of creation, materials, and theory often within an art historical context. Through open-ended exploration, children will be guided through process-based investigations to become acquainted with the qualities and properties of materials. This in turn helps children to establish the knowledge and understanding necessary to choose materials that will best suit their artistic goals, be them representational or nonrepresentational, both now and in the future. Topics that emerge from the classrooms are often expanded on and supported by studio work, allowing students to confidently articulate what they are learning through the visual arts. The studio is a wonderful and messy space in which children will become choice-makers as they find their own unique visual voice.
3’s Five Full Day 8:30am-3:00pm
3’s Three Full Day 8:30am-3:00pm
3’s Five Half Day 8:30am-12:00pm
Afterschool and Extended Care
- Preschool 2’s & 3’s Afterschool 3:00pm-4:20pm Monday-Friday
- Preschool 2’s & 3’s Extended Care 4:20-5:30pm Monday-Friday