MVPNS is known for its engaging and creative curriculum. Science topics are often the foundation of children’s explorations-- from sprouting seeds to insects to the moon. These explorations typically extend for weeks at a time to give children numerous opportunities to ask questions, observe and play. Children become immersed in topics through games, stories and art. A special feature of the program is doing activities on a grand scale to make topics approachable for children. They make a giant space ship out of cardboard boxes and blast off to the moon. They raise silkworms, and watch them grow from eggs to adult moths, which spin cocoons. The project approach builds on natural curiosity, enabling children to interact, question, connect, problem-solve, communicate, reflect, and more.
Children attending MVPNS are also introduced to the concepts of environmental responsibility and love of nature in a seamless and fun way, using concrete methods. A year-round garden is tended by teachers and students; and the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor are examined, harvested and tasted by all. Even the class guinea pig enjoys nibbling on leaves and herbs from the garden. The school went as far as to plant a mulberry tree to have an ample supply of leaves for the silkworm project!
For the classes that have a communal and allergy-sensitive snack, children use cloth napkins and bring their own water bottles to keep paper usage to a minimum. Compostable waste goes into the school’s giant composter.
Children are encouraged to examine and explore many aspects of nature. They watch paperwhite bulbs grow, compare different types of seeds, taste different types of fruits, turn a pumpkin into a jack o’ lantern, and then watch it decompose in the garden. The children explore nests and eggs, and in spring they tend an incubator with chicken eggs. After they hatch, the children nurture the chicks as they grow into chickens. Their curiosity towards nature is nurtured.