Oakland Garden School
Magical childhood – play is the vehicle, nature is the playground
The Oakland Garden School (OGS) is a place of wonder that invites children to experience creativity, discovery, freedom and beauty. The preschool's beautiful garden setting has been designed to create a sensory rich environment which provides the children with a truly unforgettable outdoor learning experience.
There is a spirit in every place, an intangible something that we intuitively know to be its characteristic, energetic quality.
It is the spirit of a place that makes it memorable. It expands our sense of possibility and puts us in touch with what is the most loving, creative and human in ourselves.
Oakland Garden School is a place of wonder, creativity, freedom and beauty; being here, in our garden and in our classrooms our spirit is nourished.
The conception of OGS began with a set of questions posed by early childhood educators, thoughtful parents, and conscientious human beings: What are your favorite childhood memories? Were they outdoors or indoors? Were they with kids or adults? Were they with artificial factory made toys or something out in nature or with an animal?
At OGS, we believe that childhood is the time to wonder and explore, a period in which the critical foundation for the journey of a human being is begun – continuing into the early grade school years, puberty, and adulthood. These are the times to create memories that will sustain our children throughout their whole lives. We must not force our children to perform for adult standards by compromising their early childhood experience. We believe in children’s innate interest and capacity for learning. All children thrive within a creative, stimulating environment which embraces the theory of multiple intelligences and an organic learning process.
At OGS, we promote, foster, and nurture the following tenets:
- Love of Nature: Nature has been the inspiration to many great thinkers, artists, and poets. We hope to instill that in our children. OGS is the place for them to have nature in their daily life.
- Endless Curiosity: Children learn the best in what they instinctively show interest in. We want that for our children. We strive to promote children’s curiosity through interesting experiences, curriculum activities, and stimulating learning environments including exposure to our goats and chickens.
- Appreciation and Respect for the Elements of life: Sand, water, rocks and old logs as their play materials. The Garden is the metaphor of life where things are always transforming, changing, and growing.
- Strong sense of Self and friendships: Sense of self as an individual comes from the value of friendship. OGS is a place to experience the skills of negotiation, cooperation, and co-activity while at the same time not compromising a unique sense of self.
- Community Building: OGS is the place for inspiring a sense of community with each other. By being part of OGS, we already share a similar philosophy and approach to life. Our role as adults is to continue to promote that sense of community in the lives we build together with our children.