Nurturing Joyful Learners

We believe that children learn best through play. It is through play that young learners make sense of the world around them, discover who they are within the context of their world, and begin to make meaningful connections that last a lifetime. As part of their classroom community, our early learners enjoy thoughtfully designed learning experiences, as well as inspiring materials that encourage them to use their imaginations, socialize with their classmates, and express themselves through language.

St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's was my home for most of my childhood in New York City. My deepest and truest memories of safety, love, and learning came from the warmth and encouragement I received as a child. My belief that I could be just who I was was strengthened and nurtured by faculty and chaplains who believed in me, and believed in community. As a young parent in New York City, I now know just how important that sense of warmth and family is. It's not just a sense--it's real. Coming back to see my former teachers fall in love with and care for my daughter has been one of the most rewarding moments of my life. Seeing my daughter run to greet Ms. Connor in the mornings just as I did continues to fill me with joy and awe. I am beyond grateful for this community being my anchor at every stage of my life.

Lucy, ’03, P’34

All three of our children have been in the Beginners program at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s and we could not be happier with our decision! Each of our children have very different personalities, yet each of them blossomed during Beginners and loved each day they were there.This is due to the school’s unique approach to seek out and value what makes each student special, to treat them with love and tenderness, and to help them develop confidence and independence. To say we are overjoyed with our decision would be an understatement, and we are just so thankful for what the Beginners program has done for our kiddos!

Hasina and Justin, P’30, P’32, P’34

Beginners has been an incredible—and important—year for our children at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s. Each of our two children has thrived in the expansive and enriching range of arts, music, movement, and group activities that the Beginners classroom provides. Beginners gives its youngest students an exceptionally thoughtful, exciting, surprising, knowledgeable, and responsive environment to ensure each child explores new materials and expands their sense of self and sense of belonging. Through its world-class teachers and magical environment, the Beginners program at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s has given our children the most important gifts—a love of learning, appreciation of themselves, and expansive environment to explore, learn, and grow.

Cara and Joe, P ’31, P ’34

A woman and two children captivated by a book, enjoying a special moment of reading together in an early childhood program

Enrichment, Exposure, Exploration

Our Early Childhood curriculum offers a rich expanse of  learning opportunities within the classroom, and  taps into the wealth of educational resources our school provides to our older students. Music, Art, World Language (French, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish), Greenhouse, and Movement offer important opportunities for our youngest learners to explore the world around them and uncover new interests and passions outside the preschool classroom in a variety of learning spaces.

A Lifelong Love of Learning

Early Childhood students become immersed into the culture of the broader school community from the moment they arrive. We take great pride in the fact that a large number of our graduating students come to us as two year olds. Nurturing students from toddlerhood through adolescence is nothing short of magical, and the Early Childhood program is where this joyous journey begins.