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Nursery at Harley

Bringing joy in learning to our 3 & 4 year-olds

Joy In Learning

Our experienced early childhood educators understand how children develop, viewing each moment as  teachable and masterfully guiding their class with consideration for each student. The children are engaged in a highly intentional way. By creating classroom environments filled with lively discussion, collaboration, social interaction, and play, the wonder of learning is opened up to young children.

Our Key Values in Nursery


All Learning Starts with Questions

“Why is water wet?”, “What are shadows made of?”, “How do fish breathe underwater?”

Relentless curiosity is part of every child’s natural drive to understand the world. It makes perfect sense that those who are fresh in the world long to learn more about it. Whether using questions to learn about a topic of interest, test a boundary or explore the world, this is an integral part of a youngster’s life.

Our Responsive Classroom approach focuses on the essential relationship between academic success, cognitive growth, and social emotional learning. This empowers our faculty to create safe, joyful, and engaging learning communities where all students have a sense of belonging and feel significant. 


Where Community and Independence Meet

As a member of both a classroom and a larger school community, our Nursery students learn social confidence in a vibrant learning environment. They are encouraged to explore and forge their own understandings through inquiry-based experiences. Our teachers model and coach social interactions so that children can discover ways to negotiate their world as their own social skills develop. They are acutely aware of how to engage each child at their level, offering appropriate challenge. Students understand that they are known and valued as part of their classroom family. 


Door-opening Experiences Engage Young Learners
The way young children grow and mature can be seen through changes in their play and social skills. Our faculty, who are specifically trained in early childhood education, encourage learning through play in all areas. They follow an evidence-based approach to teaching that focuses on engaging academics, positive community, and developmental awareness. By creating a shared sense of purpose in the class, teachers and children are ready for positive and productive learning where risk-taking is encouraged and each individual voice matters. 


Readiness for a Lifetime of Growth and Problem Solving

From pretend play to flexing their gross- and fine motor skills, our students engage in experiences that stimulate growing minds and trigger imagination. They begin learning Spanish, swim in our pool, explore outdoors, make and move to music, play on our natural playground, develop confidence as they build skills in physical education classes, help in our microfarm, and participate in creative arts. They are provided with a broad experience as they build their foundation for exploring the world around them.


Children are activators of their own learning. They thrive when new opportunities and topics are provided and gain confidence from meaningful practice to move from exploration to mastery. Nursery maximizes discoveries with other children and guidance from trusted teachers. The social-emotional components of early childhood include:

  • sense of self-feeling good about themselves and what they can do.
  • social skills-getting along in life with others.
  • emotional skills-recognizing, expressing, and managing a wide range of feelings.

Being in a supportive community allows students to learn from each other. As Nursery students’ language, thinking, and planning capabilities increase, they are better able to wait for things they want, to negotiate solutions to everyday problems, and make decisions for themselves.

About Our Faculty

The average tenure of our Nursery faculty is 11 years. They are trained to create safe, joyful, and engaging classroom and school communities. Their emphasis is on helping students develop academic, social, and emotional skills in a learning environment that is developmentally responsive to their strengths and needs. Each Nursery classroom has two teachers.

Harley Highlights

  • Hands-on, experiential learning
  • Year-round program with our summer option
  • Extended day before and after care
  • Spanish, swimming, creative arts and music, gross-motor activities
  • Discovery and outdoor play
  • Small class sizes, allowing faculty to build deep connections with students
  • Experienced, vibrant educators who understand and are passionate about children as learners
  • Thoughtful, structured schedule

Healthy lunches and snacks are included (gluten-free, allergen-free and diet-sensitive options available)

Why I Teach at Harley: Marlene Heuer

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A Harley education is possible for your child.

The Harley School

1981 Clover Street
Rochester, NY 14618
(585) 442-1770

©2021 The Harley School