Our Preschool

Educational Philosophy

We believe that a child’s preschool experience is crucial in that this is where they develop their first feelings about themselves in relation to school, learning and their peers. Children thrive in loving, nurturing environments where they feel safe and free to explore their world through hands-on activities that encourage growth in all areas of development: social/emotional, spiritual, cognitive and physical. We also believe that each child is a unique individual, with their own timing of growth and development and learning style, and that it is through honoring this individuality that children develop self-esteem.

We believe that play is the primary vehicle through which children learn. Through play, children become active thinkers and experimenters, finding out how things work and learning first- hand about the world they live in. Play also develops important “habits of mind” such as persistence, curiosity, creativity and flexibility, which are crucial to a child’s later success in school and life.

Our philosophy comes from the teachings of two renowned psychologists, Jean Piaget and L.S. Vygotsky. According to Piagetian thinking, the child’s interaction with his environment is critical to learning, and emphasizes the importance of the child’s autonomy in the mastery of the environment. Vygotsky’s theory stresses that motivation for learning comes from the social relationship between the child and his teacher, and also from his peers. This theory also highlights the importance of language in relation to the child’s cognitive development.   Vygotsky’s theory encourages teachers to carefully question and comment on children’s play in such a way that keeps play at a high and productive level, and gently nudges development forward.

Our Christian Vision

We nurture each child’s growth in God’s love by sharing His love, following God’s example, caring for each other, and serving the community. We encourage spiritual understanding through natural and meaningful activities that are woven into our curriculum on a daily basis – this includes the Bible verse and prayer that you will see in each month’s newsletter. Our teachers model and teach Christian values throughout their daily work. Four-year-old and Jr. Kindergarten classes join the Kirk’s youth pastor in the Sanctuary for a Bible story and prayer each month.

Overview & History

Kirk in the Hills Preschool, a non-profit institution governed by the Preschool Board of Directors, is located in the west wing of Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Over 35 years ago, a Kirk mother was inspired to provide a Christian nursery school for her youngest child. Her dream became a reality and over the years this program, now known as Kirk in the Hills Preschool, has grown and matured yet remained faithful to its original mission. While the preschool is a ministry of the Kirk and serves children in the congregation, we are ecumenical in both staff and student population.

The preschool provides a high quality, play-based Christian program for children ages 2-5. Well known in Bloomfield Hills and the surrounding community, the preschool boasts low teacher/child ratios, nurturing and well educated preschool teachers and varied enrichment offerings. The extensive facility offers well equipped classrooms and a lovely enclosed courtyard with a climber, play houses, musical garden and a large sandbox.

Art from preschool student at Kirk Preschool Bloomfield Hills Michigan
Art from preschool student at Kirk Preschool Bloomfield Hills Michigan