The Experiential School Curriculum

Involving children in experiences that relate to their lives makes learning fun and exciting. Our Reggio-inspired approach to teaching and learning is designed to help preschool-aged students feel capable and find enjoyment in their pursuit of knowledge through hands-on learning with a balance of play and discovery, and self-initiated and teacher-initiated activities. These goals remain consistent while the curriculum evolves in response to student and teacher interests and ongoing research in early childhood education.

Highlighted Video: The Jr. Kindergarten Experience

Playful Learning

  • Cultivate a joy and wonder of learning
  • Discover and express interests 
  • Develop language, literacy, math and science concepts through investigations and interactions with materials, ideas, people and environments
  • Strengthen fine motor skills through hands-on and sensory experiences 
  • Communicate understanding through representations (i.e. drawing, painting, projects, etc...) 
  • Develop emergent technology skills

Self & Social

  • Foster respect for self, others and the environment
  • Develop executive function, self-regulation, social emotional and self-help skills 
  • Engage in social interactions, collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making
  • Participate as citizens of a classroom community
  • Communicate needs, feelings and ideas
  • Interact with people (teachers, older students, guest experts, volunteers) to develop awareness and appreciate differences and similarities
  • Consider multiple points of view and perspectives
  • Express creativity through engagement in storytelling, writing, visual arts, socio-dramatic play, outdoor play, music and movement
  • Exposure to Spanish language


  • Exploring the natural world through gardening, use of the outdoor classroom, observational field experiences, and play
  • Gaining strength and developing coordination, body awareness and sportsmanship through gross motor activities during physical education and outdoor play
  • Our campus environments include: Classrooms, project rooms, outdoor classrooms, gardens, a pond, a student kitchen, libraries, the exploratorium, art studios, playgrounds, the Athletic Center, Dining Rooms and the Janet Root Theatre

Benefits of Playful Learning

Why do we choose to teach and learn this way? Why do we engage in play, inquiry, imagination, and exploration? Some of the benefits seen in students include:
  • Fosters connection, engagement, and interaction
  • Develops speech, language and listening skills
  • Expands vocabulary
  • Offers multiple entry points and ways to express feelings, ideas, and understandings
  • Social play requires negotiating and reaching compromises
  • Builds community, relationships, and citizenship
  • Encourages noticing of social cues, listening and development of empathy
  • Learning self-regulation as they pay attention to feelings
  • Provides opportunities for:
    • Wonder and theory-making
    • Creativity and exploration
    • Investigation and discovery
    • Testing of ideas and problem-solving
    • Consideration of multi-perspectives
    • Co-construction of knowledge
    • Building of executive function skills


Fall Festival & Costume Parade
Students debut costumes for families and older students as they parade through the 28-acre campus. The parade is typically followed by an outdoor festival with games, rides, treats and surprises.

Chargers Pep Rally
A few days before the all-school Homecoming pep rally, our youngest Chargers enjoy a smaller pep rally to prepare them for the upcoming fanfare. They talk to high school athletes, meet Sparky - our mascot, and cheerleaders lead them through their first cheer.

Celebrate the Arts
A weeklong teach-in featuring local artists, a gallery walk highlighting student artwork, class performances and more. The final feature of the week is a Shorecrest Upper School Performing Arts musical production.

Poetry in the Park
Families and friends enjoy watching as each class recites a poem at the annual, al fresco celebration of poetry.  

Alpha on-the-go-athon
As a culminating activity for Alpha's investigation of transportation and as an end of the year celebration, our youngest Chargers show off their skills on wheels. Students bring tricycles, bicycles, balance bikes, scooters and Hot Wheels to demonstrate their independence while bonding with the school community.

Teachers digitally document and archive students’ work and projects into an e-portfolio. The portfolio follows the student through the course of Lower School and serves as a tool to draw connections and illustrate student progress through fourth grade.

Video: Our School Environment

License number: 52511931401

School Information

5101 First Street Northeast
St Petersburg, FL 33703
Phone: (727) 522-2111  |  Fax: (727) 527-4191

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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.