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

Examples of Past Investigations


  • Food Study
  • Transportation Study
  • Identity: Study of Self 
  • Community Study
  • Tape as a Medium
  • Car Wash Study
  • Houses

Junior Kindergarten

  • Hotels: A Field Study
  • Color Exploration
  • Frogs and Toads Research
  • Boat Study
  • Habitat Study
  • Garden Study
  • Weather
  • Ocean Life
  • Living off the Land
  • Pottery Studio

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

Privacy Policy | Faculty

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

Shorecrest acknowledges its obligation to prohibit discrimination, harassment, or retaliation on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin sex, citizenship status, genetic information, handicap or disability in admissions, access, employment, tuition assistance, educational policies, or other school administered student and employee programs and activities. Questions regarding the School’s compliance with the application and administration of the School’s nondiscrimination policies should be directed to Kristine Grant, Head of Middle School, 5101 First Street Northeast, St. Petersburg, Florida 33703, (727)-522-2111, or to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Please refer to the School’s Non-Discrimination Compliance Policy on the School’s website for information on how to file complaints with OCR.