Our focus on children age 2 through Grade 5 cultivates empowered and joyful learners who leave PJS prepared to continue their life long journey of inquiry, discovery, and action to make the world a better place. Our schoolhouse and educational programs have been intentionally designed to meet the specific growth and developmental needs of children during this fundamental period of time.
A Family School +
At Princeton Junior School, we enroll families who become part of our inclusive community of learners and active members of our Parents Association. The Summer Buddy Family Program ensures that each new student coming to school in the fall has already made a friend in their class. Annual community events such as the Back-to-School Picnic, fall Bonfire, Thanksgiving Soup Dads, Winter Gala and spring International Fair give families ample opportunity to gather and socialize throughout the school year. Our school wide use of the Seesaw communications platform allows parents to see inside the classroom in real time, sharing and interacting with their child’s online learning journal. From supporting our student-led conferences and attending All School Gatherings to enjoying family style lunches on Pizza Thursdays, the participation of PJS parents contributes greatly to our success.
Learning Principles that Reflect Best Practice +
Our learning principles represent our founding beliefs and our association with the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IB PYP). They are a result of our close observations and specialized understanding of children, as well as the research, influential texts, and best practices that ensure our mission and philosophy.
International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IB PYP) +
The PYP is an international curriculum framework that is inquiry-based, collaborative, differentiated, and concept-driven. Through the IB Primary Years Program, PJS students develop the ability to understand concepts across a broad and balanced range of knowledge disciplines, including languages, mathematics, science, humanities and the arts. Through the PYP, students develop conceptual understanding, knowledge, skills and attitudes, which help them to take action as a result of their learning.
Leaders of Their
At PJS, we encourage children to take purposeful initiative to achieve the conditions they desire for themselves and others. In doing so, they learn about negotiation, compromise, assertiveness, success and failure, and resilience. By supporting children as they make choices, take action and reflect, we promote their ability to learn independently and transfer their successes to future learning contexts.
Ethic of Excellence +
At PJS we cultivate an ethic of excellence that is guided by a passion for quality and the shared expectation that teachers, parents and students are committed to and take pride in their best work. This ethic is embedded in our Community Covenant, and serves as a point of reference for our school community. To establish an “ethic of excellence” at Princeton Junior School, we:
- Ensure that learners are engaged in work that is significant and relevant
- Model examples of excellence
- Nurture a culture of critique that is kind, specific, and helpful
- Emphasize that quality requires rethinking, revising and polishing
- Provide opportunities for public presentation and sharing to an authentic audience
PJS cultivates a culture of empathy and curiosity that leads to action. Students learn to act and to reflect on their actions so they contribute to their own well-being and that of the community and the environment. Volunteerism and action are woven into the fabric of our school community and are integral parts of our curriculum.
Our classes are small by design to ensure that each child receives personal attention during these foundational years. Each child feels well-known and understood by teachers in order to thrive.
Teachers Who Love Learning +
PJS teachers love to learn, and their passion is contagious! Our students learn from teachers who share and model their own learning pathways, and teachers are actively supported to pursue new learning opportunities and professional growth.
As an authorized IB World School, learning at PJS is expansive and extends beyond the classroom into local and global communities. Students have opportunities to explore real-world concepts and issues that are locally relevant and globally significant, challenge assumptions, and develop global awareness, international understanding and appreciation for the world’s peoples and cultures. Through the following Learner Profile attributes, which are actively modeled by all members of our learning community, our students become: knowledgeable, inquirers, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk takers, balanced, and reflective.
Multicultural Learning +
Through our global literacy library program, Windows to the World, students explore books that provide both windows and mirrors, allowing them to reflect on their own cultural experiences while also imagining global experiences beyond their own. By venturing into story worlds, children gain insight into multiple ways of thinking, living and being and an increased awareness and appreciation of their own cultural identities and the cultural identities of others.
Place-Based Learning +
Not all classrooms have walls. Place-based learning is at the heart of our Learning Through Landscapes program. We use our local surroundings and campus as a point of reference in much of the learning that takes place at our school, and the PJS campus is used by students for investigation and discovery. Students “bring the outside in” for nature-inspired artwork; build forts along the woods; plant, harvest, and cook; conduct scientific research; observe the changing seasons and life cycles of local animals; find quiet, solitude and inspiration in our labyrinth; and run, jump and play on the student-designed, natural play structure. Throughout the school year, students connect classroom curriculum to the land and community around them, allowing them to learn more about their world, understand how they impact it, and inquire into what they can do to make the world a better place.
Double Accreditation +
PJS is accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) and the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS). Both accrediting bodies require in-depth self-study that involves all faculty and staff and takes a year to complete. The commendations and recommendations provided by these two accrediting agencies ensure that we remain focused on our mission and committed to providing an exceptional learning experience for our students.