Phebe Anna Thorne School

Learning to Play, Playing to Learn

The mission of the Thorne School is to provide play-based, developmentally appropriate child-centered programs for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners.


The Thorne School of Bryn Mawr College offers programs for Toddlers, Preschool children, and Kindergarten children. This Main Line institution, which was established in 1952 as a laboratory nursery school at Bryn Mawr College, offers developmentally oriented, child-centered programs. For preschoolers, Thorne offers a Toddler program, a Traditional Preschool program, and a Language Enrichment Preschool program. The Thorne kindergarten, located at Haverford College, has a Traditional Kindergarten program and a Language Enrichment Kindergarten program. Thorne also offers a variety of Early Intervention programs for children age 3 to 6, developed by Susan Chaplick.

At Thorne, children develop a sense of competence and well-being within the group through play, problem-solving and social interaction. Materials are organized within activity areas in a fashion that invites active exploration, discovery and the development of mastery. Through these activities, children learn to exercise control over their environment and to develop their own strengths and creative ideas.


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