Thorne School is located on the Bryn Mawr College campus in West House, a “turn of the century” building which was originally used as a summer home. High ceilings, French doors, and large windows provide us with light, airy and spacious classrooms. The homey feeling is enhanced by (non-working) fireplaces in several of the classrooms. The former kitchen and solarium are now art rooms, the dining room and parlor are playrooms, and the former library is devoted to block and train play. Susan Chaplick’s Early Intervention classes are housed in a wing of “Little West House,” which is next door to West House and also houses the Bryn Mawr Child Study Institute, a clinic serving children, families, and adults. “Little West House” served as the carriage house when West House was a family home.
The West House playground, a large and shady space with several “historic” trees, was completely refurbished in Spring, 2011. The two new climbers are handicap accessible and meet all national and local safety guidelines and requirements. The smaller structure has two sets of steps, slides and two platform areas connected by a clatter bridge for exciting play and sensory stimulation. The larger structure has decks at two different levels that are connected by a funnel crawl tube and accessible through two sets of stairs and slides. Additional components include a rock climber, steering wheel, driving panel, storefront and a variety of hidden animal shapes for hours of imaginative play and discovery. A wooden boat with periscope and flag encourages creative play and voyages near and far. Swings and a sand play area provide additional opportunities for play and socialization, as do the re-paved bike path and heavy-duty tricycles.
The Thorne Kindergarten at Haverford is located in a restored farm house that dates back to the 1860s. The building is situated in the middle of the Haverford College campus, near the cricket field and the duck pond. The original structure houses our two kindergarten classrooms, while the two-story addition houses offices, bathrooms, and a kitchen on each floor. The downstairs classroom has a nook with walls of windows, while the upstairs classroom has a loft equipped for pretend play. The basement of the addition has a large and bright indoor play space for rainy days, and a self-contained playground with climbing structures is located next to the building.