Why a Play-Based Preschool?
Since 1964, First Presbyterian Church Preschool’s philosophy has been that children learn best while playing. We teach developmentally appropriate curriculum to the whole child. Each of our classes is a stepping stone to ultimately prepare the children to be successful learners as they move beyond the preschool years.
While actively engaged in play, children are learning cognitively, emotionally, and socially. They are working on skills such as problem solving, peer interaction, and self-control. Play stimulates the whole brain and empowers children to tap into the inner explorer, engineer, and creator. We simultaneously teach the “academics” of preschool within our play-based philosophy. For example, while helping a teacher make play dough, a child is learning math skills, pre-reading, taking turns, and basic elements of matter.
The teachers and staff and First Presbyterian Church Preschool believe that our work is child’s play.
What ages can enroll at the Preschool?
We run programs for two-year-old through Pre-Kindergarten children.
Does my child need to be toilet-trained?
Children are not required to be toilet-trained to attend our school.
When does the school year begin and end?
The school year starts after Labor Day in September and runs through the first week of June.
What is the structure of class time?
We are a play-based preschool. Each class has a slightly different schedule where children move throughout several activities during the day. All activities are designed to be developmentally appropriate for the given class.
One or two periods of group or “circle time” where children come together with their teachers for reading and story-telling, singing, or other educational activities.
Free play, where children are encouraged to move about the classroom and engage in playing with different “stations” such as art (both free art and teacher planned activities) painting, fine-motor, tactile/sensory activities, dramatic play, or other imaginative activities.
Outside play on our enclosed playground and play structures which includes water play, tricycle riding, climbing, gross motor development and many other fun and active outdoor activities are encouraged. Our playground has also become known for it’s “treasures” that mysteriously appear throughout the week.
What is the average class size?
Two-Year-Old Classes: 14 Children, 2 Teachers, 1 Aide 1 Parent
Three-Year-Old Classes: 20 Children, 2 Teachers, 1 Aide, 1 Parent
Four-Year-Old/Pre-K Classes: 20 Children, 2 Teachers, 1 Aide, 1 Parent
What are the parent participation responsibilities?
Parent participation is vital to our Preschool Program. We believe that parent involvement in the classroom enriches the preschool experience for both children and parents. Parents are required to participate in and observe the preschool class approximately nine times per year in the 4-year-old/Pre-K’s classes, seven times per year for the 3-year old classes, and every 7 weeks in the 2-year-old class. Participation days are assigned at the beginning of the year, and can then be rearranged and switched among parents to suit changing schedules.
What does it mean that your Preschool is affiliated with the First Presbyterian Church of Burlingame?
We believe our Preschool is an outreach and a service to the surrounding community. Some of our preschool families are members of the church, become members of the church, or attend worship services or other church functions. Through songs and stories, children will learn about God and Jesus. Before each snack time, a prayer is sung or spoken. Our 3-year old and 4-year-old/Pre-K classes attend chapel monthly where our church pastors share a bible story. All who enroll here are informed of our relationship to the church and that our faith will be shared with the children in developmentally appropriate ways. We also encourage families of different faiths and cultures to share their traditions in the classroom.
How does your program handle discipline?
Our discipline policy focuses on redirection within the framework of respect. By allowing children as many opportunities as possible to try again or make their own decisions, we help develop a positive self-image and high level of self-discipline within the children. Occasionally, time away from the group is used to help children focus, think, and then resume play.