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Claremont Day Nursery (Berkeley)

2845 Woolsey Street
Berkeley, CA 94705

Phone:
(510) 654-2511

Website:

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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

The Woolsey - Claremont Street Branch is separated into two: we call the upstairs 'Claremont', and the downstairs 'Woolsey'. The converted house was built in 1900 with native redwood. Old gas - light fixtures still adorn the walls. The children ages 2 to 3 1/2 attend our upstairs program, and then go downstairs to become 'Big Woolsey Kids' when they are both 3 1/2 and potty-trained. Due to the age differences, there are variations in how these two programs work. The Claremont Program functions as a traditional Nursery School with a developmental basis. We do all the things that make Nursery School fun for children: music, art, playing, making friends, learning about the world, using words, and developing self-esteem. Academics (such as matching, learning A, B, C's and numbers) are introduced through art and music. The Woolsey program is a pre-Kindergarten. We stress 3 learning areas: learning skills appropriate for success in Kindergarten, science with a strong emphasis on vocabulary, and developmental art which encourages creativity at the expense of a finished product. Each of our 3 teachers is a specialist in one of these learning areas and the children will be exposed to all three specialists throughout the week. Through small group activities and projects that involve the group at large, it becomes clear that our children get a very rich pre-Kindergarten experience. Reports from grade school teachers are that Claremont children stand out as being well prepared both emotionally and academically for continued school success. Also from the Woolsey Program we provide after school services to our children who attend neighboring public schools. Extracted from Claremont Day Nursery School Preschool's Web-Site.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Piano and other musical instruments.
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
  • Small yard for younger children, and larger backyard with play equipment (swings, climbing structure, and slides) on wood chips, sandbox, water play, play houses, outdoor play vehicles, trees.
Other subjects taught The children are presented with weekly themes (frequently seasonally based) and families can interact with those themes on 'Wacky Wednesday' celebrations. Extracted from Claremont Day Nursery School Preschool's Web-Site.

From the Director:

There are four age-determined learning groups; skills developed range from those appropriate for very young children to those appropriate for pre-Kindergarteners. Extracted from Claremont Day Nursery School Preschool's Web-Site.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We seek to provide a secure and challenging foundation for the beginning of, and orientation to, the educational process.

Our program exposes children to a variety of skills and activities in a warm, reinforcing environment.

The atmosphere is one of a 'family' of children learning, working, loving and exploring together. Our teachers are unique and professionally talented.

Extracted from Claremont Day Nursery School Preschool's Web-Site.

A Typical Day

7:00 AM: Claremont Day Nursery School opens.

7:00 - 8:00: Children are greeted upon arrival and eat any breakfast or snack they may have brought. Inside free play activities (books, puzzles, drawing, legos, playdough, games, visiting with friends, etc.)

8:30: Clean-up inside. Get jackets on to go outside.

8:45 - 9:30: Outdoor play (weather permitting). Sandbox, climbing structures, swings, slide, bikes, etc.

9:30 - 9:45: Music time, singing, and instruments.

9:45 - 11:00: Group time. Children are separated into small groups according to age. A teacher-directed, structured activity following a monthly theme is presented which emphasizes general learning concepts, creative art, and science, along with storytelling and dramatic play. Morning snack is eaten at this time.

11:00 - 11:30: Outside free play.

11:30 - 12:15: Wash hands and face. Sit down for a hot, homemade lunch (menu is posted and changes daily).

12:30: Nap time begins. Children listen to stories or music while the teachers settle them.

2:30 - 3:00: Wake-up time. Teachers assist with shoes.

3:00: Outdoor play and afternoon snack time.

3:15 - 4:00: Group time inside - a continuation of the morning's lessons.

4:00 - 5:15: Outdoor play and yard clean-up.

5:15 - 6:00: Quiet indoor activities and stories. Children and teachers prepare for parent's pick-up.

6:00 PM: Claremont Day Nursery School closes.

Extracted from Claremont Day Nursery School Preschool's Web-Site.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parents participate in fundraising such as selling wrapping paper. Special parent participation days planned by children, for example, Halloween Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, Pasta Dinner in the evening, Mother's Day Brunch and Father's Day Root beer Float Day.

Extracted from Claremont Day Nursery School Preschool's Web-Site.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school