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Duck Pond

3947 Park Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94602

(510) 530-0851


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We believe that children learn through play. The children are able to freely move about the school choosing activities. We have a schedule for the day which we follow. The Pre-K children have certain activities during the day which the younger 2 and 3 year olds don't participate in.

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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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • 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
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • 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
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

Emphasis is on both individual and community development. Mornings tend to be a more structured time of day, involving circle time, free play, and choice of various art activities. Afternoon free-play at the school involves physical activity in the backyard on the play structure, riding bikes, running, or ball games. Indoor play may involve art, reading, or dress-up imaginative play.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Children grow and develop differently and we conform projects to each child's ability.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We encourage community involvement. We are play based with an emphasis on The Project Approach and Reggio Emilia.

A Typical Day

Happy children interacting with each other. Reading, singing, playing dress up, building with blocks or being creative with paper, markers, scissors, tape or glue.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We have parent teacher conferences in the beginning and end of the school year: September and May.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

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


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

I like the children to come in July and August to get use to the school. We have the parents come and hang out with the child and do short periods of time ( the child may come in for two hours and then work up to more time and then spend time without the parent) leading up to the first day of school in September.