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Palisades Presbyterian Preschool

15821 Sunset Boulevard
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

(310) 454-0737


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Theories on the best way children learn change from year to year based on what is popular at any given time. We have taken the best from many different learning theories and developed a philosophy and curriculum all our own. We feel by engaging and anchoring children in a variety of activities, they form a life-long love of learning and are ready and prepared to face the academic challenges of Kindergarten and beyond that, Elementary School.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Colored pencils, rulers, stamps, protractors, including all writing materials, parent dictation in classrooms
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • sorting, graphing, comparing/contrasting
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • a hugh variety of manipulatives to stimul;ate the mind, and eye/hand coordination
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

More Information

  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • The Outdoor Classroom provides the opportunity for sustained learning of a child's physical world around them
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • Music Center as part of The Outdoor Classroom
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

More Information

  • 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
  • Tire swing, forward andback swings, sensory tables, quiet reading area, dramatic play area, frowing grounds
Other subjects taught Wood working, Gymnastics, Dance, Music and Movement are taught both during morning school as well as in separate after school classes.

From the Director:

The Pre-K classrooms are more teacher-led in terms of Kindergarten preparation. Activities and skills are taught based on our developmental philosophical approach.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Every teacher initially screens each child in their classroom and assesses the individual as to their developmental level. If there is a child who is behind in their development or has excelled, the teacher will individually create a program for the child. This may include discussing and preparing a plan with the parent to follow through at home, before or after school. Everything is created based on the individual and their abilities.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

'PPNS strives to give each child affection and acceptance so that he or she may develop emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally, and socially. Our philosophy encapsulates a developmental rather than academic approach to learning. Stories and symbols of the Christian faith will be included as part of the program. Our aim is to show the wonder of God in our world and to share our faith in God in a simple way appropriate to the young Preschool-aged child.' -- Extracted from the Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Preschool website

A Typical Day

Our six classrooms are divided into two groups. In September the older children, from the three oldest classrooms, begin their day in The Outdoor Classroom while the three younger classrooms are integrating into school. In February we switch allowing the older children to experience more of a "Kindergarten Day" with two circle times while the younger children are integrated and ready to begin they day outside. In total, the children spend half their day outside on either their individual classrooms patios or in The Outdoor Classroom. Once inside their rooms the children experience circle time, share time, art , an organic snack provided by the school, and lunch they have brought from home. They break up their inside time with a free flow of activities onto their individual patios.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

'Parent/teacher conferences are planned for January but are scheduled as needed throughout the year.' -- Extracted from the Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Preschool website

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
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school