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Hastings Ranch Nursery School

3740 E. Sierra Madre Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91107

(626) 351-9171


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We have a balance of free play time and structured time. Structured time includes story time, good morning and goodbye circle, and snack time. During free play, children can choose their activities from a wide variety, including outdoor and indoor activities.

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
  • letter stamps, various letter manipulatives, loan library, and more
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

More Information

  • Puzzles
  • blocks, counting/sorting manipulatives, geo boards, number bingo, and more
Time & space more

More Information

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

More Information

  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • a hands-on science table in each classroom and science experience outside each day
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • tapes, CD's, singing time
Visual arts more

More Information

  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • art is available every day - easel painting, collage materials, a variety of art activities
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
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

It is impossible for me to limit to one or the other in the above categories because neither one is exactly accurate! HRNS curriculum is based on developmental theory and is carefully planned by the teachers. It is implemented with the belief that play is a child's work. It is the natural mode of learning for the young child, who is learning at all times. Children move through sequential stages of development in four interrelated areas: Physical (gross and fine motor) Social (peer interaction, social skills and awareness) Emotional (self-esteem, awareness and recognition of feelings, healthy balance) Cognitive (comprehension, language development, problem solving, and skill acquisition) Children need mastery at each level before moving on to the next. We place equal importance on all major areas of development. Through careful observation of play, teachers are able to assess development and add challenges as needed to further individual growth.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

'Learning to live together' with differences perceived positively is our cooperative philosophy and building self-esteem through mastery of skills in all areas of development is our goal. We believe everyone is special, everyone is unique, and everyone is loved.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

HRNS is a parent participation nursery school. Parents work in the classroom alongside the teacher on a rotating basis. Teachers are available and accessible on a daily basis. We hold parent/teacher conferences once a year and upon request. We offer parent education opportunities at least four times per year.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • 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:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

Parents are invited to stay until they and their children are comfortable. When a parent leaves, there are adults available to comfort and engage a child who is having difficulty with separation.