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University City United Church Preschool

2877 Governor Drive
San Diego, CA 92122

(858) 455-0336


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Oral language - this is a main component of our curriculum and is done all day long during free play, outside time and formal teaching sessions. We use an integrate, emergent curriculum where there is much overlap. An activity will combine literacy, science, mathematical reasoning and physical activity. Some activities are inspired spontaneously by the children and some are planned by the teachers.

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
  • Journals
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

More Information

  • Puzzles
  • Many manipulatives for categorizing, ordering, seriating, positional relationship, patterning, numeration, measurement, etc.
Time & space more

More Information

  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • 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
  • Exploration table
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • Singing, dancing
Visual arts more

More Information

  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Free art area with glue sticks, scissors, paper, staplers, markers always available
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
  • Large yard for running and playing games
Other subjects taught

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

We use an individual approach with all children. Teachers set goals with parents, assess children, develop curriculum plans, reassess and build on where each child is using the child's interests and skills to make the learning more appropriate for each child.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Our mission at UCUC Preschool is to work in partnership with parents to help each child develop positive self-esteem, social, cognitive and physical growth, respect for others and the natural environment and appreciation for the individual personalities and cultural diversity of others.

A Typical Day

Arrive at 9 am and be greeted with a hug and a smile by director and teachers, free play either inside or outside for an hour, snack (sometimes prepared and cooked by children), story/circle time (language arts, math concepts, music and movement activities planned by teacher), additional free play time for an hour, short group time for singing before dismissal at noon.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Orientation meeting for parents
Orientation/phase in classes for children with parents present
Parent-teacher conferences - 2/year
Parent coffees-monthly
Open house
School newsletters - monthly
Teacher class newsletters
Annual evaluations by parents and summaries given out
Preschool board that includes parent members

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:

  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

Parents allowed to attend with child during phase in week. If parent wishes to stay longer, we work out a satisfactoy arrangement so the child transfers attachment from parent to teacher. Close communication and individual guidance used.