Back to Santa Barbara Preschools

Cathedral Oaks Nursery School

4974 Cathedral Oaks Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93111

(805) 967-8013


Philosophy & Approach

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"To develop and maintain a high quality early childhood program based on current research, utilizing developmentally appropriate practice as defined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
To provide a safe and nurturing environment where children develop a love for learning, where parents gain knowledge about young children, and where the teachers are encouraged to continue gaining education as professionals in this field.
To provide a place where all children, families, and staff are supported, valued, and accepted as contributing community members with the same goal, providing the best education for our children.
Our curriculum is based in the Reggio Emilia, "Project Approach". The Reggio Emilia approach to education is committed to the creations of conditions for learning that enhance and facilitate children's construction of "his or her own powers of thinking through the synthesis of all the expressive, communicative and cognitive languages" (Edward and Forman 1993). As a staff we adhere to the following Reggio Emilia principles:

We view each child with respect and as a competent individual able to construct their own learning. Teachers listen, observe, interact and learn from the children.

Topics of study are captured from the talk of children, through community or family events, as well as known interests of children. This is called an emergent curriculum. Teachers work together or individually to formulate hypothesis about the possible directions of a project, the materials needed, and possible parent/community support and involvement.

Projects are in depth studies of concepts, ideas, and interests, which arise within the groups. Considered an adventure, projects may last one week or the whole school year. Throughout the project, the staff will help the children make decisions about the direction of the study and ways in which the group will research the topic.

The graphic arts are seen as tools for cognitive, social, and language development.

Children will be involved in both large and small collaborative group work. Teachers are researchers and facilitators.

Documentation of children's work in progress is an important tool in the learning process for children, teachers and parents. Staff take pictures of children engaged in experiences; their words as they discuss what they are doing, feeling and thinking, and the children's interpretation of experience through the visual media are displayed as a wonderful presentation of the dynamics of learning.

The environment is considered the "third teacher". The staff gives a great deal of attention to the look and feel of the classroom.

Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

"7:30 - 8:30
Arrival for full day children

8:30 - 9:00
Arrival for half-day children

9:00 - 10:00
Children meet with teachers in small groups and snack time

10:00 - 11:00
Outdoor play

11:00 - 11:45
Interest Centers- Children are free to choose activities throughout school

11:45 - 12:10
Children meet with teachers in small groups

12:10 - 12:40
Lunch time

Pick-up time for half-day children.

12:30 - 12:45
Story time

12:45 - 3:00
Personal Hygiene and rest time

3:00 - 4:00
Music, outdoor activities and a light snack

4:00 - 5:00
Outside choice time

5:00 - 5:30
End of day clean up, story time and closure

Pick-up time

Excerpted from the preschool's website