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Bonny Doon Comunity Pre-School

1492 Pine Flat Road
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

(831) 459-7795


Philosophy & Approach

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"At Bonny Doon Preschool we offer a program that reflects our philosophy that young children learn most effectively in a play centered environment. At Bonny Doon Preschool we emphasize learning through play in an anti-bias environment that is carefully planned to encourage discovery, independence and social interaction. In order to develop self-esteem, social competence and critical thinking skills, children are encouraged to help themselves, help others, take initiative, and become increasingly independent.
At the core of children's learning is play. It is during self-initiated play that children move through the developmental stages that lead to physical, cognitive, social and emotional maturity. Play provides the medium through which the children may imitate, explore, test ideas, acquire information and draw conclusions. Children use spontaneous play to work through internal and interpersonal conflicts. By doing this, their minds are freed to work on intellectual and cognitive tasks.
Preschool aged children are active, sensory learners and need to be provided with multiple opportunities for self-chosen exploration, investigation, social interaction and problem solving. We are much more interested in this process than in any products that children may create. Children who engage in activities of their own choosing gain a sense of autonomy, effectiveness and eventual mastery. They develop self-direction, self-confidence; trust in their abilities and belief in their self worth.
Our preschool program is based on a continually growing knowledge base of child development and appropriate practices as recommended by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)."
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

"Morning Preschool
8:30am: Greeting at the door. Children are greeted by their teachers at the door and
helped to transition into an activity of their choosing.
8:35-9:45am: Work time. This is the core part of the preschool day. During this time
children pursue quiet, busy activities chosen from the shelves in the classroom. Teachers
offer projects such as cookery or art that the children are encouraged to participate in.
9:45am: Clean up. Children help to clean up the classroom in preparation for the morning
9:50am: Morning Circle. We gather as a group to talk about the days of the week, the
weather, who is at school and other events of the day. Teachers use the circle to introduce
new concepts, songs, stories or movement activities.
10:10-10:25am: Small group activities. The children are excused from circle to join their
small group. Each teacher takes responsibility for his or her small group. This time allows
the teacher to focus the children on specific skills such as phonics, scissor use, counting
and so on. Working as a small group develops team spirit, cooperation and builds
confidence. It is an excellent opportunity for the teacher to assess an individual child's
abilities and needs.
10:25-10:40am: Snack. The children remain in their groups and help set up the table for
snack. Children learn self-help skills by pouring their own drinks and serving their own
10:40-11:40am: Outside play. Children spend this time outdoors. We have a spacious
outdoor area with a variety of play surfaces and equipment.
11:40-11:45am: Outside cleanup.
11:45-12:00pm: Lunchtime circle. We return to the classroom and gather as a group
again. This circle usually focuses on movement and music.
12:00-12:30pm: Lunch. Children are excused from the circle to wash their hands and
bring in their lunches. At 12:30pm as parents arrive, children clean up their lunches and
say good-"
Excerpted from the preschool's website