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Sacred Heart Elementary & Montessori

13718 Saratoga Avenue
Saratoga, CA 95070

(408) 867-9241


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Free choice time is about 1 1/2 hours. We observe the children as they work on activities and guide them when needed. We make sure they are circulating and are working on all areas of the classroom. We then have circle time, with music and movement. Then snack time and outside time. Then we come in for story time.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • phonics activities, cutting activities, puzzles, matching, coloring and dot to dot activities, stencils, early reading activities.
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • one to one matching, quantity activities, counting activities, bead material going up to a thousand
Time & space more

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

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • circle time activities often include music
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

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • 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 We have a very nice cultural program that includes geograghy, and the study of the continents. Our science program revolves around animal life and botony. We have a lovely turtle that is a part of our room that the children help take care of.

From the Director:

There are specific activities that are taught in circle time, such as calendar, geography, seasons, cultural, music and movement. Outside time is unstructured. During free choice the children are able to choose from a variety of activities. In Practical Life the children are learning self-care skills. In Language they are doing pre-reading, phonics, and other activities that are training the eye, ear and hand for reading and writing. In Math they are working on number and quantity, starting from the concrete and moving to the abstract. In sensorial they are comparing size, weight, length and width.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

That is one of the great things about our program. Each child works at their own pace. So an advanced 3 year old can do the same things the older children are doing. If someone is having trouble with a concept there are a variety of activities for the child to do. A teacher would take time assessing where the child is and work from where he is. Some children need more time than others to grasp something. A child who needed more help would be worked with individually. The child is free to take all the time that is needed to master a skill. All children develop differently so we don't consider anyone 'behind'. Though we do realize that some children may need more encouragement to master a task than others.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We are a traditional Montessori school with a Pre- K. Our mission is to provide pre-school children with a rich learning environment that fosters building focus, concentration and order. We believe that children learn best when they are allowed to choose their own activities from a well prepared environment.

A Typical Day

Children arrive at 8:45. They have free choice until about 10:10. We then have circle time. We greet everyone by singing a name song. We then do music and movement, some of which will reflect the season. Circle time builds social skills. Then the children have snack. They then go outside for about 15 minutes. Then they come in for story time. Then it is time to go home. They go home at 11:15. The afternoon session starts at 12:15. Free choice is 2 hours. During free choice there is a small group lesson for the older children. Then we have circle time until about 2:40. Then the children go outside to play for about 15 minutes. They come in and have snack. Then they have story time and then they go home at 3:15

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We have open house, conferences, and parent education nights. We are always available to discuss the child with his parents whenever they are concerned. An appointment can be made at any time.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • 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
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

We have a phase in schedule where only half the class comes at a time for the first three weeks, so the children can be oriented in smaller groups. We also have an extra teacher and a shorter day at this time. Most children quickly become engaged in school activities and stop crying. If there is prolonged or excessive crying that parent may want to stay in the classroom for a while, until the child feels comfortable.