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Saratoga Presbyterian Preschool

20455 Herriman Avenue
Saratoga, CA 95070

(408) 741-5770


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

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
  • dramatic play area and all areas that encourage verbal language with peers and adults
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • stamp pads, sorting activities as well as blocks that encourage planning, building, one to one correspondence.
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • Calendar and weather activities at Circle time, dealing with crowdedness at an area, making sure a child doen't set on another.
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Hands on displays for touching, feeling, trying, guessing, measuring, sorting, etc.
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Hearing music during free choice time, singing, reciting rhymes, finger plays.
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Art table and easel at Outside Time.
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
  • 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
  • Gym program once a week with trained leader.
Other subjects taught Pre-readng|Pre-math

From the Director:

All of the above areas of learning are done in more than one way/time each time the children are with us, in a teacher led activity as well as during free play. Both are important. During 'Free play' time each child explores on their own with some informal teacher guidance. Teacher interaction is done more one on one so the child can be met where they are developmentally. These areas of learning are also approached in teacher led activities that are done in a small group or large group setting, such at 'Circle time'.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Each child is met 'where they are at', which is part of the developmental philosophy. We provide materials and activities that are open -ended so no matter where a child is at in their growth, they will feel success. If a child is 'behind' a teacher may model or break down the task for the child to feel success. If a child is 'excelling', a teacher may encourage other areas for the child to explore in which they might need growth. It is part of our philosophy that more than just academic performance is important, such as social and emotional growth.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

SPP provides young children with a positive school experience in a warm and supportive Christian environment. Art, group experiences, dramatic play, science, cooking, and gardening are just a few of the many areas explored by the children on SPP's tree-lined, spacious campus. Play is extremely important to our whole child-oriented program because it actively involves the child in the learning process and enables the child to experience concepts first-hand. The development of self confidence and positive self-esteem are essential to the well being of all children. Therefore, the program at SPP is designed to strengthen and reinforce the child's feeling of success through the exercise of choices and the appreciation of each person's uniqueness. We develop life long lovers of learning.

A Typical Day

Arrival/Welcome: Each parent and child welcomed by staff. Free Choice: Children chooses from activities teacher has set up. Activities include art, blocks and building, dramatic play, manipulatives (learning 'games') science, books, and special teacher planned activities. Circle Time: teacher directed story, calendar, singing, movement exploration, in a large group. Snack: emphasizing preparation serving, pouring and socializing. Outside Time: encouraging large motor participation with items such as play structure, bikes, sand box, sensory table, painting easel as well as problem solving and socializing. Small Group or Circle Time/Large Group- adult led game, activity with whole or partial group.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

At beginning of school year: Ice cream social with families, Back to School Night for parents, 'Get to Know Your Child' written form. During school year: teacher and school newsletters, Parent/teacher communication file informal talk with staff at beginning or end of day, access to teachers by e-mail or phone, parent or teacher scheduled talks, conference with teacher in January and April/May, parent ed nites. At a scheduled conference time we discuss with the parents our observations and what we recommend for their child and why. It is always the parents' decision on where and when their child is ready for kindergarten.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • 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
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Processing the children for leaving is especially important since their world dramatically changes when they leave our school to go to another. Throughout the school year the teachers increase their behavioral, social, emotional, and academic expectations. We especially encourage children to solve their own social issues with peers and phase our other social and emotional teacher guidance in favor of having them learn to solve problems on their own.