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St. Paul's Episcopal Pre-School

1221 Wass Street
Tustin, CA 92780

(714) 832-8201


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Reggio-Emilia

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
  • Free Art Tables includes a variety of self selected pre-lilteracy implements and resources
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Deliberate manipulatives, blocks as well as cooking experiences
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • 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
  • Children's Garden on grounds, classroom and playground pets, science lessons for older children
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Formal music as large group
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Child dictated stories, labels around room photos of children, families etc.
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
  • Big playground with lots of natural elements and rotated equipment
Other subjects taught Garden and Nature Lessons in our Children's Garden; Chapel; Gross Motor Lab; Science; Music; Cooking, Woodworking

From the Director:

We believe that children learn best in an environment that encourages their individual development and enhances their unique learning style (Howard Gardener’s Multiple Intelligences). We pay close attention to the physical environments (E.C.E.R.S.) that support a child’s self help skills. We combine academics with a ‘hands-on’ developmental approach that is age appropriate thus building a child’s confidence, feelings of success and self-esteem. Our ultimate goal is to develop children who have an enthusiasm for learning that will last a lifetime. We believe that in order to make learning meaningful the child’s own interests should be honored (Emergent Curriculum- Project Approach). Topics for study come from the children’s conversations, questions and ideas. To that end our curriculum is child directed with the staff acting as facilitators. Teachers carefully listen, observe and document the children’s interests and then help construct the project that has been chosen. The staff’s role is to provoke, co-construct and stimulate the children’s thinking and their collaboration with their peers. We utilize this developmental approach to their learning by scaffolding what the children already know about a subject and then ascertaining what knowledge that want to gain. We conduct the plans paying attention to all the domains (social, emotional, physical – small and large motor, and cognitive growth) as well as incorporating all of the curriculum areas (art, music, literature, dramatic, science, math etc.). Documentation and review wrap up each project.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

This is a well qualified, loving and professional staff who are dedicated to the field of early childhood. They are well equiped to identify and help parents through the rigors of evaluating their child's special educational/ cognitive and social - emotional needs.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The philosophy of St. Paul’s Preschool is to provide a warm, safe and nurturing environment for children in a developmentally appropriate program. Our program promotes the total development of the child physically, social, emotionally, cognitively and spiritually. We offer a developmentally age appropriate learning environment that fosters the child’s feeling of success thus enhancing their self-esteem. The experiences that we offer are in an anti-bias, multi-cultural setting.
We feel that children learn by making choices and be seeing the results of their actions. The most meaningful curriculum will be one that actually emerges from the child’s interest. We will foster curiosity, language skills, perceptual acuity and problem solving. Children learn through play and will be provided with many options for learning, suck as blocks, manipulative toys, paint, playdough, sand, water, rhythms and music, and dramatic play.
Teachers are dedicated, creative and accepting adults, and appreciate each child’s uniqueness. Kindness, consideration and unconditional love are modeled in words and behavior. Children are exposed to an ongoing relationship with Christ at our church related facility. The staff keeps abreast of new developments in early childhood education so we can continue to offer a quality program. In addition, staff members are willing to work with children who may have been identified with special needs.

A Typical Day

Children will experience:
Playground time
Small Group/Circle Activities (including sharing, curriculum discussions, music, literature etc.)
Free Flow Time (all curriculum areas available)
Snack Time
In addition: Large Group Activities include; Chapel, Garden lessons, Music. For our 3 and 5 day children we also offer Science and Gross Motor programs.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We offer one formal parent- teacher conference during the school year however, parents and teachers have the opportunity to communicate daily. The school offers a variety of parent education topics and resources. In order to keep a strong line of communication we have:
* Web site (
* Child communication boxes with monthly newsletters, flyers etc.
* Annual calendar
* Parent Bulletin Board
* Annual parent questionnaire


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Lovingly yet firmly! Parents are reminded that they chose our school because of our small ratios and our ability to provide a nurturing environment. Parents are asked to drop their child off and then they can wait and observe in another school location or call in to check up on their child.