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Gan Elohim

10 Bethel Road
Wellesley, MA 02482

Phone:
(781) 431-7429

Website:

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

It is the mission of Gan Elohim, the Temple Beth Elohim Nursery School to provide a nurturing and supportive environment in which young children have an active role in exploring, discovering and learning the skills that foster their social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. It is our hope that children will gain a positive self esteem and the confidence to make a difference in our school, community and world. Emphasis is placed on role modeling for children the meaning of sharing and caring and encouraging them to be compassionate members of the community. As a Temple preschool, teaching about Judaism and fostering the development of a positive Jewish identity is the core of our program. We are committed to providing an integrated curriculum, which teaches the children about Jewish traditions, including the celebration of Jewish holidays and Shabbat as well as developing an understanding of the importance of Jewish values such as Mitzvot and Tikkun Olam. Family participation is encouraged by inviting parents and families to be involved in the Nursery School experience.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Our professional teaching staff has extensive training in early childhood education and is highly experienced. They are enthusiastic, creative and dedicated to the growth, development and well being of the children.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Gan Elohim is Temple Beth Elohim’s garden, a loving and inclusive environment in which children and their families may learn and grow. Children learn about a variety of topics through stories, music, hands on projects and especially through play. Our professional staff provides a nurturing and enriching environment for independent inquiry and discovery. Each classroom is set up to encourage children’s explorations and to support their immersion into the learning process. Teachers facilitate this process through the wide range of materials they provide and by listening to the children and including their ideas into the curriculum. Positive self esteem and confidence, critical building blocks of development, are fostered as children are valued and made to feel secure as they grow both emotionally and academically. Parents and families are a key component of the program by assisting in the classrooms, attending Family Education and school functions, serving on committees and sharing their children with our staff over the years. Each of us, staff, families and children, bring our special gifts to create our wonderful garden – Gan Elohim.

A Typical Day

The schedule for the classroom is planned to include a variety of materials, experiences and opportunities to learn. The day is structured to allow for individually chosen and group activities. A typical day is as follows:

8:50 AM – Arrival

9:00-9:10 AM – Brief meeting to introduce special
activities for the day such as art, cooking, science and discovery

9:10-10:10 AM – Choice of special activities and/or play and block corner, housekeeping, water and sand tables, painting at easels and small motor activities such as Legos and puzzles

10:10-10:30 AM – Cleanup and snack

10:30-11:00 AM – Group Time for discussions, music, drama, movement and listening to a story

11:00-11:45 AM – Outdoor play on the playground except in extreme weather when the children will have activities in the social hall or large motor play in the classroom

11:45 AM – Dismissal

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We recognize that parents are their children's most important teachers. Therefore teachers maintain constant communication with parents throughout the year, through informal conferences and telephone contact. Good communication is the key to a team approach at Gan Elohim. On a daily basis, white boards are posted outside each classroom, which include the activities for the day, snack, and special visitors. Every week we send home a newsletter. The newsletter can include information that parents want to share, a letter from the director, news from the teachers or a flyer that needs to be distributed. Monthly newsletters are sent home as well filled with curricular or developmental highlights from each class. We also include articles, information on conferences or suggestions regarding child rearing issues.

We encourage parents to call whenever they have a question or concern and to alert the staff regarding any information that might mean that a child needs an extra hug or special attention – such as changes in the household, the death of a family member or pet, etc.

A parent back-to-school night is held in the fall where teachers are able to describe individual classroom curriculum and developmental information, help to familiarize you with the school and to answer any questions. Parent–teacher conferences are held each year, in the fall and in the spring. Parents will be given a written assessment of their child's growth and development. There are also opportunities for parents to share their thoughts about their child's development and to ask questions or discuss any concerns.

Separation

Separation is Handled through:

  • Small group sessions

Handling Separation: From the Director

Student orientations in small groups prior to first day of school