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Wellesley Community Children's Center

106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02181

Phone:
(781) 235-7667

Website:

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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

From the Director:

In the preschool groups (ages three, four and five), our philosophy is derived from the High Scope Foundation--a cognitively based curriculum in which children are seen as active learners who develop best when their daily activities and projects stem from their own interests. We have information available on the High Scope philosophy, and parents are welcome to borrow these materials at any time.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

In 1986, WCCC entered into an arrangement with Wellesley College and Babson College to build a new facility for infant, toddler, and pre-school children on the Wellesley College campus. The Center now provides services to three constituencies--the community, Babson College, and Wellesley College. We aim to have one third of our children from community families and two thirds of our children from the colleges.

The Early Childhood Program is a process oriented program which fosters each child's individual development as the basis for all curriculum. In our Infant Rooms, infant schedules are as varied as the infants themselves. The Toddlers have time and space to explore with all their senses and to gain confidence in using their rapidly changing physical and verbal skills. In the preschool groups (ages three, four and five), our philosophy is derived from the High Scope Foundation--a cognitively based curriculum in which children are seen as active learners who develop best when their daily activities and projects stem from their own interests. We have information available on the High Scope philosophy, and parents are welcome to borrow these materials at any time.

A Typical Day

Children usually arrive at the center between 7:30 and 9:15. After hanging up their coats, lunch boxes go on the shelf under the parent board just outside the door. On Mondays, clean nap items are placed in sleeping cubbies.

The morning teachers greet children and parents and try to ease the transition by helping the children choose a play area. During this free choice period, children may explore the large sand table, block area, dramatic play, books, manipulative/puzzle area or any table activities. Clean up begins at the conclusion of free choice time. Teachers work closely with individuals to help and encourage them through the clean up process.

After clean up time, all children go to the bathroom. Teachers spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year working on bathroom skills: encouraging children to wipe themselves, flush the toilet, pull up and fasten their own clothes, turn on the water and dry their hands.

Snacktime is a good opportunity to work on self-help skills. Children pour their own juice, help themselves to snack food, and put their cups in the sink when they’re finished. During snack the children often chat amongst themselves. Snacks may include popcorn, fruit, vegetables, crackers, pasta, bread and muffins. Parents are welcome to bring in healthy snacks at any time.

After snack, we gather for grouptime. We may sing song, play games, read stories, do flannel boards or participate in creative movement. Depending on children’s needs and developments, we either go outside or have an activity time. When staying inside, a teacher describes play choices and children choose where they would like to play be selecting one item from the teachers’ tray of items, which represents the various activity choices. As children ‘work’ at their various activity choices, teachers work with individual or small groups of children, extending their learning experience. This is a busy time of the day with children experiencing new activities, experimenting with materials, making choices to move to new areas, and interacting with peers.

At the conclusion of Activity Time, teachers help children set up nap mats, prepare for the Red Room, or go outside. In the Red Room, children challenge their gross motor skills by sliding, jumping, or riding. The loft provides opportunities for quieter activities like books, puzzles, manipulatives, story tapes or dramatic play. Since we go outside in all kinds of weather, there are opportunities for many different experiences, including water play, sledding, nature walks and gardening, as well as the obvious gross motor and sand play.

At lunchtime, children find their lunch boxes and bring them to the tables. As children finish eating, they clean up their spots, pack up uneaten food and return their lunch boxes to the shelf. Next, they go to the bathroom, choose a couple of books, find their rest mat and settle in for a story tape. At rest time, shades are pulled, soft music plays, and teachers rub back to help facilitate sleep. As children wake up, they put away their resting mats and may work on a quiet activity before heading to the Red Room or outside. Late afternoon snack is a time for conversation with friends and teachers. Once children have finished eating, we come together for group time.

Children play in small groups or get involved with individual activities until they are picked up. We ask parents to read the parent board describing the morning activities, check the nap time sheet, and pick up artwork and mail. After group time, we may head outside to the playground or participate in another activity time, depending on the weather.

Home-School Connection

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
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school