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Wellesley P.A.W.S. (Public Schools Preschool Program)

63 Hastings Street
Wellesley, MA 02481

(781) 446-6222


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The mission of our early childhood programs is to provide a learning environment that is safe and healthy for young children and to support the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development of every child. The P.A.W.S. preschool is an engaging environment where children learn primarily through developmentally appropriate play experiences. We strive to create a physical environment for children that encourages their active participation in learning. We foster a social/emotional environment that encourages a sense of community and of the value of each individual child within that community.

P.A.W.S classrooms are developmentally appropriate and designed to support what is considered best practice in early childhood education. The teacher, acting as primarily an observer and a facilitator, bases the curriculum on observations of children's interests and their developmental progress. Learning activities are concrete, real, and relevant for the children and the environment is prepared so that children learn through active exploration and interaction. As children develop greater understanding, the teacher and other staff plan a variety of activities of increasing complexity and challenge.

All activities are designed to teach the concepts that children will need to become complex thinkers, self-directed learners, skilled communicators, and community contributors. Children's observation skills are nurtured and their powers of curiosity and imagination are developed in order for them to construct their own meaning and to develop the language necessary to express their ideas. Teachers understand that it is through play and exploration and personal relationships that children will develop their understanding of the world around them.

Children leaving their P.A.W.S. preschool experience are well prepared to make the transition to kindergarten.

A Typical Day

A flexible but consistent structure and routine is offered, including activities designed to promote language/listening skill,gross and fine motor development, and opportunities for imaginative/dramatic play. Music, sensory activities, and a wide variety of developmentally appropriate materials and activities are employed, all of which support a strong foundation for learning. Weather permitting, outside play is a daily event.

Daily activities include a variety of active and quiet individual and group projects. A typical day may consist of any of the following: free play, art and/or cooking projects, creative expression, sand and water play, blocks, books, games, puzzles, science exploration, and computers.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Teachers encourage parents to maintain close communication with staff, and the staff works closely with parents to develop strategies for dealing with specific issues.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school