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University Church Nursery School

3621 Campus Drive
College Park, MD 20740

(301) 422-1404


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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
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • 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
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
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
Other subjects taught Our program includes a combination of play-based and teacher-directed activities. In addition to classroom teacher-led musical activities, we also offer a weekly music class with a certified early childhood music educator. We also offer a biweekly storytelling class.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

University Church Nursery School is a half-day preschool program for two- to four-year-olds, and is approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. Our goal is to engage children in hands-on learning that is fun, but also fosters the development of important pre-academic and social skills needed for kindergarten and beyond.

People often do not realize that preschool fosters the development of essential skills -- those which are needed in everyday living, in relationships with other people, and in future school readiness. There is nothing about a child's pre-school day that is just play. A child's play is his/her work. It is the one way he/she has of making sense of the world and of developing emotionally, socially, intellectually and physically.

The basis of our program is learning through play and first-hand experience. Through both self-directed and teacher-guided play, children learn to value themselves and grow in relationships with those around them. We provide children the opportunity, setting, special equipment, and skilled guidance to develop their own unique patterns of growth. Through a flexible but structured program, children gain security and improve their ability to work in a group.

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


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Helping our students and their families feel comfortable and excited about attending preschool is a top priority! The director is a child/adolescent psychologist who guides parents in how to manage their child's (and their own) anxiety about beginning preschool. Teachers work closely with parents and children to ease the separation process in whatever way works best for each child.