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St Matthews Little Leisure

300 S. Main Street
Pennington, NJ 08534-2804

Phone:
(609) 737-6795

Website:

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We at St. Matthew's Little Leisure believe that play is the most valuable form of learning for all young children. Our program provides each child with a secure and happy environment where they may grow socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually at their own rate of development. The children are encouraged to explore, discover, create and invent. Through many diverse activities, our classroom atmosphere provides opportunities for joyful individual growth.

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
  • books on tape, felt board stories and finger puppets
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • blocks, pattern building with beads, counting along with stories
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
  • walks in the neighborhood looking at nature
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Circle time songs
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

From the Director:

Each day children hear theme related stories and participate in varied activites to connect the skills they are learning to a familiar context.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We believe that play is the most valuable form of learning for all young children. Our program provides each child with a secure and happy enviornment where he/she may grow socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually at his/her own rate of development. The children are encouraged to explore, discover, create and invent. Through many diverse activities, our classroom atmosphere provides opportunities for joyful individual growth.
We welcome children from all racial, religious, and ethnic backgrounds.

A Typical Day

TYPICAL DAILY ACTIVITIES FOR ALL CLASSES


TABLE TIME: A time to stimulate our fingers with manipulative toys: puzzles, stringing beads, small blocks, etc.

FREE PLAY: A time to choose friends and toys: dolls, puzzles, books, trucks, blocks, housekeeping and dress-up corner, etc.

CLEAN UP: A time to cooperate: helping put toys away.

SNACK: A time for refreshment: healthy snack and drink.
ART: A time to create: we use our imaginations with crayons, play dough, glue, paint, stickers, markers, chalk, etc.

CIRCLE/LESSONS: A time for group activities: songs, finger plays, musical instruments, stories, records, etc.

EXERCISE: A time to use our large muscles:
All classes take walks in our neighborhood. The Little Pebbles and Stepping Stones children have fun playing in our outdoor play yard. The Pre-Kindergarten children play at the Toll Gate Grammar School playground.

LUNCH: The children enjoy "eating out" with their friends.

WAITING FOR
MOM OR DAD: A quiet time to look at books or chat with friends.

STAY & PLAY Extended hour option for all classes from 12:00-1:00 PM
(Exception: Wednesday 18-24 month class)
A quieter time to relax with a story, discover rice and bean tables, enjoy free play or games in the classroom, or go outside to the play yard.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

All families attend our Open House in the Fall and are invited to our Winter Open House to learn about registration and their child's program for the next year. Each class uses a communication board to share the activities and lessons for the day. Parents are encouraged to speak with their child's teacher frequently and have scheduled conferences each year.

Separation

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

We work carefully with our parents to foster the feeling of a safe and secure environment where children will feel comfortable separating from their parents. Children attend our Fall Open House with their parents before school begins and become familiar with their new classroom. Our youngest children have an ease-in schedule to build confidence and experience successful school days.