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Westminster Nursery School

1070 Hooper Avenue
Toms River, NJ 08753

(732) 349-0535


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Learning Centers based on the Creative Curriculum are utilized to guide children in developmentally appropriate skills and academic concepts. The use of learning centers allows children to make choices, develop initiative and to become independent problem solvers by making their own decisions, accepting responsibility, and experiencing many different materials in a day.

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

From the Director:

Westminster believes it is important to enable yougn children to develop their self esteem and feel secure and self confident in their peer group experience. There are opportunities for both large and small group interaction, individual choices and self directed play. Activities and materials are carefully chosen to enrich these experiences.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Learning Centers afford a teacher more time to interact with children on a one to one basis.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"Westminster Nursery School provides a Christian atmosphere of care and concern for young children while encouraging them to develop positive feelings about themselves and others. Experienced, qualified teachers guide children in learning opportunities in accordance with each child's individual rate of growth and development.

Westminster believes it is important to give children opportunities to express ideas freely and spontaneously, to encourage individuality and originality in their work, to provide a flexible environment without so many rules that spontaneity would be inhibited, and to continuously stimulate children to approach problems and situations with a searching and endless curiosity.

Teachers remember that too much freedom leads to insecurity, while too little freedom stifles spontaneity and creativity. Guided freedom allows for testing and trying out different approaches to situations with the comfort of knowing that positive guidance from the teacher keeps the experimenting within the realm of safe, creative learning.

Westminster embraces all aspects of young children: social-emotional, intellectual and physical growth. The goal is to develop happy, well adjusted children in a climate of freedom with discipline, affection, and positive reinforcement. Developmentally appropriate academic experiences are offered. Each child is encouraged to acquire skills at their own individual level of readiness. Westminster believes that \"early childhood is not only where the future beings, but that childhood should be a joyous journey, not a race.\"
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

"Half Day:

9:00 a.m. - Children arrive

9:00 - 9:10 a.m. - Free choice of activities

9:10 - 9:30 a.m. - Circle/Information/Sharing Time
Counting friends
Discuss the centers available for day/week
9:30 - 10:30 a.m. - Learning Centers
Creative art projects
Concepts - language/math
Dramatic Play
Manipulation - fine motor
Science - discovery
10:30 - 10:40 a.m. - Clean up room
10:40 - 11:00 a.m. - Outside play or group large muscle activites
Indoor/Music activities
11:00 - 11:10 a.m. - Snack

11:10 - 11:20 a.m. - Story/music

11:20 - 11:30 a.m. - Preparation for dismissal

11:30 a.m.- Dismissal
Excerpted from the preschool's website


Separation is Handled through:

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