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Creative School at Walnut Hill UMC

10066 Marsh Lane
Dallas, TX 75229

(214) 352-0732


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We have a prepared environment for each age level based on monthly/weekly theme units. The children have free play within the structured environment/centered-based areas such as dramatic play, blocks, science, art, language arts, etc.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Print rich environment. Manipulatives help prepare young hands for future writing (puzzles, pegboards, geoboards)
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

More Information

  • Puzzles
  • We graft/chart - put things in sequence - learn that symbols represent quantities.
Time & space more

More Information

  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

More Information

  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • Our play therapist has a certified dog that works with her. His name is Bailey.
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • Music and Creative Movement class.
Visual arts more

More Information

  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

More Information

  • 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 Play therapist/school counselor on staff. Spanish classes for 4 & 5 year-old children. Creative Movement/Music (4 days per week). Library time (1 day per week).

From the Director:

We use a combination of both teacher-led instruction and centers. Self-help skills are important for future school success. Play is the young child's work. The process is more important than the product.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Our ratios are small. Children with special needs are not all the same. A play therapist/school counselor works with the teachers/parents of children with learning differences. They may need help from other sources. All of these children are cared for individually.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Our purpose is: To offer children a secure and loving Christian environment for learning and developing relationships with their peers and adults away from the family; To encourage each child to grow and develop at his own pace, and to have a positive self-image as a special child of God; To offer children time to explore and enjoy materials, time to ask questions, time to talk things out, and time for the pure joy of experiencing life; To emphasize and encourage the creative nature of all young children through play and exploratory art experiences.

A Typical Day

Welcome Circle Time

Center Time - usually 1 hour per day

Music/Creative Movement - 4 days per week

Snack Time

Outdoor Play

Closing Activity/Dismissal.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

1. Parent Orientation & Classroom Visitation just prior to school start-up in September.
2. Fall Conferences with parents to set goals.
3. Conferences with parents prior to registration.
4. Parent Education classes offered at least 2 times per year.
5. Website with current information for parents.
6. Take Home Envelopes for special announcements once a month. Also, parents may call a teacher at any time during the year to arrange a conference.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • 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
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation

Handling Separation: From the Director

Parent Orientation gives parents full information about our procedures and policies. Children visit the classrooms and meet their teachers with parents before school begins (Classroom Visitation). Most children transition easily into our program. Parents are welcome to stay at school at the coffee bar with other parents to check on their child. We have only one-way windows from which they may view their child in the classroom. Parents are told to always say good-bye and reassure the child that they will return.