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St. Andrew's United Methodist Church Day School

722 Robinhood Place
San Antonio, TX 78209

(210) 824-8737


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Both schools here on the St. Andrew's United Methodist Church campus are accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC's philosophy for educating young children from birth to eight years is based on Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs by Sue Breddekamp and Carol Copple, Editors, 1997. DAP is Developmentally Appropriate Practice. What DAP means to our children here at St. Andrew's is that teachers plan daily schedules, weekly lesson plans, and classroom activities based on where the children are in their developmental process. Children are growing in four basic developmental domains: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. Those four domains do not always grow together or at the same rate. Growth in the four domains is integrated, but occurs at uneven rates. At times, the cognitive development will be pushing ahead and the social or emotional development will be lagging behind and other times it may be reversed. Our purpose is to help all children develop in each domain to their full potential. What we know is that young children learn best (in all the domains) through hands-on, interactive experiences. We all learn best in subjects that interest us. Young children are the same; yet in DAP environments children often explore and experience areas that are not their strengths or favorites. Because DAP classrooms have many interesting and hands-on experiences, children are allowed to make choices, try new things, and learn about many different topics. Exploring areas that are not their favorite help children develop in all the domains and enable them to explore without the fear of failure.

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
  • print-rich environment, vocabulary walls, signs, letters, fine arts series field trips, etc.
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Card & Board games, manipulatives, etc.
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • Verbalization of
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
  • sensory tubs, various science experiments, etc.
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • tapes, cd's, records, music games, music classes, etc.
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Art classes in all mediums for Kinder & up
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
  • splash/water play days during summer sessions, hikes in the adjacent city park, soccer
Other subjects taught Spanish, music classes, art classes (beginning at Kindergarten through elementary grades). Dance and Gymnastics are offered on campus through a third party for an extra fee.

From the Director:

Lesson plans are offered through webbing, which stems from children's interests. Teachers complete behind the scenes activities for children to explore and manipulate throughout the classroom. Teachers develop plans on individual child's developmental levels and entire class' developmental levels in areas of cognitive, social, emotional and physical domains. All curriculum areas, such as language arts, math, science, social studies, etc., are targeted in the classroom.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The church is called to ministry and through the Weekday School and Great Beginnings provides support and nurture for children and families in its own congregation and in the community. The church considers each child to be special and unique, a child of God. Because young children learn in small groups through concrete experience and interaction with other children and adults, the teachers provide many materials and resources for exploration and discovery in developmentally appropriate ways. We use Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) as our guide for curriculum, children's behavior expectations, and guidance of young children in the classroom. A supportive environment allows each child to develop and achieve his/her fullest potential--intellectually, physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually--under the guidance of qualified teachers.

A Typical Day

Teachers develop individual classroom schedules based on the age level and developmental needs of the children. During the day children are involved in large group activities (such as circle time, music class, and story time), small group activities (such as centers, special project activities, inside and outside play), and individual activities (such as individual center choice).

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

open house, provision of learning goals, parent-teacher meetings, parent education classes, connection to services/activities in the community, annual summaries of student learning, etc.We offer Kindergarten and early elementary (1st - 3rd grades) on our campus.


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

Handling Separation: From the Director

Encourage parents to bring children to visit before school starts. We have a meet/greet the teacher time on the day prior to the start of the school year. Parents may stay in the classroom to ease separation, if helpful; teachers greet children by name and hug/hold children as parents leave each day. Parents are encouraged to call the school/teacher to inquire how the child is adjusting.