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Newcastle Preschool Draper Utah

12257 South 800 East
Draper, UT 84020

(801) 553-0622


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Teacher-Led, Montessori

From the Director:

For almost three decades, The Newcastle School has offered a comprehensive curriculum that educates the whole child, not just one part. This balanced process requires significant expertise, resources and hard work. The Newcastle preschool experience contains very deliberate doses of all the essential building blocks of Early Childhood Education. Newcastle has a time tested age-appropriate pre-kindergarten academic curriculum that includes social development, pre-reading, social studies, math and science. Newcastle is respected for it's well-structured music and creative art programs.

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
  • pre-reading and writing learning centers
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Hands-on manipulative s
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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  • Weekly sicience projects
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Daily group music directed by a music specialist
Visual arts more

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

More Information

  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • 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
  • Treehouse, Basketball Court
Other subjects taught Computer Reading Reinforcement

From the Director:

Developed by Kathleen Jensen, the Newcastle curriculum is a comprehensive approach to Early Childhood Education. The school's website summarizes that curriculum. Specifics of the 3-4 Preschool and 4-5 Pre-K curriculum is covered in significant detail in the Curriculum section of that site. The Newcastle curriculum is is a hands-on method of learning which inter-relates concepts as children gain experiences in reading, math, art, science, social studies, writing, music and creative movement. Each program has been carefully designed to teach age-appropriate and developmentally-appropriate academic and social skills. The curriculum is thematic. While children are practicing daily academic skills there is a different and interesting theme with related activities and music for every week of the year. Newcastle teachers are trained to master the basics of the curriculum during a week long training course held during the first week of August each year. In addition, during evening training meetings held the third week of every month of the school year, all teachers are trained specifically to understand and present the following month’s lesson plans. This monthly training also includes classroom management skills development.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Every child is different, in his own way. Each has strengths and each has deficits. Newcastle School is for everyone and we have children at all different levels of development attending. Much of our curriculum and learning centers are self leveling. Children can progress at most games and manipulatives their own pace.

It's important for all 3-5 year olds, whether they are reading already or barely able to recognize letters to be exposed to a balanced preschool experience. We have sufficient support staff to assist teachers with children with special needs.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

In its third decade educating Salt Lake County children, the Newcastle School was carefully designed from the ground up to do precisely what it does today... provide an academic and social stepping stone between the intimacy of the home learning environment and the much larger classes of Utah elementary schools. The school is artfully structured to provide a warm, comfortable environment for learning while at the same time, it is a lively, busy place with just enough activity around to prepare children to thrive in a larger school. Additionally, the school has all the elements to provide a comprehensive, well-balanced academic experience for every child. Newcastle is respected state-wide for its focus on educating the whole child.

A Typical Day

Newcastle's curriculum is build around the attention span of a 3-5 year old. Children and their teacher will spend their day in 4 different areas. 45 minutes in an reading-social studies classroom, 30 minutes in the music room, 45 minutes in a math-art-science classroom and 30 minutes on the playground. Within the class times they spend roughly 10 minutes in circle time and 30 minutes in various, small-group learning centers.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We have mechanisms in place (e-mail) for parents to contact their child's teacher any day. Every teacher makes a courtesy phone call to every students parent during the third week of the school year. Each student has a comprehensive skills assessment at mid year and again at year end. That is shared with parents. Parent teacher conferences are available upon request of either the parent or the teacher. Parents are welcomed and encouraged to visit and participate in theirs child's preschool experience at any time, at their convenience.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • 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

Handling Separation: From the Director

We hold a two week introductory summer camp for all students and an orientation for parents and students the week before the fall school year starts. Parents and students enrolled in the next school year are welcomed and encouraged to visit during the current school year to try out the restrooms and to play on the playground.