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Burke Presbyterian Preschool

5690 Oak Leather Dr
Burke, VA 22015

(703) 250-1823


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BPC Preschool is a developmental program for 3-5-year-olds with small classes and a warm nurturing staff. We strive to educate the whole child, covering all aspects of developmental. In addition to regular classes, we offer weekly music, Spanish, and chapel classes. The emphasis is on offering both structured and unstructured activities as we help to develop a life-long love of learning.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

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

From the Director:

We offer daily group and individual activities with an emphasis on teaching both skill mastery and self-reliance as well as development of creativity and fostering of friendships. For children who will be kindergarten-eligible the following year, we work to help those children be as prepared as possible for that environment. We make sure that each preschool day contains both structured/teacher-led activities and unstructured/child-chosen activities. Our aim is to immerse children in a world of new experiences and to help them to develop a love of school and learning in a small group setting. Each age group shares a common curriculum in all classes with themes and topics set out. The curriculum is designed to nurture all aspects of growth: social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense
Time & space
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Visual arts
Physical activity
Other subjects taught Children in our 3-year-old classes receive music and chapel instruction as separate classes on a weekly alternating basis. Our older children receive music, chapel, and Spanish classes as separate classes weekly. We also offer Lunch Bunch after preschool 2 days per week where children may eat together and socialize for an extra hour. In addition, we have enrichment courses offered most Tuesdays for 2 hours after preschool on topics like science, books, building, nature, crafts, and yoga.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Because our classes are so small...ratio varies from 5:1 in younger classes to 7:1 in our oldest class.....teachers are able to easily individualize and meet students where they are. We offer opportunities for children advanced in an area to receive enrichment. We are also open to children with delays, working closely with parents and other specialized staff to help those children succeed and practice the skills they are learning in a nurturing and supportive environment of peers. At times, we offer "shadow" teachers to assist individual children with certain delays in the classroom. Our environment for children at all levels is positive and enriching.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"The Burke Presbyterian Church Preschool provides a loving and caring atmosphere in which each child is encouraged to develop as a unique person with a positive self-image. The school nurtures all aspects of the child's growth: social, emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual. As a church-sponsored preschool, we seek to reflect Christian values in all our activities. Our staff is carefully selected for warmth, enthusiasm, sympathetic understanding, and the ability to work for the best interests of the children and parents. The teachers are all qualified with experience in early childhood education. The teachers strive to provide a secure setting for your preschooler. We adhere to all state and county requirements."

Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

9:25 Drop-off
9:30 Center times related to day's theme
3 Table activities offered with small group instruction
"Letter of the Week" for older children
10:30 Morning Circle Time
10:50 Snack
11:00 Music/ Chapel/ Spanish
11:30 Recess
12:00 Group game or craft
12:15 Closing Circle and Show-and-Tell

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We offer a yearly comprehensive handbook with all information about program operation and policies. We also have a Parent Night before preschool begins at which parents meet with classroom teachers and then meet as a whole with the director to be introduced to all staff and board members and to review the handbook/ask questions with the director. Open House times for all students are set for the week before preschool in their classrooms. The preschool communicates with parents via monthly newsletters and e-mails as needed. Notes and reminders go home frequently in the children's preschool bags.Teachers send home monthly calendars and bi-weekly e-mails to parents with photos, class info and reminders.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • 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
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

Our program sets Open House times the week before preschool begins scheduling for each child and parent(s) to come into his/her classroom with a few other children from that class to see the classroom set up, meet the teachers, and do a short classroom activity. We ask children to bring to the Open House photos both of his/her own family as well as an individual photo for class bulletin boards. In general, we ask parents to drop children off with a positive tone and wave to the child through the window as they leave the building. Since some children have not experienced separation from parents before this, we expect some anxiety and handle this as a normal step in helping the child to become more independent and identify as part of a group. We emphasize that parents should never "sneak out", but wave and assure the child that they will return. We have extra staff..."huggers"...on hand for the first week of preschool and longer if necessary. Naturally, we would call a parent whose child is inconsolable and work out a schedule of gradual integration, though this is seldom needed.