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St. Mark's Cathedral Preschool

1245 10th Avenue E
Seattle, WA 98102

(206) 323-1844


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Children can do great things when given the opportunity in a safe, non-threatening environment rich with challenges!

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
  • Visible literacy in the classroom; poems on the walls, word-gathering, etc.
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Calendar, sorting of all kinds, varied math manipulatives...
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • Conversation about "what comes next", etc.
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Nature walks, cooking projects
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Listening to various types of music, singing, dancing
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Creation Station..
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
  • Indoor movement time, walks to the park...
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

Our approach is play-based because we feel that play is a child's work. Our approach is to observe and listen to the needs of the group and individuals and respond appropriately and effectively. We want our classrooms to be a safe place for the children to take risks in their learning, to move at their own paces, and to be challenged.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Saint Mark's Cathedral Preschool aims to provide a joyful, enriching, respectful, and safe environment for the children in our care. We believe, by placing our focus on nurturing the social, emotional, and spiritual development, that we provide the stable foundation for growth in all areas of development.

We believe that children learn best when the curriculum is developed around the interests, learning styles, and developmental levels of those in the classroom community. Curriculum ideas may come from the teachers and parents, as well as from the children. We believe that our most significant purpose is to help the children in our care to acquire a strong sense of self, to develop life skills, and to build foundations on which they can grow. We integrate problem-solving, compromise and negotiation, community-building, self-awareness, and much more into the obvious curriculum areas of math, literacy, science, social studies, and art. We place a strong emphasis on caring for each other and our environment, and on being part of our community. Our curriculum, rich with topics of community service and social justice, is a reflection of the mission of Saint Mark's Cathedral.

A Typical Day

The children start the day with "Free choice". During this time the children can choose from a variety of activities in all areas of the classroom. Classroom schedules vary, but include a snack, circle time, outside time (usually for about an hour), and of course, lunch.

A favorite activity in the pre-k classroom is acting out stories at the end of the day that the children have written. The parents are encouraged to arrive a few minutes early for these plays.

The preschool classroom enjoys more stories, songs or free choices after lunch.

Home-School Connection

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • 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