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The purpose of All Saints Preschool shall be to provide a safe, loving, nurturing Christian environment for children. Emphasis is placed on building each child's self-concept, individual strengths, and creative ability. It is our goal to build meaningful relationships with parents and coordinate child-rearing practices and expectations. It is our hope to promote the physical, social emotional and cognitive development of the children while responding to the needs of parents.
All Saints Preschool began in January of 1994 with 16 children ages three and four and a staff of two. In March of 1995 we expanded to offer a two-year-old class and currently serve 48 students with a staff of seven. Since the beginning, we have offered a highly regarded, very well respected program for children in Hilton Head and Bluffton, SC. Our parent-friendly environment encourages participation in a wide variety of school activities.
For children who are two, three or four years old by September 1, All Saints Preschool offers many experiences that are developmentally appropriate for each age group. Our school uses the State Department of Education recommended Creative Curriculum for Early Childhood. Based on developmental theory, Creative Curriculum is a practical approach focused on how to organize the environment to support children's social development and active learning. By continually changing the environment, teachers can support learning and creativity in children. This concept has two dimensions: age appropriateness and individual appropriateness. Knowledge of typical development of children provides a framework from which teachers prepare the learning environment and plan practical experiences.
Child-initiated, child-directed, teacher-supported play is an essential component of our program. The school provides a good balance of active and quiet play, indoor and outdoor activities and individual and group activities. We believe that children learn best by doing. Knowledge is not something that is given to children. They acquire it through playful interaction with objects and people. Our highly qualified, experienced and dedicated staff members are more like guides or facilitators than teachers. They prepare the environment so that it provides stimulating, challenging materials and activities for all children. Then the teachers closely observe to see what children understand and to pose additional challenges to stimulate their thinking further.
The Yellow Fish Class offers a low adult-to-child ratio. This allows the teachers to plan and develop activities that cater to each child's interest, capabilities, and learning styles. The warm and engaging classroom is free for exploration and experimenting. The teachers respect each child and offer caring interaction to help build trust and promote independence. They work with each child to help them acquire independent living skills, which include toileting, feeding and dressing. The classroom strives to be an extension of the home environment. We offer real life experiences such as housekeeping, cooking, prayer, family style meal times, gardening, field trips and nature walks. Children learn who they are and how to interact with others in the world, in a safe and healthy learning environment.
The innate and insatiable curiosity of three-year-olds is satisfied in the Blue Dolphin Class as they explore and discover their world through manipulative materials. Self-correcting materials encourage the children to experiment freely and to practice their new skills until they feel they have perfected them. The materials range from simple to complex and have a logical sequence, thus taking them from concrete to abstract. Learning how to take care of themselves helps the children gain their independence, which in turn boosts their self-esteem. Development of both fine and gross motor skills has a dual purpose. The child learns control of the body, but this is also preparation for later work in reading, writing and math. Each day children choose activities ranging from constructing in the block area, exploring the sand and water table, dramatic play, creating art, discovering nature, manipulating and sorting fascinating objects, to reading all about it in the Library. The children follow their natural path of development in an atmosphere conducive to learning.
The Red Bird Class is made up of four year olds turning five. They are able to concentrate, recognize and remember objects by shape, size and color. The children are developing basic math concepts and problem-solving skills. Some four year olds and most five-year-old children have a growing memory capacity and can combine ideas as they develop a growing interest in meaningful words. We offer an opportunity to improve these skills with a print-rich environment that stimulates the development of language and literacy skills in a meaningful context. Emphasis is placed on the children being ready for Kindergarten the following year. Our teacher works closely with area teachers to know what our students can expect when they begin school at the Kindergarten level.
1. The children go to Chapel on Monday mornings to learn about God's love and share simple, child-friendly Bible stories, prayers and songs.
2. Music is provided on a daily basis in each classroom; however, the children go to a special music time once a week.
3. All Classes attend various Field Trips throughout the year.
4. For parents we offer a variety of activities for the whole family – a Fall Ice Cream Social, a Halloween Carnival, Thanksgiving Feast, Christmas Pageant, Donuts for Dads, Muffins for Moms, a Spring Family Picnic and our End of the Year Program and Graduation.
For more information, contact Preschool Director Bonnie Fick by e-mail or phone (843-681-8671).
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