About Our School Days
Each day begins with warm greetings from the teachers and fellow classmates. A morning meeting may include calendar, weather report, counting, graphing, rhyming, stories, public speaking, classroom jobs, and a discussion of the day ahead.
Free play in the classroom is a time when children may explore the book corner, blocks, imaginative play, writing center, science area and music. Art media is provided, as well as any special projects to go along with the ongoing theme at the time. A mid morning snack provides opportunity for socialization and sharing in the table duties. Outdoor play on two large playgrounds includes sliding, swinging, climbing, and tricycle riding on the bike path. A large indoor area is available during inclement weather.
Ladue Chapel Nursery School is a flexible program, but follows a pattern which provides children a feeling of security. Research shows that children are better able to learn and to develop confidence in school when they feel secure.
In a warm, supportive environment, children are given opportunities to learn and discover through play. Literacy and music are an integral part of the program. Children enjoy stories and learn songs that coordinate with the classroom curriculum. Songs are carefully chosen to help teach the pre-reading skill of rhyme, sequence, pattern and vocabulary. Art, math, science, social studies, and cooking can also be part of the day. There is time each day for free choice of activities, both indoors and outdoors.
Social skill development is emphasized as well--both to promote self-identity and self worth and to teach respect for the rights of others. Children learn the importance of showing empathy, caring, sharing, and listening . Each year our school selects a charity to support. Throughout the year various activities are coordinated. Children are allowed to ring a "thank you" bell in the front hall of the school when they bring in a donated item. It is a proud moment for the children and teaches them the importance of giving and helping others.
Ladue Chapel Nursery School believes these life skills provide children the foundation for success in school and ultimately in life.
The quality of a school depends greatly on the teachers who work with the children. Qualified and experienced teachers, who respect each child's individuality, help to create a warm, friendly atmosphere in which children are free to be themselves and develop at their own pace, while learning to accept basic rules of group living. Ladue Chapel Nursery School provides two teachers for each group and thus two different personalities to create an atmosphere in which each child will feel secure enough to ask questions. Our teachers give children the opportunity to experiment, to make mistakes, and to begin to solve problems, to take some responsibility for themselves and the well-being of the group. Professional development is important and our teachers are always learning. Communication to parents is through weekly emails, texts and classroom notes.
The children range in age from 2 to 5 years old. The youngest children are 2 years old in September. Children are divided into classes by age with the 2-3 year olds attending two/three mornings a week, and all the rest attend five mornings a week. Lunch bunch is offered to potty trained children Monday - Thursday, 12-2 pm. Extended afternoon sessions, Tuesday - Thursday, 12-3 pm, are also available to our older children. Our experienced educators know that young children develop physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually at different rates. Special attention is given to each child to encourage development at their own rate. Children are encouraged to observe, question, explore, and experiment. Initiative and leadership are encouraged. Praise is given for accomplishments.
Ladue Chapel Nursery School is located on the lower floor of the educational building of Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church. We have six big bright, colorful classrooms, each equipped with a variety of materials specifically suited to the subtle differences of each age group. An on-site library allows families to check-put books. Regular class visits to the library are a highlight of each week. Our librarian reads her favorites with the children. A parent resource library is also available.
Children prepare everything from pumpkin bread to "Stone Soup" in our fully equipped kitchen. Two spacious outdoor play areas offer freedom to explore and to develop large motor skills in a safe, yet challenging setting. A large indoor activity room is available for indoor play and for group gatherings. Each child also has their own cubby at school where they hang their coat and keep special treasures.
The toys and materials at Ladue Chapel Nursery School are chosen to stimulate a young child's natural curiosity, great desire to learn, creative ability and imagination. Natural materials such as sand, water, blocks, and clay help children make sense out of the world in which they live. Puzzles, peg boards, and beads encourage dexterity, hand-eye coordination and problem solving ability. A wide range of art materials inspire creativity and freedom of expression. Books, CD's, musical instruments, and role playing materials are also an important part of each classroom. Outdoor areas are full of dreams; equipment and opportunities for fun and physical development. Children flying kites, sledding or taking a nature walk are a common occurrence.