St. Philip’s Community Preschool is a community-based, non-profit school program dedicated to the child, the family, and the community. Our aim is to provide an early childhood education program which will foster optimal learning and development for children aged 2 to 4 years.
Our program focuses on active, play-based child initiated and adult supported learning, as that is the way that children naturally learn best. It is their natural response to the environment around them. When children are manipulating objects, acting out roles or experimenting with different materials, they are engaged in learning through play. Play allows them to actively construct, challenge, and expand their own understandings by making connections to prior experiences, thereby opening the door to new learning. Intentional play-based learning enables children to investigate, ask questions, solve problems, and engage in critical thinking.
Play is responsive to each child’s unique learning style and capitalizes on his or her innate curiosity and creativity. Our program also supports children’s self-regulation, their ability to deal with stress and remain calm, alert and ready to learn. When children are calmly focused and alert, they are best able to modulate their emotions, pay attention, ignore distractions, inhibit their impulses and understand the consequences of their actions. We are continually learning about how to create learning environments and programming that helps support children’s self-regulation—to help children remain or return to a state of calm.
Since we know that children learn best by pursuing their personal interests and goals, they shape and form the direction of the curriculum. As they pursue their interests, children explore, ask and answer questions, solve problems, and interact with peers and program staff.
St Philip’s recognizes each child is a unique individual who brings his or her own abilities to the program and deserves the encouragement and space to try new things, explore new ideas, and develop their own unique creativity. We provide an environment that fosters curiosity, one that allows children to explore. We believe that every child deserves a safe and caring environment in which to grow and develop to their maximum potential.
We understand the importance of taking children’s stages of development into consideration. For each child, their stage of development is an individualized and complex interplay between developmental factors and their unique family, community, and life experiences. In each case, we aim to integrate all areas of the child’s development into our program in a holistic way.
We understand that the first step in establishing and nurturing health, safety and wellbeing for children in our school is through the connections they make with the teachers. St Philip’s strives to promote a sense of belonging for children and their families in our program by creating positive interactions and collaboration of families. We believe that families are experts on their children and sharing knowledge is integral to the success of the child. We involve parents and other important adults in various events and activities at our school. This connects them to their children's early development, and enhances the child's learning. In addition to the daily interaction with teachers, we offer many opportunities for parent feedback and involvement—such as interviews, board meetings, emails and report cards. We use parent input to improve our programs and services.
St Philip’s is committed to working collaboratively with all of our community partners as we work together on the mutual goal of providing the best possible child care service to families.
St Philip’s meets and exceeds all health and safety requirements of the Ministry of Education. Snacks are nutritious and child friendly, and toys and equipment are cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.
Documentation serves as a form of reinforcement of the learning process for our educators, families, and children. Pedagogical documentation is used as a tool for review, reflection, and discussions. Staff will present, articulate and embed their own wonderings and inquiries they possess about children’s thinking and development within the documentation.
All teachers are Early Childhood Educators and are registered with the College of Early Childhood Educators. They make daily observations of children in the program and use this information to inform their future planning. Our intention is to move beyond reporting of children’s behaviour, in order to find meaning in what children do and experience. Teachers are given time to engage in collaborative inquiry using “How Does Learning Happen,” they are to continue their learning through the CPL program offered by the College of ECE, as well as other workshops. We seek to be aware of, foster, support, encourage, respond to and document the many ways in which children express themselves, the many “voices” with which they articulate their ideas, the variety of “languages” they use to communicate.
St. Philip’s Community Preschool believes that children who are happy feel safe in their environment and have a sense of belonging will ultimately grow and develop to their fullest potential.