The Strawberry Vale Preschool Community
Do you want an opportunity to be actively involved with your preschooler’s education? Would you like to participate in the classroom environment where you can watch your preschooler’s confidence grow? Are you looking for relationships with families that have similar educational values? Do you want your preschooler to learn from qualified, passionate and highly experienced educators?
Strawberry Vale Preschool is a cooperative preschool operated by families. The families of our preschoolers come together to take part in their children’s first educational experience, and to run the “Little Red Schoolhouse”. Our educational program is directed by an outstanding Early Childhood Educator Teacher Gail who is not only a teacher of our preschoolers but also a mentor for parents and caregivers of preschool children.
At Strawberry Vale Preschool, we promise to foster the development of our preschoolers by encouraging independence, curiosity, and creativity through play.
We take pride in learning about parenting our preschoolers for the betterment of our children and our preschool community.
For preschoolers, Strawberry Vale Preschool is a place to learn basic values, a place to get messy, and a place to meet friends and neighbours. Preschoolers are always encouraged to explore their own interests and try new experiences.
Learning Through Play
Our education philosophy is centered around the belief that children learn the foundations of logic, reasoning, communication and problem solving from engaging in active play. This philosophy is commonly referred to as learning through play.
What is learning through play? Stacking giant coloured blocks in patterns, learning about the environment by bringing it into the classroom, learning about gravity and buoyancy with a water table, engaging with others in a positive and creative manner through pretend play and storytelling.
The most innovative learning environment one could ask for and one that is conducive to just about every life-long learning style.
For more information please read an article prepared in 2006 for the Canadian Council on Learning “Let the children play: Nature’s answer to early learning”
Play is the work of childhoodMr. Rogers, Mister Rogers Neighbourhood
As parents, teachers and caregivers, it is my belief that our job is to foster the natural curiosity and excitement children have during these early learning years. By providing a safe and comfortable environment we allow the children to challenge themselves (and us) as they use playful learning to explore their world and marvel over each and every experience.Teacher Gail
Play is the highest form of research.Albert Einstein
A Day at Strawberry Vale Preschool
Your preschooler will be welcomed into the school by small school bells rung by classmates. Coats, backpacks, and outside shoes come off, inside shoes go on, and hands are washed.
Once inside the bright and open single room classroom, there are always a variety of activities to explore each day; some new and some familiar.
The preschoolers can access an easel with paints, freestyle craft table, play dough, dress-up area, play kitchen, cars, puzzles, science/sensory tables, and the reading loft. Each day, a book can be borrowed from the reading loft to take home in their book bag.
Every class, the preschoolers have unstructured play, circle and story time, snack time, and the day always ends with outside play, rain or shine.
Special School Traditions
Meet Star the dog, our preschool mascot. In the classes that run three times a week, the preschoolers take turns taking Star home with them for the weekend.
Star comes with clothing, a leash and collar, a toy, a dog dish, and a special book that he loves to have read to him. The book bridges a theme that is being developed in the classroom by Teacher Gail.
Your preschooler will get to care for Star and take him out on adventures then add to Star’s journal by drawing a picture and telling a story about their weekend with Star.
Special crafts and food are made during the year. In the fall, the preschoolers make applesauce or apple crisp. Cookies are baked and decorated around several holidays. At Christmas, the preschoolers make and bring home a special centerpiece for your table and jar of cranberry sauce to compliment holiday meals.
There are also special theme days where your preschooler will get to wear something fun for preschool. They include Crazy Hat/Hair Day, Pancake Pajama Day, and Pirate Day.
Teacher Gail loves to engage the kids in mad science with colourful bubbling concoctions. Each year, the preschoolers observe the lifecycle of frogs as they transform from eggs to tadpoles and chickens as they hatch from eggs.
Outings from the preschool are common. We are very lucky to have a small patch of forest with plenty of trails and climbing opportunities right outside our fenced area where we go for our forest days. We also have an amazing learning pond right outside our schoolhouse fence where the class ventures for tadpole hunting and other learning opportunities. We also coordinate one field trip a month somewhere in the community (fire halls, nature sanctuaries, grocery stores, etc.).
Family and cultural traditions and talents are also commonly celebrated. Each year, our families are asked if they can share anything with our classes. We often have families that make special food that is traditional in their household or that share musical or other talents.