The Playschool at St. Mary's is a non-religious program that provides a preschool environment designed to help children build self-confidence and a positive self-image. We work on developing social skills, fine and gross motor skills, gaining an understanding of the teacher-pupil relationship, and becoming comfortable in a classroom setting away from home. These goals are accomplished by providing programs that are developmentally appropriate, a curriculum that focuses on play, and the opportunity for parents to play a significant role within the classroom and playschool as a whole.
What is developmentally appropriate practice?
This term means that teachers first think about what children are like and then develop an environment that provides "hands-on" learning opportunities. Our classrooms are designed to encourage children to explore what interests them, touch what intrigues them, talk, listen, run, help out, and play through a combination of self-directed times and more structured activities. Teachers and parents act as guides in this developmental process, but also follow the children's leads.
What is a play-based curriculum?
As the name "Playschool" implies, we believe children learn best during the preschool years through self-directed play. Through play, children learn concepts behind reading, math, science, music, culture, physical movement and the world around them. Children are encouraged to explore and discover, without the risk associated with having to provide a correct answer. Play provides children with the opportunity to attempt a new skill fail in the attempt and not view themselves as a failure. Play also provides endless opportunities for children to celebrate successes (emotional development), learn problem solving and concepts such as cause and effect (cognitive development), exercise fine and gross motor skills (physical development), and practice communication skills and interaction (social development).
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The Playschool at St. Mary’s honors children and engages families of all faith traditions, race, and national origins. As the first preschool established in Anchorage, we are pioneers of PLAY and offer three to five year olds a play-based, creative, and innovative curriculum.
2222 East Tudor Road
Anchorage, AK 99507