Our goal in the Nursery School is to present a unique opportunity for mutual learning experiences – teacher, child
and parents learning together. We wish to provide an environment which encourages optimum growth for each child – socially, physically, emotionally and cognitively. The school recognizes the child’s need to explore their environment creatively in play, music and crafts, and encourages them to take pride in themselves. In this environment they will recognize the need for co-operation with others. We believe in the importance of parent involvement in a co-operative Nursery School in the following ways: active participation in their child’s first school experience and observation of trained staff working in the school environment. Parent’s participation reduces the cost of running the school and so makes the Nursery School available to a greater number of families. We acknowledge that parents and children benefit from information and support for their children from their Nursery School experience, and we desire above all that they enjoy it. For our parents, we hope that they gain valuable experience of families working together for the good of all.
As a preschool program, the school teaches the children readiness skills aimed towards more learning as opposed to specific skills such as ABC’s, numbers and how to write.
While exposure to letters and numbers is provided on a daily basis, readiness skills will lead to more learning and allows for the fact that all children develop at different levels and times depending on their age, small motor and large motor skills, and so on. In our Nursery School the children are faced every day with various routines, structure and learning skills. For example: sitting with a group, taking turns to wash their hands, listening when someone else is talking, following in a group, and lining up. Throughout the day at school, the teacher is counting with the children, pointing out pictures and various letters to the children, reading books, singing, teaching songs and finger plays, writing names on art work, talking and listening to each child.
Our program focuses on four important developmental domains. These are Social, Emotional, Physical and Language Development. Since young children learn best through play, the Nursery School classroom is made up of different learning centres and play areas – gross motor play (large muscle), puzzles and cognitive toys, dramatic play area, quiet reading area, sensory area (sand and water tables) and a craft area. The children are encouraged to explore and experience each activity at their own pace. The program is designed to satisfy the needs of all children who are at various developmental stages.
A Day in the Life of Nursery School
The school offers two half day programs for children 2½ to 4 years of age:
9:00 am: Drop Off
9:05 am: Books/ Circle Time (Calendar, weather, songs, rhymes, finger plays, etc.)
9:35 am: Free Play
10:20 am: Washroom Routine
10:30 am: Snack
11:05 am: Outdoor Play (weather permitting, or indoors in the upstairs gym)
11:30 am: Pick-up
The school year starts after Labour Day in September, and ends one week before the official Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) calendar in June. OCNS closes for statutory holidays, a two-week Christmas break, and March break. We do not close for Professional Activity days, but we do close on snow days when bus service is cancelled by the OCDSB.
The week before school, children have an opportunity to meet the teacher and get acquainted with their new surroundings. This allows the teacher to spend as much time as possible with new children before their first day of school, in order to help them overcome any hesitation and to make friends with classmates.
Community Awareness and Field Trips
The program integrates community awareness activities through field trips or visits from a special guest such as Yaki (childrens’ musician and entertainer) or a Yoga instructor. Typical field trips include visits to an:
Show and tell, holiday themes, and special event days are also incorporated into the program on a regular basis.