Our program runs out of the lower hall of Grace Church and utilizes four rooms. There is one staff allocated for each room and staff rotate rooms on a monthly basis.
Children are encouraged to use all rooms throughout the morning free play time. Our goal is to have children leave our program experienced in many areas of development; thus, we encourage play in all areas of the program. Although activities in all rooms allow for growth in all areas of development, each room has a specific focus.
The activities in the Big Room focus on gross motor development, dramatic play, block play, sand and water play. This room is focused on activities that utilize the larger pieces of equipment in our center. Our gross motor play ranges from bikes and scooters to balance beams and hop scotch during free play time and a designated time at the end of
our program gives more opportunity for large motor physical activity. Other activities in this area include use of the parachute, balls, bean bags and more! Dramatic play activities are also varied weekly from house center to airplanes we explore various themes with many social opportunities for the children in our care. The engineers and scientists of tomorrow work hard in our block, sand and water centers. The big room is a very active space with lots of opportunity for physical and social play.
The adjacent three smaller rooms focus on other areas of development.
The Quiet Room (not always so quiet) is a hub of activity that focuses on reading and writing readiness, math readiness, science and constructive play. This room has activities and manipulative toys such as puzzles, peg boards, magnetic boards, seriated containers and games that promote small motor development and
cognitive learning. Toys are placed on shelves and children are encouraged to choose their activity and take it to a table to play with, then return it to the shelf when they are done.
A book corner, science area and constructive play area are also in this space encouraging both independent and group learning opportunities. The Quiet Room is also the main room used for our literacy program: Hand Writing Without Tears/Get Set for School. Information about this program is available on their website at www.hwtears.com/hwt
The Art Room is our messy room!
This room is focused on creativity and opportunity to explore various materials in a creative way. Children learn the basics in how to use art materials while they explore with materials and develop many small motor muscles. Some activities are teacher
provided and other activities are open to children’s choices. Painting on easels and tables includes exploration with brushes of many sizes, feathers, marbles, toothbrushes and various types and shapes of paper. A rainbow of colours is explored as we create masterpieces for your home. Gluing activities also provide children with the basic knowledge that glue goes on the paper first then objects get placed on it to create works of art. Various items are used for gluing to allow children to explore with one dimensional and three dimensional creations. In addition to painting and gluing, the art room provides sensory activities, play dough, sewing, cutting and opportunity for children to use various writing materials such as chalk, crayons, markers and pencils for creative drawing and small muscle development. Some activities are set up for individual use and others are group activities encouraging cooperation and social skill development.As the year progresses, staff provide a creative shelf with various materials available to the children for their own choices in exploring their creative ideas. Our focus is not on the product but on the process the children are going through as they explore in this room. Remember to ask your child “Tell me about this great work” as they take pride in sharing their pieces with you each day.
Finally, the Music Room is the focus of creative movement and music appreciation at GCMNS. Although we have a teacher directed music circle in the program, the music room allows children to explore music in a more creative way. Staff provide various opportunities in music exploration through use of instruments such as drums,
rhythm sticks, chime bars, xylophones, and various percussion instruments. We explore concepts such as high and low, fast and slow as we learn to manipulate the instruments with respect and care. Our singing and band playing is music to our ears! In addition to instruments, the music room is the place we love to move to the music. Sometimes we move with ribbons and scarves, at other times we use bean bags and balls. Crayons and paper have been known to make it into the music room at times also. This is the room that allows for games and songs to help us learn cooperation and appreciation of individual creativity. From classical and traditional to modern and cultural, we listen, move and sing to the rhythms and rhymes that bring creative movement alive.In addition to our four play rooms, our bathroom facilities are also within the classroom area adjacent to the entrance of our rooms for easy access and supervision.
Open Door Policy
Parents are welcome to visit the school for part or all of the morning on any regular school day between November 1 and school closing. Please avoid visits on party days or special event days as this is change enough to the children’s regular routine.
Our Commitment to Safety
● Children who attend GCMNS will be under staff supervision at all times.
● Volunteers, students and visitors do not have unsupervised access to children at GCMNS.
● When the children are brought to school, they must be under the supervision of the staff before you leave the premises.
● At home time, the children must be met inside the building.
● Written notification must be given if your child is to be picked up from school by somebody other than parent/guardian. Photo I.D. may be required.
● Children cannot be released to anyone under 18 years of age.
● People listed as emergency contacts will not automatically be given permission to pick up children on a regular basis. A letter from parents or permission for pick up form must be completed and returned to the GCMNS supervisor.
● On occasion, parent volunteers are required to assist in supervision of children during field trips or special events. These volunteers will receive confirmation by a staff member in advance if their assistance is required. We cannot accommodate siblings at these times; please find alternate care for your other children if you are volunteering.
● To ensure the safety of your child and other people using the building, please observe school safety rules and monitor all your children in the lobby. Quiet voices and walking should be encouraged.
● We encourage families to consume all food prior to entering the building.
● GCMNS does not provide or arrange transportation. Many of our parents arrange car pools with friends and neighbours.