Reggio Inspired Environments
"Children are miracles...we must make it our jobs to create,
with reverence and gratitude,
a space that is worthy of a miracle."
-Anita Rui Olds
The classroom environment plays a crucial role in the teaching and learning process, provoking students' curiosity and creativity, stimulating the imagination, and encouraging students to become critical thinkers and problem solvers. We believe the classroom environment should be just as inviting and engaging as a third teacher. Our classrooms are intentionally designed and prepared by the educators in collaboration with others members of the WDS staff to optimize small and large group interaction, social play, and constructive learning.
Classroom spaces are well-defined for children to guide their exploration and invite social and cognitive experiences. Specific aspects of the classroom environment may include: a meeting space for group gathering and reading, a message / writing area, a construction area for blocks and other building materials, a mini art studio, a science / math area and a dramatic play area. The classrooms are organized with materials that are carefully chosen, presented, and stored at the child's level to encourage maximum independence.
Westminster Day School also has specialized spaces throughout the school that are shared by multiple classrooms, including the Art Studio, our outdoor playgrounds, our outdoor classroom, a gathering area for large and small groups, and our music classroom.
All of our spaces are designed to create a comfortable atmosphere that encourages safe exploration, allowing children to discover, make friends, and learn. It is within this environment that educators seek to create a sense of community built on trust and respect as well as develop imagination, creativity, and problem-solving skills capacity.
The Art Studio, inspired by the Atelier (a workroom or artist's studio) in the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, provides a place for children to master a variety of artistic techniques, including painting, drawing, and working in clay - all symbolic languages.
More than a place for arts and crafts, the Art Studio is a laboratory for thinking and making connections - a place to learn that thinking can be expressed through materials. In the Art Studio, children experience the freedom to experiment with various materials and learn their characteristics and capabilities. By exposing students to a variety of mediums and techniques, the Art Studio supports playful, open-ended (and often messy) experiences with sensory materials.
Each classroom, 2 year olds - Kindergarten, is equipped with a mini art studio in order to provide meaningful art experiences every day.
At Westminster Day School, music and movement are incorporated into daily classroom experiences in all classes. Additionally, children in our 2 year old - Kindergarten classes participate in weekly Music and Movement classes under the direction of our Resource Educator, "Mr. Josh"
As a ministry of Westminster Presbyterian Church, WDS is committed to helping every child develop an understanding of God's love for them, while providing a quality early childhood education in a developmentally appropriate, Christian environment. Daily prayer time, weekly chapel services, Christian music, and blessings before snacks are all part of the spiritual life of Westminster Day School.
Weekly chapel services for our 2 year olds - Kindergarten classes are led by : "Miss" Julie, "Mr" Josh and the Westminster Day School Staff. During Chapel, children and educators come together to worship through songs, age-appropriate messages, pledges to the American flag and the Christian Flag and prayer.
Westminster Day School welcomes children of all faiths.
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."