gilesfieldBecause teachers and parents at St. Giles are deeply committed to fostering imaginative and self-initiated play, the “typical” pattern at St. Giles is for everyday to be a little different. The teachers imaginatively lay out a wide variety of tactile and stimulating materials each day—clay, sand, water, paint, playdough, paper, yarn, blocks. Certain areas of the classroom, like the housekeeping, dress-up, art room, and gym are permanent fixtures. A large selection of books, games and puzzles are always available too. Other areas change throughout the school year. The “hospital” and the “store” are particular favourites. The science table changes seasonally; it is a place where the children watch eggs hatch into chicks and see caterpillars spin cocoons and emerge as butterflies. There is usually a different art activity set up each day and sometimes duty parents will initiate an activity like baking cookies or making pizza. Children choose to participate in whatever way they please: some children range widely throughout the entire classroom every day and others prefer to spend much of their time in a favourite area. Children’s way of being in the classroom changes as the year goes on, something accommodated and encouraged by our flexible classroom setting that allows children to learn through inspired play.

There are a number of consistent elements to each pre-school day that anchor the routine at St. Giles. Snack is offered to the children during a forty-five minute window when they can choose to sit with other children and help themselves to a healthy snack prepared by the duty parents. A very short daily “meeting”—of about ten minutes—allows students to practice skills such as listening to their classmates and their teachers. Finally, a circle time that includes stories and songs closes each preschool day.

If you are interested in learning directly about our wonderful preschool, you are welcome to contact us at stgilespreschool@gmail.com and arrange for you and your child to drop in for a visit.

newgilesbeachPPPs are devoted to providing a play-based environment to nurture children’s learning.   Children at St. Giles are free to follow their own curiosity and move throughout the classroom spaces as their imagination dictates.

PPPs provide families with an opportunity to be directly involved in their child’s preschool experience and to participate in community with other families.  The most special part of a PPP is the opportunity for parents to spend time in the classroom with the children. Parents serve as teacher’s assistants and help with the daily programme.  It is a chance to connect with your own child in their preschool setting and to get to know the classroom community of other children too.  This is typically one of parents’ favourite aspects of a PPP, even when “doing duty,” as its called, requires some schedule juggling.  Parents in a PPP also maintain the administration of the school by taking on various volunteer jobs.  In addidtion, they meet monthly to hear a lively speaker on some topic of early childhood education or development and to attend to pre-school business.

Here at St. Giles, we are a non-profit organization and we are also a registered charity. Our school follows both the Provincial Licensing regulations and the Council of Parent Participation Preschools regulations.

The CPPP an umbrella organization that has supported member parent participation preschools throughout mainland British Columbia for over 55 years. The purpose of the Council is to unite and assist member preschools in providing a high standard of preschool education by the supported effort of parents and teachers in a planned adult education program.

For more information about the Council and PPPs in general see:http://www.cpppreschools.bc.ca/ 

gileswalkEach family in the PPP participates in three different ways.  First and best, parents to spend time in the classroom with the children. We call this time in the classroom as being on duty. The average time a parent may spend in the classroom is about three hours 2 to 3 times a month. Second, once a month, the duty parent attends a parent education and general business meeting in the evening for two and a half hours.  Third, each family is responsible for a job that helps ensure the smooth operation of the preschool.

There are a wide variety of jobs available for the families. An Executive Committee with jobs such as President, Treasurer, and Enrollment, works closely with our teachers to provide an enriching and nurturing environment for our children.  Other jobs include fund-raising, sorting children’s art for them to take home, class photographer, selecting books for the classroom, and gardening.  We try to match your interests or skills to the jobs.  For example, if you have an interest in sewing, your responsibility may be to sew items for the dress-up area. If you have a background in accounting, you may be most helpful to the preschool as our treasurer.

Duty days are about three hours twice a month. The parent education and general meeting is two and a half hours in the evening once a month. The time you spend on your job in the preschool will vary.  Some jobs regularly require about an hour each week, while others, such as compiling the end-of-year slideshow, are done in shorter but more intense bursts.   Although it can be challenging to find time in our busy lives, parents invariably find duty days rewarding and the parent education evenings illuminating.

We ask all families to participate in the preschool’s fundraising efforts. The Fundraising Committee provides a variety of methods for the families to participate in. We make it fun and we support each other in our efforts.  Past initiatives have included a Valentine’s Day Dance, a silent auction, and a wine raffle.

Yes!  Many families at St. Giles have two working parents.  As long as you have a degree of flexibility in your working hours, it is possible for working parents to join a PPP.  Many working parents find doing duty a great way to spend time with their child during these exciting preschool years.  It is also possible for a grandparent, nanny, or other caregiver to do the duty days for your child.  If you have questions about how other working families have managed this in the past, feel free to email us at: stgilespreschool@gmail.com