Our school is located within St. Andrew Lutheran Church of Vancouver. We utilize a wing of inviting, spacious classrooms as well as over an acre of outdoor space with varying terrain featuring mature trees, open grassy spaces, garden plots, climbing logs and structures, water pump and sand, play kitchen, and a stage and marimba.
Playing outside for extended periods has been shown to have a positive impact on children’s development in many areas, ranging from gross motor skills and executive function (planning, troubleshooting, creativity) to language and social skills. We spend an hour or more each day outside in all kinds of weather. Our outdoor classroom has earned national certification as a Nature Explore Classroom from Dimensions Educational Research Foundation and the Arbor Day Foundation. “St. Andrew Preschool has shown tremendous leadership in growing the next generation of environmental stewards,” said Susie Wirth, Nature Explore Outreach Director. “Their commitment to providing research-based and nature-rich learning offers a wonderful example to educators throughout the country."
The indoor classrooms at St. Andrew are light, bright, and welcoming. The walls display child art and learning documentation; the large windows look out on to our natural outdoor area. Children are invited to investigate and learn through play at the learning centers, both permanent and rotating, in each classroom. Centers are curated by the teachers with the children’s interests in mind. Open spaces invite dancing and movement while cozy nooks provide space for sitting with a friend or a book.