Christ Church Day School
CCDS currently serves 95 children and their families in a warm and dynamic non-sectarian school environment on the 6th floor of CCUM. All this takes place in a physical space that is carefully designed and maintained. We understand that the use of classroom space and the overall feeling of light, sound and color have an impact on a child’s ability to learn optimally. We are proud of our efforts to continually upgrade and create a responsive physical environment.
New York City children crave the freedom of outdoor play. It is as essential to their growing bodies, connections to friends and the pursuit of imaginative play as any other part of a comprehensive early childhood program.
The roof play space is where many children will learn how to “skin the cat” and ride a two-wheeler. This is the place where they will master climbing to the top of a high ladder and experience the joy of sliding down the twisty slide. These are moments of accomplishment and mastery, sometimes over fear, that they will never forget.
A wonderful school library conjures up many things in all of us; quiet moments, reflection and reading. It is a resource that nurtures children and teachers alike. For very young children, it is a place where imagination, understanding and affirmation can grow through the good books that are read out loud. When our librarian reads the classic book by Marie Hall Ets, Will I have a Friend? to a group of three-year-olds who are starting school for the first time, something transformative happens. They are often relieved to hear that they are not alone with their unarticulated thoughts or anxieties.
A library is as essential to a complete early childhood program as rain is to a rose. We are fortunate that the quality, depth and range of outstanding books for very young children have grown considerably in recent years. It is imperative that we take advantage of this exciting phenomenon while continuing to include the classics such as Good Night Moon and Winnie the Pooh.
CCDS has always supported a welcoming and fully-stocked library. Our current space is a beautiful addition to the other aspects of what CCDS offers.
Movement classes at CCDS are fun, safe, structured group times that take place in our well-equipped movement room. Children participate in a wide variety of activities that support the refinement of their naturally emerging motor skills. The classes take place in small groups, and consist of various activities including body awareness games, movement through space, fitness, gymnastic and yoga skill practice, creative movement, stories, and games. Through these activities we help children to learn about themselves. Not only do they improve the skills that will help them in later movement-based activities, they also move forward in the very important ability to self-regulate. Children gain body knowledge, self-control and movement skills, along with authentic self-esteem, in the context of tremendous fun!
Our music curriculum is Dalcroze-influenced; singing and movement activities are at its base. During each session, we sing songs with and without words, do rhythmic chants, dance and play singing games. We play pitched and non-pitched rhythm instruments and echo tonal and rhythmic patterns. Some of the songs we sing are the old standbys that our grandparents sang, and others are more unusual! We take the songs we know and change them in unexpected and fun ways. We work with language and patterns through the medium of music. We practice modulation of volume and tempo, and engage in active listening. As the children move through their years here, our approach to the elements of music becomes more refined and explicit. One goal is to help each child take his or her next step toward musical skill, but joy and engagement in the musical experience is our highest priority.