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The Nursery School and Kindergarten at St. Peter's

At our Preschool in Palmela, children are welcomed into a bilingual, home-from-home environment. Experienced Nursery and Kindergarten educators employ a bespoke early learning approach that encourages the consistent development of children from 4 months to 5 years. From their very first day at our preschool, young explorers expand their skills in a safe and challenging environment that motivates them daily.

Inside and outside our classrooms, we create extremely fertile educational environments, which invite and stimulate children to play, create, discover and express their feelings and emotions. Through different stimuli that promote learning, children discover themselves and the world around them. These include daily routines, stories, visual arts, music, games and role-plays, among other activities, which develop individual and collective skills, both personal and social, as well as expression and communication.

In our preschool facilities, we aim to promote the quality of development at each stage of age, respecting the individual rhythms of every child.

Why Choose Our Preschool in Palmela?

head of pre school

Welcome to St. Peter’s Preschool

Carlota Oliveira

Head of Preschool

Welcome to St. Peter's Nursery and Kindergarten. During this important stage of your child's development, we focus on developing confident, autonomous, and creative children through our educational activities. To achieve this, we have an experienced team of educators who prioritize quality interactions and relationships with the children. Our approach allows us to stimulate personal and social development, expression and communication, as well as knowledge of the world. We maximize their abilities and prepare them for future challenges, all within a bilingual environment. We also foster a strong relationship between the school and families, placing the learning process at the centre of the children's characteristics, experiences, representations, interests, and needs.

Preschool Options - Nursery

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From 4 Months to 2 Years Old

In the first years of life, positive childhood experiences are closely related to the quality of care and attention received in Nursery education. The first three years are particularly important for their physical, affective and intellectual development.

Babies and young children require attention to their physical and psychological needs, a trusting relationship with a caregiver, a safe and healthy environment suitable for their developmental stage, opportunities to interact with peers, and the freedom to explore using all their senses. These are the elements we strive to provide to our children at all times.

At St. Peter's Nursery, our educational space is designed to facilitate children's knowledge-building through exploration of their surroundings, based on their individual experiences. We respect each child's personal rhythm and motivation, and our curriculum strategy revolves around fostering positive interactions, establishing consistent routines, and providing moments of free play and exploration, all under the guidance of attentive and available adults.

Furthermore, we offer a diverse and well-organized structure for planned English language learning interactions and activities. This enables children to acquire new skills.

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From 3 to 5 Years Old

St. Peter's Kindergarten is an active learning space where children begin to develop their life purpose and engage in meaningful activities. It is a privileged environment for discovery and learning, with children as the main protagonists, serving as the foundation for their holistic development. Our pedagogical approach aims to foster the harmonious physical, intellectual, and social development of each child.

To achieve this, we promote learning experiences with educational intentionality that encompass various areas, including cognitive, linguistic, emotional, affective, relational, social, psychomotor, artistic, and creative aspects. The school environment is thoughtfully prepared to encourage project-based work, creating meaningful experiences that nurture children's motivation, interest, and curiosity, all of which are essential for their learning journey. A notable example of this is the daily guidance provided by Portuguese educators and English teachers, who facilitate the natural acquisition of language.

Preschool Programme & General Principles

Our Educational Programme

At our Nursery and Kindergarten, we aim to cultivate an educational environment characterised by a welcoming atmosphere that fosters learning. We strive to create a space where children feel motivated, interested, and curious, enabling their development in a holistic, appropriate, calm, and harmonious manner. By promoting meaningful experiences, we facilitate significant learning outcomes. Our top priority is to provide a personalised welcome for each child and their families, paying attention to their individual characteristics and habits, and fostering an atmosphere of acceptance, respect, and affection, akin to a family setting.

Establishing positive interactions, implementing consistent and flexible routines, providing opportunities for free play and exploration, and having available, attentive adults who model positive behaviours are key strategies for curricular development.

Our experienced and competent educators assume a guiding role in the learning process, following the children's interests and motivations. The interaction and relationship established between the child and the educator are fundamental, as are the diverse stimuli provided, which contribute to the child's comprehensive and harmonious development of abilities.

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Guiding Principles of Our Pedagogical Practice

Our pedagogical practice is guided by the following five principles:

1. Relationship:

A key aspect is the interaction and relationship established between the child, teachers, and the support team. We provide a variety of stimuli that contribute to the child's cognitive development. The playful nature of these interactions facilitates the learning of social behaviour, as well as the development of motor, cognitive, and affective skills. The strong affective relationship we establish with the children forms the foundation of everything. We believe that positive interactions enable children to find meaning in their learning and feel secure in exploring, experimenting, and overcoming new challenges.

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2. Environment:

At our preschool, the learning environment is thoughtfully prepared to foster children's motivation, interest, and curiosity. Different spaces, materials, resources, and play areas are provided to support the development of individual and collective skills. The educational environment is intentionally organized to allow children to build their knowledge through exploration and lived experiences. Each room is structured according to areas of interest, ensuring that various resources and materials are easily accessible. These areas may include make-believe, visual arts, a reading and writing corner with a library, mathematics and science, a space for group meetings, and daily routines. By offering diverse opportunities, we give children the chance to explore and engage with their everyday surroundings. Everyday objects serve as tools for the acquisition of manipulative and cognitive skills, which are fundamental to their development.

3. Bilingualism:

Our Preschool provides a bilingual environment where children naturally learn to use the English language. Conversations, play, songs, games, and challenges are incorporated into daily activities and routines. Portuguese and English teachers accompany the children and encourage communication in both languages.

4. Project Work:

Project work is an active and engaging methodology that involves the child from an early age in investigation processes, nurturing their natural curiosity and fostering a love for expression and communication. Through project work, children develop their communication and presentation skills, as well as the ability to articulate and explain their reasoning, thoughts, and opinions. When developing our projects, we begin by selecting a theme that arises from the children's curiosity and interests. We then plan how we will approach the theme, based on four key questions:

  • What do we think we already know?
  • What do we want to find out?
  • Where can we conduct our research?
  • What activities do we want to engage in?

Throughout the project, children materialize their findings and present their learnings to the group, their parents, or the wider school community. They also evaluate the entire process, reflecting on what went well, what challenges they encountered, and how they can improve.

5. Play:

Play is an essential element in preschool education. All areas of learning are explored through play and a playful approach. Play promotes the development of socio-emotional, cognitive, language, and self-regulation skills, which contribute to the building of executive function and a pro-social brain (as highlighted in "The Power of Play" published in the Pediatrics magazine). Our classrooms are dynamic spaces where children explore, play, move, and learn. The environment is organized into different areas that encourage exploration, and children are encouraged to freely access resources and materials across various areas. All areas of the classroom are interconnected, allowing for seamless transitions. Educators circulate through the classroom, providing guidance, modelling behaviour, and motivating children to make new discoveries and engage in learning.

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Immersion in Languages

St. Peter's International School kindergarten and nursery school offer bilingual education through language immersion: the children are accompanied by Portuguese teachers and English teachers in their daily activities and routines, and they are encouraged to communicate using both languages.

The natural acquisition of another language is promoted through dialogue, songs, challenges, and games. Curious and open to new experiences, the children become fluent in Portuguese and English in a short period of time.

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Preschool Environment

Preschool teachers cultivate a “home-from-home” environment that is mindfully designed to encourage motivation, interest and curiosity in different Preschool spaces. Learning materials, resources and teachers allow young explorers to develop individual and collective skills throughout their early education.

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Teaching Team

Experienced, competent Early Education specialists evaluate, plan, and act to prepare and create situations that promote a wide-spectrum of learning and discovery, fostering problem-solving skills through play-based activities.

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Project Work

In our Preschool community, children are encouraged to become active learners who play a central role in the learning process. Thematic projects encourage young learners to explore:

  • What we think we know
  • What we want to know
  • How we will find out
  • What we want to do

These 4 questions guide our work and determine the achievement of learning outcomes.

Preschool Assessment

The assessment of children aged 1 to 5 years takes on a predominantly formative approach, emphasizing a continuous and interpretive process that aims to empower the child as the protagonist of their own learning. The assessment serves to help children become aware of their achievements, identify difficulties they may be experiencing, and recognize their progress in overcoming them. It is through this perspective that assessment is viewed as a means of monitoring the child's learning processes.

At the beginning of the school year, an initial assessment is conducted to understand each child's individual characteristics and the dynamics of the group. This assessment aims to determine their existing knowledge, skills, needs, interests, and family background, providing a foundation for educational decision-making within the framework of the class curriculum. At the end of each phase (December and June), an assessment report is prepared to reflect the child's development in alignment with the objectives set at the beginning of the school year. This information is shared with parents during individual meetings, where strategies are discussed to encourage their active participation.

Teacher Evaluation:

Recognizing the potential for continuous growth and improvement in our team, we conduct 360-degree performance assessments twice a year. Coordinators, teachers, and assistants are evaluated by their peers, fostering a reflective process that upholds high standards of quality, integrity, and transparency within the school.

Additionally, once a year, we invite parents to evaluate various aspects of the school, including logistical and pedagogical components. This feedback allows us to gain insights and further enhance our practices.

Contact Us Today

An exciting path of discovery awaits your child at our international Preschool. Learn more by completing the Enquiry Form.