School Environment

St Gerard's School is set in the lush greenery of Mount Sophia and is bounded by the Istana, and Plaza Singapura. The school is housed in a spacious two storey conservation bungalow. The high ceilings, covered verandahs and big playground offers a conducive learning environment for learning and play. The environment in St Gerard's School is one which is well organized and planned to support positive interactions and to meet individual and group needs. There are clearly defined activity centres that accommodate one to five children.

Use of low furniture to define areas, allowing teachers to see into all areas, while at the same time giving children a sense of privacy.
Centres set up for different kinds of activities: dramatic play, art, blocks, table toys, books, sand and water, and large muscle activities.
Noisy centres separated from quiet centres; for example, the blocks and imaginative play centres located together, separated from quiet-time relaxation and writing centres.
Materials displayed on low shelves where children can reach what they need.
Private hideaways and soft spaces where children can relax and be alone or with a friend
Materials displayed on shelves near where they will be used, and picture labels showing where each object belongs.
Pictures on the walls at the children's eye level; their work should be displayed, as well as selected pictures relevant to the children's interests.

The classroom in St Gerard's is a safe and comfortable place that is well lit and well ventilated. It has ample window space and direct access to a playground, water and toilet facilities. The room needs to be large enough to provide adequate storage space for materials and floor space for activity centres. As most children need to be active, there are a variety of work spaces.

The classrooms have learning centres of many types. :

Learning Centres Materials
Art With painting and drawing materials for the children to explore and express themselves.
Block building With blocks, pieces of filed wooden blocks and woodwork tools for the children to design, create and build
Cooking With snacks and ingredients for the children to prepare and share
Science & Exploration With materials such as seeds, plants and rocks for the children to observe and investigate
Sand/water tables With cups, spoons and funnels for the children to measure and solve problems.
Gross motor With an indoor and outdoor area for the children to play games and develop physical skills.
Dramatic play With props for a house or store, puppets and dress-up clothes for children to enjoy imaginative play.
Creative problem solving centre Paper, crayons, pencils, scissors, glue and paint are essential materials. Play dough or plasticine kept ready for use and tables set up ready for painting encourage children to participate. There is no limit to the variety of materials that can be used in creative and expressive ways.
Small sized manipulative play centre Many varied and interesting materials can be assembled for use in this area. Any material which invites children to construct, fit things together or develop patterns would be suitable. The materials may be home-made rather than commercial; however, they should be sturdy enough to stand up to constant use. As the year progresses, different materials should be added to the area.
Computer centre Computers can offer many learning opportunities for young children if the programs chosen are developmentally appropriate. The software selected should facilitate building critical and creative thinking skills, rather than learning by repetition. Besides promoting technological literacy, carefully chosen computer programs can be a vehicle for assisting children to work cooperatively with others.
Listening centre This is an area where children can listen to music or experiment with making sounds with various traditional, home-made and found instruments. Music and rhythmic activities are often shared with others.
Recycling centre To work on different projects using recycled materials like, cans, tissue boxes, etc.
Special interest centre A bulletin board and display area should be designated where items related to a theme can be arranged. Many of these can be brought from home by the children. The resources in this area should be changed frequently and should reflect the interests and experiences of the children.