History of the School

For more than 60 years, Westhampton Day School has been an active member of the Westhampton community. As a mission of Westhampton United Methodist Church, the school provides full-day curriculum for 160 students, and employs more than 30 dedicated educators. WDS strives to create a nurturing environment that promotes curiosity, creativity, and a caring spirit among our young student population. WDS has a high retention rate among staff, with 94% degreed teachers and majority of teachers holding teaching licenses.

WDS strongly believes that the firmest foundations in Early Childhood Education are achieved when parents and teachers continuously work hand-in-hand to support and encourage learning development. Parent-teacher conferences are held in fall and spring, with assessments and portfolio creation taking place throughout the year. Parents and families are invited to volunteer in the classroom, attend family functions throughout the year, and engage in the overall strategic plan of the school with the WDS Advisory Council.

WDS is licensed by the State of Virginia, and has been nationally accredited through the National Accreditation Commission for the Association for Early Learning Leaders since 2015. WDS was the past recipient of the Best Day Care & Preschool in Virginia Living Magazine and was included in Hanover Researches Best Practices in Pre-Kindergarten in 201. Some of WDS’s Community Partnerships include the Faison School of Autism, Virginia College, Richmond Association for Directors of Early Childhood Education, and the Richmond Public Library.


Philosophy and Goals

The WDS teaching philosophy is derived from Virginia’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning. These allow the educators at WDs to provide learning experiences that reflect conceptual knowledge, basic academic skills, and relevant hands-on learning encounters that emerge from life experiences. Our youngest learners develop critical thinking skills, utilizing the HighScope Plan-Do-Review format. Our Pre-Kindergarten students use nonfiction as a foundation in the Houghton Mifflin Curriculum and enjoy small group learning in a 1 to 4 ratio. Our Kindergarten students merge Wilson Language and Go Math with student choice author study, scientific exploration, and extended community and cultural discussions.

Mathematics Foundation

  • Number and Number Sense
  • Computation
  • Measurement
  • Geometry
  • Data Collection and Statistics
  • Patterns and Relationships

Personal and Social Development

  • Self-Concept
  • Self-Regulation
  • Approaches to Learning
  • Interaction with Others
  • Social Problem-Solving

Science Foundation

  • Scientific Investigation, Reasoning, and Logic
  • Force, Motion, and Energy
  • Matter/Physical Properties/Simple Chemical Reactions
  • Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems
  • Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change
  • Resources
  • Life Processes

Physical and Motor Development

  • Skilled Movement/Locomotor & Non-Locomotor Skills
  • Movement Principles and Concepts
  • Personal Fitness
  • Responsible Behaviors
  • Physically Active Lifestyle
  • Manipulative Skills
  • Health Knowledge & Skills
  • Community Health & Safety

History and Social Science

  • History/Similarities & Differences
  • Geography/Location/Vocabulary
  • Changes Past to Present
  • Economics/World of Work
  • Civics/Citizenship

Literacy Foundation Blocks

  • Oral Language
  • Vocabulary
  • Writing
  • Phonological Awareness
  • Letter Knowledgement
  • Early Word Recognition
  • Print and Book Awareness


  • Develop language through melody and song
  • Use instruments to explore sounds
  • Enhance gross motor
  • Feel a steady pulse through rhythm
  • Explore routines of world music


  • Seasonal and Chapel Process Art
  • Color Wheel Explorations
  • Drawing Foundations
  • Spatial Relationships
  • Art as an expression of emotion & imagination

Creative Movement

  • Traveling & Locomotor Skills
  • Body & Space Awareness
  • Pathways & Directions
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Hand-Eye and Hand-Food Coordination

Virginia’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning Prepared by the Office of Elementary Instructional Services; VDOE