Early Childhood Curriculum

In Pre-K3, Pre-K4 and Kindergarten, nature is the backdrop for learning. The intentional design of the classroom is to inspire the children as they learn to read, write and better understand one another and the world.

The Early Childhood is guided by the principles of Reggio Emelia, which originated in northern Italy. This philosophy is an approach to teaching, learning and advocacy for children. In its most basic form, it is a way of observing what children know, are curious about and what challenges them. Teachers record these observations to reflect on developmentally appropriate ways to help the children expand their academic and social potential. Long-term projects connect core academic areas in and out of the classroom.

Social Studies

In the Early Childhood, the overarching themes are “My Family” and “My Physical World,” focusing on family, community and transportation around the city. As the children work their way through the Lower School, the studies expand geographically and historically.

Language Arts and Reading

The language arts learning process begins in Pre-K3, where the youngest students are exposed to a variety of written materials. Print-rich classrooms help the students develop a curiosity about letters, words and phrases. They begin to construct an understanding of how reading happens. Students learn to recognize lower and uppercase letters, write the alphabet and identify the variety of sounds.

Writing

The children participate in daily reading and writing workshops. Kindergarten children publish several forms of writing during the year, ranging from a short personal narrative to an instructional guide. Multiple strategies are used throughout the program to build confidence and comfort as children move from letters to literature, all with one goal in mind: to become avid readers and writers!

Math and Numbers

From their earliest days at the Academy, students in Pre-K3, Pre-K4 and Kindergarten develop familiarity and dexterity with numbers learning how to count beyond 100 and working with money and computation, length, capacity, volume, weight and geometry. They are exposed to the earliest forms of mathematical concepts in their daily work with numbers, shapes and patterns, first understanding math from the fingers on their hands to the objects in the room.

Computers

Beginning in Pre-K3, students become familiar with the computer and the keyboard, building an appreciation for technology as a learning tool and a rich medium for expression. Each classroom is equipped with the latest computer hardware and software.

Library

Each class in Pre-K3, Pre-K4 and Kindergarten meets for a formal class period once a week with the librarian to explore books and resources. The library houses over 16,000 volumes, as well as computer facilities and wireless laptops.

Additional Special Units

In addition, the Pre-K3, Pre-K4 and Kindergarten curriculum includes “specials” visits with specialized teachers in science, sign language, art, music and physical education.