Children’s interests are captured in the stories they tell us every day. Eventually, we identify lines of inquiry from among those interests that are worth exploring further. Our curriculum emerges from these children-initiated ideas that are then supported intentionally by the teachers.
Projects that may last from a few weeks to several months offer children a platform for playful learning that is rich, engaging, and meaningful. Children also develop a sense of agency in their learning as we nurture their identity as capable and curious learners.
Literacy + Art
We combine literacy and art to develop children’s cognitive and language skills, creative- and critical-thinking, and social-emotional awareness. We do this through the power of stories, the project approach, and literacy skill-building activities.
Learning how to socialize in groups outside of the family is an important part of life for young children. Learning is not solely an individual experience. Children learn much more through interaction with other children, adults, and their environment. We tap into the social aspect of learning through group activities and forming a sense of community in the classroom and the school.
Phonics and Literacy Development
We dynamically balance children’s learning through stories and projects with a systematic and explicit approach to English language and literacy development. This begins with building a strong foundation in phonics and awareness of the 42 sounds of the English language.
As children develop fine motor control, we also support their writing skills starting with letter formation. Since we intentionally design our learning experiences to connect with children’s ideas, they develop an active interest in acquiring these literacy skills to enable them to articulate and share their ideas.
Behind our emergent curriculum approach are our learning standards. For our Pre-Primary Program we track a set of learning standards research has shown to be powerful indicators for later school success. These learning standards cover 7 developmental domains: social-emotional, cognitive, language, literacy, art, physical, and mathematical thinking.
As we respond to children’s interests, we opportunistically integrate these standards as learning objectives to ensure that we are intentional in the continual development of children and their acquisition of skills and knowledge. These learning standards also align with the Common Core State Standards in the United States.
We have two multi-age classrooms in the Pre-Primary program. The younger classroom holds 2.5- to 4-year-olds and the older classroom holds 4- to 6-year-olds.
Children develop in different ways and at different speeds in different areas. For any given area of development, less experienced children can learn a lot from more experienced children. Likewise, older children gain a lot from interacting with younger children. A multi-age approach to learning makes a lot of sense.
Pre-Primary Program Eligibility Requirements
Children should be at least 2 and a half years old by August of the school year they are enrolling in. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis for children turning 2 by May before the school year starts.
Our school year runs from mid-August through June each year. Admission into our Pre-Primary Program is on a rolling basis until spaces are no longer available, after which we will maintain a waitlist. Learn more about our admissions process.