Pre-primary program details
Our Pre-Primary Program is a long-term course of connected classes that meet in the mornings (8:45 AM - 12:10 PM). Children ages 3-6 join as a group of learners supported by a licensed early childhood educator and a bilingual teaching assistant. Our staff work together with children as co-learners and guides to develop collaboration/social skills, creative thinking, English language acquisition and literacy skills. We introduce children to rich literacy experiences and group projects based on picture books to help children develop and grow.
Teachers introduce picture books to captivate and provoke playful inquiry among the children. This is a natural way to engage with the children since they already love listening to stories. The picture books are a platform for conversation and we explore the ideas that interest them within the pages of the books. But soon teachers will lead playful learning experiences beyond the books and into the classroom with varied art and recycled materials. We observe and document what children gravitate towards and ask more questions, set up further provocations or read new picture books to facilitate children's emerging theories and ideas. A story about the 3 little pigs becomes a construction project to build a house, or creating clay pigs, or even drawing their own big bad wolf face masks. The possibilities are endless and the sky is the limit.
What we're trying to do with the children goes beyond art or maker projects. Together we're exploring the way children think and process ideas, and helping them to develop their thinking by asking them open-ended questions. We want children to become active learners throughout these projects.
Language & literacy
Our projects are linked back to the picture books we read to the children which brings learning back to literacy and language. We teach phonological awareness through a systematic approach to learning the 42 sounds of the English language. This forms the foundation for later reading and writing skills.
Students enrolled in this program will also develop very important social-emotional skills. We build up a rich vocabulary of self-expression as the children learn how to use verbal and non-verbal cues to become productive members of a learning community. Our teachers coach children on how to deal with social conflict and develop the language of empathy. As the children progress through the school year, a sense of community develops and a unique, shared identity emerges in the classroom. The development of collaboration and communication skills become important, everyday habits when working together.