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When a child in the Primary class turns five, he or she is ready to transition into the pre-school/afternoon program. Children in the all-day class transition away from napping and into the afternoon class when they turn five. Many 6 year olds benefit from spending an additional year in Primary to gain greater social and emotional maturity or to hone academic skills.
The focus is on the child’s social and emotional lifelong skills development – independence, respect, responsibility. The pre-school learning environment and curriculum nurture curiosity, the joy of discovery and understanding which motivate learning, and help children to develop strong lifetime skills and academic foundation, awareness of self and others, self-direction, teamwork, creativity and critical thinking. The study of the world is in the centre – the language, mathematics comes as a need to understand and study the world, so we need math for unification of humanity, we need language to express ourselves and to understand others thoughts on the world. We bring a lot of art in the classroom – it is important part of preparation for elementary program – clay, embroidery, traditional handwork in our culture. We put the children in touch with traditions, the more different kind of media children explore more their imagination will develop. The pre-school curriculum complements the Primary program and prepares the child for his transition to the Elementary program.
Dr. Maria Montessori
Our outdoor learning environment allows children to explore nature and begin to compare and contrast living and non-living things. Initiated by the children’s curiosity, teachers follow their lead to develop curriculum that explains the wonders of nature and how they as individuals can interact with it to promote and preserve all living organisms. Through hands-on experiments the children test, observe, and record data in botany, chemistry, earth sciences, physics, and zoology. They learn about the lives and achievements of actual scientists and inventors. By using maps, puzzles and globes, children begin to see the connection between themselves and the larger world. That aims to engage the child’s interest and focus their questioning mind on the real experiences of the world. It helps children see their place and role within their families, communities, society and the planet.
Foundation for artistic development is laid in the early years of a child’s life. In our classrooms, eye and hand coordination is refined while using a brush, sculpting play dough, sewing, cutting, etc. Introduction to artists and styles of art connect the child to the colors, forms and textures of the world and its peoples. This includes studies of pictures by famous artists.
Language lesson happens all day, every day. Structured and spontaneous lessons build vocabulary, writing skills and beginning composition. For preschooler’s basic phonics are emphasised in early reading. Students read aloud individually with a teacher, and teachers read literature to the children daily. The literacy approach is phonic based where indirect and direct roads into reading and writing are introduced. Each piece of material builds on the child’s existing knowledge which can be tailored to meet the needs of each individual child. Specific activities include: key phonograms used in making works, sentences and stories, reading comprehension, function of words, including: article, adjective, noun, logical adjective, conjunction, preposition, verb, adverb, logical adverb and word studies.
Children are interested in numbers, quantities and the decimal system. The decimal bead material gives children a strong foundation and a deep understanding of the four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They participate in activities which help them memorise simple math facts.