The Christ Church School Preprimary program makes a child’s first school experience a time of growth and discovery. We believe this experience builds the foundation for future academic, as well as life-long success. The preprimary program provides exposure to a variety of learning opportunities designed to develop the whole child. It is a sequential approach that strengthens and enhances each student’s social, emotional, physical, cognitive and spiritual growth.
Preprimary is about children experiencing new challenges, in fun ways, using all their senses. They are stimulated through auditory, visual, tactile and kinesthetic activities integrated into the entire curriculum. The language arts curriculum is the centerpiece of the preprimary program. Engaging, hands-on activities and lessons are designed around the theme, unit, holiday or letter being studied, with attention given to students’ differing learning styles. We encourage enthusiasm for learning by allowing each child to explore and grow at their developmentally appropriate pace.
From the time students enter the classroom they are engaged in learning, though they are not even aware of it. The children are practicing life-long social skills; how to work, play and be in community with others. They begin to change from a “me” centered point of view. They develop independence and taking personal responsibility in the classroom. They learn to make choices, and begin to understand the natural or logical consequences of those choices. They forge their own friendships. Social skills are enriched through center-time, whole group activities, snack, lunchtime and playground.
Each part of the day has a purpose and helps to lay the foundation for life-long learning while helping each child reach their full potential.
Circle Time is a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow while developing language and listening skills. The children sing, chant, memorize, rhyme, and do finger plays. They are offered a chance at public speaking – telling stories, sharing experiences as well as practice being a good listener. They expand their appreciation for literature; acquire a love of books and develop listening comprehension. Math concepts are integrated into calendar time. The children practice sequencing, counting, ordering, number recognition and ordinals. They observe, discuss and graph the weather, chart birthdays, make predictions and draw conclusions. They begin to understand the concept of time – beginning and end. They become secure through the development of routines and expectations.
Learning Centers are an opportunity for review, remediation and enrichment activities related to all curriculum areas for small groups or individuals. Centers help to develop social relationships while allowing children to make decisions and grow a sense of responsibility. Higher order thinking skills, such as problem solving and reasoning, are expanded through the processes of discovery and exploration. These are essential building blocks to both reading and math acquisition.
Reading and Writing
Reading and writing skills begin to be grown at the two year old level through opportunities to paint, color and draw which develop hand-eye coordination, left to right progression, tracking, spatial awareness and visual discrimination. ABC Jesus Loves Me curriculum provides the units, themes and activities the children experience.
In PK3, other pre-reading skills are added though integration of the processes and scaffolding of ABC Jesus Loves Me. The program encourages print and book familiarity, auditory discrimination, oral language development, vocabulary as well as phonological and phonemic awareness though fun, engaging center activities and lessons..
In PK4, students use the hands-on developmentally appropriate Houghton-Mifflin PRE-K program that offers instruction in reading and math as well as integration components for all other subject areas of the curriculum, writing, social studies, and science. The students learn letter recognition, letter sounds, word knowledge, listening comprehension, oral counting and number identification. The ten themes provide students opportunities to learn about themselves, their families and their communities.
Kindergarten students are instructed with Orton-Gillingham and Leveled Reading based on each student's individual needs. The two programs combine to offer emerging readers the key components to a solid foundation for reading – phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary and fluency. Other core content; writing, social studies, science, is integrated through these programs. Students are instructed in proper handwriting technique, which they utilize to become phonetic writers able to complete multiple sentences using proper capitalization and punctuation.
Math concepts and skills are first introduced in the early grades while children explore shapes, colors, patterns and one-to-one correspondence using manipulatives. Fine motor skills mature while using concrete objects to count, sort, order, classify and compare. Geometry, problem solving and mathematical reasoning are elements that are formally added in PK4. Kindergarten students begin learning numeric concepts; including addition, subtraction, measurement, money and time using the Saxon Math series that spirals through the Elementary grades.
Bible time provides the children with an understanding of, and an appreciation for God, His love, His word and the power of prayer. They learn about biblical virtues and Christian values, and are encouraged to apply them to their life and relationships both at school and at home.
Art projects reinforce the concepts and themes being studied while children cut and paste, make collages, draw, paint color and create. Creativity is fostered as is the ability to follow multi-step directions and stay on task to completion.
Science is taught through age appropriate information about animals and their habitats, seasons, health and safety, nutrition and the world around them.
Social studies are the holidays studied and celebrated, the traditions discussed, and the heroes of history presented. The children learn about their community and country, its helpers, their place in it, and about others in God’s diverse world.
PE and Playground
PE and playground develop large motor skills through movement and motion. They provide opportunities to practice group skills, cooperation and conflict resolution.
Enrichment classes such as art, computer, library, music, physical education, science lab, Character Education and Spanish help to supplement the classroom curriculum while affording the students a chance to develop other interests and abilities.