Beginning School Specialties
Active curricular features that blend and extend classroom learning for our youngest students
Physical education introduces students to a variety of movement experiences that support overall motor skill development: walking, galloping, sliding, skipping, leaping, and running. Non-locomotor movements include bending, stretching, pushing, pulling, swinging, and swaying.
As children progress through kindergarten, their motor skills are refined through a variety of practice stations that focus on jumping, body and spatial awareness, stability/balance, throwing, kicking, catching, and striking. Dancing and group activities are also introduced.
Our librarian introduces children to the magic of books and storytelling at school. Students gain, through their experiences in the library/media specialty, practical knowledge of library procedures and policies. They become familiar with terms such as title, author, illustrator, illustrations, spine, call number, content, index, and characters, and interact with literature through discussion.
Children experience the musical concepts that will be expanded upon in the Lower School music curriculum. They have opportunities to move creatively to music, explore the singing voice, develop melody, play simple musical instruments (both pitched and non-pitched), discover beat and pulse, learn patterns, appreciate music, and play their own musical creations.
Children's experiences in peaceful and aesthetically beautiful environments profoundly affect their learning. Our classrooms, hallways, and Looking Ledges are created to support the development of dispositions such as curiosity, creativity, cooperation, and confidence, and these dispositions facilitate success.
We teach beginning schoolers to observe and explore their world, and to find joy in self-expression.
Teaching art to young children must be purposeful, involving, and integrated, and our Beginning School has a unique program that provides all of that. Each year the faculty and our early childhood art specialist focus on one basic element of art—color, line, texture, form, value, or shape—and the creativity begins. Using line, for example, our three-year-olds illustrate the lines of a forsythia bush, and learn that two points anchor each line and that lines can be horizontal, vertical, or crosshatched. They decorate classroom windows with colored yarn, creating line art while internalizing a basic lesson in geometry.
Our Beginning School student-teacher ratio is 8:1. Every child is well-known and supported in the ways that best meet their needs.