Our youngest students enjoy a structured school day that prioritizes learning through play. Toddlers participate in circle and story time, music and movement class, free art, unstructured indoor and outdoor play, and designated snack time each day. Within each of these activities come opportunities to observe and develop important language, motor, social, and self-sufficiency skills. The tender guidance and nurturing leadership of our Toddler teachers provide a solid foundation for a love of learning.
Beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, The Preschool will offer a specialized world-language program commonly referred to as Dual Language Immersion (DLI). The program will begin at the Toddler age level, advancing through Pre-K, and will operate according to the 50/50 model, where students spend half of their day learning in English and the other half in Spanish. Recent research shows that "early bilingualism offers no disadvantages; on the contrary, young bilinguals may be afforded a linguistic and a reading advantage" (Petite, 2009, p. 193). There is perhaps no better a time to introduce a second language to a child than at this young age. While DLI will undoubtedly benefit students' language development and academic readiness, it also specifically serves our community of families as they plan for the years following preschool.
In the Twos class, children stretch their social skills by building relationships with peers and teachers and improving their self-awareness and self-expression. Imaginative play, music and art, motor development exercises, and structured classroom activities offer students frequent opportunities for language development and meaning-making. Curriculum units address familiar subject areas on an accessible level, introducing learners to the earliest concepts in language, math, sciences, and the arts.
The Threes curriculum continues to emphasize learning through play and introduces more advanced classroom structures and routines. Circle time, themed learning centers, and skill-based work jobs contribute to students' social and emotional growth, cognitive skills, and motor development. Threes students learn to take greater initiative and lengthen attention spans; they enhance their expressive and receptive language through more complex conversations, and they hone early literacy and math skills by recognizing letters and sounds, engaging in storytelling, and grasping the meaning of numerals. Additionally, spiritual growth takes center stage, as students begin attending our Friday chapel.
Students enter Pre-K with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills and depart with the confidence and capabilities necessary for a successful transition to kindergarten or our 5/6 program. Students expand their relational and self-advocacy skills through structured play, group activities, and new opportunities for presentations and performances. In addition to music, art, and chapel, Pre-K students participate in a weekly STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) class where they delve into multimodal experimentation and discovery. Parent Assisted Learning (PAL) provides multisensory letter formation practice, which directly supports their evolving phonemic awareness and literacy skills. Our Pre-K curriculum nurtures children's hearts and minds while also challenging and also challenges students to take more responsibility and embrace independence as learners.
As the world changes at a rapid pace, The Preschool's curriculum continuously evolves to prepare students for success in the 21st century. Our Pre-K STEM Innovation class expands on the traditional Pre-K curriculum and adopts the Project-Based Learning model. Pre-K STEM students engage in investigative classroom activities and problem-solving through the lenses of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Our cross-curricular STEM Program is fully integrated into classroom lessons and ensures that students learn traditional academics, along with design thinking, and a broad spectrum of digital and technological skills.
In practice, Project-Based Learning asks students to identify and explore real-world, worthwhile topics that require them to continually question, hypothesize, and analyze. For each project, students’ progress through three learning phases: planning, where teachers guide students to identify interests and questions worth answering; implementation, where children investigate and discover answers through meaningful hands-on experiences; and reflection, where learners conclude which concludes the projects with a culminating events or activities activity. By working to answer questions and solve the problems of their projects, students develop critical thinking, mathematical and analytical reasoning, collaborative abilities, and a deep appreciation for how science and engineering can change lives.
Research shows that delaying the start of kindergarten, essentially taking a child from the youngest in class to the oldest, offers both academic and social-emotional benefits. To help bridge the kindergarten readiness gap, The Preschool offers a highly desired and meaningful program for those children with late Spring (by approval/teacher recommendation) and June, July, and August birthdays. Our Five-Six class is a sociodramatic and academic program that incorporates the same methods and tools inherent to The Preschool's curriculum but presses students toward higher learning and readiness. The Kindergarten Correlations Standards, situated between the Early Learning Standards and the Georgia Performance Standards for elementary school, inform course content and structure. Children participate in advanced phonics lessons, STEM activities, collaborative group work, field trips, class performances, and analytical approaches to art and music. This extra year of schooling before kindergarten serves to foster fosters a greater love of learning and bolsters confidence, enabling students to achieve greater success.
Located on PRUMC’s beautiful Buckhead campus, The Preschool is an independent, faith based school, for children 12 months through 6 years-old. We are committed to nurturing the whole child in preparation for the most distinguished public and private primary schools in Atlanta.