Preschool for the Arts at St. Annes

Preschool for the Arts at St. Anne's
Philosophy and Curriculum

Philosophy

We believe that children are important and that each child's individuality must be respected and valued. We believe that children learn by moving, playing, creating and exploring. PASA provides a way for each child to succeed in building skills, and learning appropriate methods of interacting with peers and adults.

Children at PASA are exposed to a variety of activities, readiness materials and curricula that are fun and interesting. The program is based on developmentally appropriate enrichment activities, with an enriched exposure to the arts. Children progress at their own pace. Enthusiasm for learning, respect for oneself and others, and increased self-confidence are the goals for each child.

One of the primary aspects of early childhood education is social development. At PASA, our focus is to provide a way for the child to learn appropriate methods of interaction, and develop a positive self image and a genuine enthusiasm for learning. We want every child to feel that PASA is a fun, safe place and look forward to coming to school.

PASA Curriculum Statement

The developmental curriculum of PASA is designed to stimulate each child's inherent curiosity. Emphasis is placed on a program with realistic goals and advancement on an individual basis. The preschool classroom is a child's world, geared to the size, pace, needs and interests of the young child. The educational components of PASA's program are tailored to the needs and capacities of the 2-5 year old child. We aim to provide an atmosphere that encourages each child to try, and offers plenty of opportunities for success.

School-wide Curriculum Components Include:

PLAY, SOCIAL SKILLS, LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT, SCIENCE AND NATURE, ARTS AND CRAFTS, READING READINESS, HANDS ON MATHEMATICS, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL STUDIES, GODLY PLAY RELIGIOUS EDUCATION, FINE ARTS LESSONS AND PROJECTS, MUSIC AND CREATIVE PERFORMANCE, COOKING, MOVEMENT AND GROSS MOTOR ACTIVITY, and FINE MOTOR SKILLS.

PASA also follows a thematic calendar throughout the school year which introduces a variety of age-appropriate themes which are exciting for young children. Some of this year's themes include Life in the Rainforest, Outer Space, Mardi Gras, and Community Helpers. Teachers integrate crafts, songs, activities and enrichments which allow students who explore each theme.

Age Specific Curriculum Components and Goals

In addition to the curriculum components mentioned above, age specific curriculum highlights and goals are as follows:

Two Year Old Program

PASA's two year old program is likely to be your child's first formal introduction to school, and to an environment outside of home which has rules, structure, routines, and caregivers other than family members. Goals for students are focused on socialization, and learning how to appropriately participate in school life. Along with socialization, teachers expose students to a variety of activities which engage fine and gross motor skills, expressive and receptive language, and artistic and creative expression.

Each child is assessed in the following areas twice a year on a progress report:

Three Year Old Program

PASA's three year old program builds upon the early childhood fundamentals laid in our two's curriculum to enable children to continue to grow as young learners. Goals for students are focused on continued socialization with peers and teachers, further development of self-help skills, and exposure to pre-academics such as the alphabet, counting 1-10, recognition of one's written name, and shape and color identification. Teachers engage students in a variety of centered activities including stringing beads, sorting and sequencing objects, and building with blocks, tiles and other manipulatives. Children will begin to practice establishing skills in the areas of correct pencil/crayon grip, writing their name, and one to one correspondence.

Each child is assessed in the following areas twice a year on a progress report:

Four Year Old Program

PASA's four year old program offers an enriched curriculum which is designed to prepare students for kindergarten. Children are encouraged to continue to enjoy the play and creativity of preschool, while learning more about transitions from activities such as imaginative play and recess to structured activities such as table centers and circle time. Students meet twice a week in small group rotations to engage in PASA's Early Literacy Program. This program is rich in phonological (rhyming, segmenting) and phonemic awareness (letter sounds), print awareness, high frequency words that appear in children's literature, and fine motor skills development. Our Early Literacy Program incorporates methodology found in recognized curricula such as Preschool Express, McGraw Hill SRA Phonemic Awareness, Harcourt Open Court, and Neuhaus Reading.

Pre-academic goals of the four year old program include upper and lowercase letter recognition, rote counting 1-30, establishment of pencil grip and writing one's first name, development of sequencing skills (smallest to largest), auditory recognition of rhymes, successful visual matching of images and words, comprehension of patterns, shapes and colors, successful one to one correspondence, and exploration of math concepts such as classification, measurement, graphing, and calendar.

Each child is assessed in the following areas twice a year on a progress report:

Curriculum Summary Statement

It is important to remember, each child is unique. No matter what the curriculum is, or the method of instruction, learning in a preschool setting occurs most effectively when a child has reached a developmental (psychological and physical) stage of readiness. That stage of readiness may or may not correspond to the child's chronological age. The program is at PASA is designed to offer a breadth of exposure to pre-academics, while respecting each child's developmental time table, personality, and special gifts. Our goal at PASA is to provide an early childhood educational experience which encourages a partnership between home and school, and supports each child's social, emotional, and pre-academic growth and development. We endeavor to nurture and educate the whole child. While we recognize that the preparation of children for today's kindergarten classroom is an important part of what we do, we also value the creativity, joy, freedom, and magic that can only be found in preschool, and endeavor to strike a balance each day between these goals.