Kindergarten is a very special place at St. Edmund’s Academy. The rooms are wonderfully spacious, complemented by nooks and crannies, delightful lofts and a wall of large windows looking out on the adjacent play deck. With four fulltime teachers, students spend much of their day in small clusters working on projects, moving from center to center.
Creative, child-centered, spirited, comfortable, challenging and enthusiastic are a few ways to describe the energetic classroom. The program has been created with the developmental needs of five and six-year-olds in mind. Through a collection of carefully designed activities, St. Edmund’s Academy’s Kindergarten works to expand each child’s competence and mastery in a multitude of areas.
Each day begins with a morning meeting to review the plans and schedule for the day, explore the calendar, and share ideas and experiences. Learning to listen to others, to express one’s own thoughts clearly, and to internalize the day’s structure are important to a feeling of predictability and trust. Children must feel safe, comfortable and understood in order to do their best. To grow in mind, spirit, and body, they must feel secure to risk making mistakes.
Students then move into groups, making choices about which activities to pursue. Block corner, dramatic play, painting, construction projects and other activities allow each child to work with classmates in a cooperative and self-determined way.
Small groups are teacher-determined and focus on the more academic tasks of Kindergarten: pre-reading and reading skills, mathematical problem-solving, and illustrating ideas.
St. Edmund’s Academy’s Kindergarten stresses activities that foster critical thinking, problem-solving and reasoning. While never “product-oriented,” the program stresses trying the new, working hard and doing one’s best. There is often no right or wrong, but there is always encouragement and praise for innovation, making connections and the satisfaction of knowing more and mastering new skills.
In the daily life of Kindergarten, the children will be guided by their teachers to behave in ways that exemplify the Core Values, Core Virtues and Code of Conduct.
Music, art, computer, snack, physical education, library, rest, and outdoor play round out a full and busy day.
The enthusiasm of five and six-year-olds is contagious, and despite the natural ups and downs of childhood, teachers and children leave at the end of the day tired, but with a smile.
Kindergarten at St. Edmund's Academy is understanding the whys, hows and wherefores of the way the world works, specifically:
• Pride in Workmanship
• Letter Recognition
• Problem Solving
• Math Concepts
• Visual-Motor Coordination
• Making Choices
• Following Directions
• Cooperation with Peers
• Artistic Expression
• Resolving Differences
• Respecting Others
• Predicting Outcomes
• Completing Tasks
• Letter-Sound Correspondence
• Recognizing Similarities and Differences
• Understanding Time, Days, Months, Seasons
• Appreciation of Family and Friends
• Learning about and Living the Core Values