Provides the essential building blocks required for
academic success in later years
Ensures substantive gains towards intellectual,
social and emotional development
Facilitates high quality instruction
through varied and creative teaching methods
Coordinates with the higher grades
to facilitate a whole child learning experience
The mission of the Primary Division is to provide the foundation of essential building blocks needed for a child to be successful in life. These skills take into consideration the child’s emotional, intellectual, moral, physical and social development. The primary grades teach the “whole child” and begin to instill a love of learning. Children alternately work in whole class settings, in smaller cooperative groups, and independently throughout the day. Teachers provide the children with concrete learning activities relevant to their own experiences. Remediation and challenging work is provided depending upon the developmental and academic ability of each individual.
The Primary Division is comprised of students from pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) through second grade. The program builds upon the natural language sequence from previous years by learning to connect sounds with letters, and reinforcing those experiences for each child. After letter recognition, the relationship between letter and sound is developed and children are taught how to begin forming words. Students are introduced to word families and are encouraged to use word patterns in their reading and writing. The recognition and utilization of sight, coupled with high frequency words, enables students to improve fluency and comprehension in their reading. As students progress, critical thinking skills are introduced, allowing students to analyze a variety of reading genre.
The reading and writing programs are closely correlated, providing opportunities for the application of skills. The writing process allows the students to make the connection between written and oral language by using pictures and symbols, initial, final and/or medial sounds, as well as inventive and conventional spelling. Students are introduced to proper pencil grip and letter formation beginning in Pre-K. As children progress, they are taught to write legibly and use appropriate spacing and letter size. Daily writing is integrated throughout the curriculum and students learn to write complete thoughts and sentences using correct capitalization, punctuation, and grammar that is developmentally appropriate for the specific age group. Commencing in second grade, students are taught cursive handwriting.
Mathematical concepts which include patterns, number sense, addition, subtraction, money, measurement, time, geometry and graphing are taught throughout the division, with the skills and concepts becoming more advanced. Varied instructional methods are utilized to teach different learning styles. The use of manipulatives gives students a concrete understanding which can be transferred into the abstract application of skills. Each student’s knowledge of basic addition and subtraction facts is reviewed daily through the “Rocket Math” program. Mastery is student-centered since students work at their own pace.
The Primary Division introduces and educates the child to the world outside his or her home and school. Rules, responsibilities, citizenship, and the child’s role within the community are developed and reinforced. Students are exposed to ethnic, social and cultural diversity. The social studies curriculum is integrated through themes in which trade books are used to bring the past to life. Geography skills are introduced and community service projects are incorporated throughout the year.
The primary science program focuses on nurturing the natural curiosity that children have for the world around them. Concepts are taught through thematic units providing a basic understanding of earth science, environmental science, meteorology, physical science and astrology. The scientific process is introduced through experiments and hands-on learning.
The Character Education Program uses positive personality traits to launch month-long value education studies. Responsibility, respect, cooperation, caring, self-discipline, trustworthiness, fairness, courage and perseverance are modeled and reinforced. Beginning in Pre-K, one child per class is selected by his or her teacher as an example, demonstrating the positive character trait for the month. Stories, role playing and writing activities expand students’ understanding of the month’s trait.
Beginning in kindergarten, students are given opportunities to participate in Spanish, music, art, library and computer science for forty-five minutes, two days a week. Students enjoy physical education classes three days a week, and dance once a week. This resource curriculum is integrated into regular classroom activities and helps children transfer learning into new situations.
The division is focused on the whole child; students are able to express themselves artistically, and academically. Social development is fostered through opportunities for students to work and play together. Primary students are able to interact with the older students through special activities.
Click here to read more about our Pre-K Three- and Four-year-old Program:
Multi-aged Pre-Kindergarten Program