A Transitional Primary Program
We strive to create an integrated approach to teaching, involving both academic and developmental aspects to learning. We want this transitional time for students to create a love for learning and help students move smoothly into their formal education. In looking at the whole child and choosing curriculum that is developmentally appropriate we are able to ready the child for school while meeting the needs of our young learners.
To ensure a smooth transition into the child’s formal education are has been taken to provide a natural and comfortable learning environment. Displays and activities are intentionally set up throughout the classroom to promote learning and curiosity. The layout of the classroom promotes easy/smooth transition between activity centers and formal learning areas. Activities are varied throughout the day. Time is given for play, group time, and focused attention to tasks. Reading for fun, as well as vocabulary development, is modeled/encouraged through daily read alouds. Conflict-resolution and problem-solving skills are modeled, and character development is emphasized.
The use of various means of technology adds to the learning experience. The children have the opportunity to use select, educational subscription-based application on Kindles. These are to enrich our reading, math and science programs. A listening center provides other listening opportunities. A classroom library is also available to the children.
Our daily schedule has time built in for core subjects, such as Bible, Math, and Phonics. The day also includes group meetings that discuss and explore various studies in Social Studies and Science. The students engage in free play where they can explore learning games, Duplo blocks, building blocks, play kitchen and other activities. In addition, the children have PE, Music, Art, and Spanish once a week. Two recesses (outdoors, weather permitting), a snack and lunch are part of each day’s routine.
We have strived to select curriculum that is engaging and hands-on, as well as a curriculum that focuses on the whole child. This curriculum allows for a fuller understanding of concepts and encourages students to think, reason, and discuss presented topics. It is age appropriate curriculum and takes students through a learning process where full awareness and understanding can be achieved. We want the student to be able to make sense of their world and understand that learning is a process and not just and end result.
We focus on one story per week and work through the main stories/characters of the Bible. We are currently using the Stepping Stones curriculum.
We have adopted Big Ideas Math. This series consistently uses hands-on materials to help students as they begin preparing to move from concrete to abstract thinking (which takes place in 2nd and 3rd grades). This Math curriculum has been adopted in grades K-6, allowing continuity through the beginning years or your child’s education.
Saxon Phonics is the phonics program of choice. Our primary grades teachers have used this program for many years, and have seen their students become strong/confident readers. This is an Orton-Gillingham program, which is recommend for a variety of learning styles, as well as children who have dyslexia. Students investigate the relationships between sounds and letters through group lessons, “manipulating words” (moving letter tiles to isolate sounds and their positions in words, and in seeing patterns in word families), and decoding words (physically marking words, learning about syllabication, among other methods). In using this program children, will train their ears to listen and identify sounds, and important step to reading and writing. We have adopted Saxon Phonics in grades K-3.
Field Trips/Study Tours
Experiences are what make up our education and field trips are an excellent way to broaden the child’s understanding of their world. Students will explore their world by visiting farms, museums, and community helpers and buildings.
Children may enroll in Kindergarten if they are 5 years old by September 30 of the current school year (and 6 years old by September 30 for 1st grade). Students at this age meet the school entrance age requirement for Virginia. Our immediate governing body, the Potomac Conference Office of Education, does not allow exceptions.