Preschool at St. Mary's
Our preschool (3-year-old) program supports a strong foundation, developing students physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively.
Preschool is a time of remarkable brain development, this year lays the foundation for future learning. Learning through play is instrumental in preschool, combined with high-quality experiences that promote the important skills young children need. Concepts are introduced through learning centers, group activities, and teacher-directed activities.
We offer full-day (8:15-2:15) and half-day (8:15-11:05) preschool.
Extended hour, before and after school options are available as well.
· 5-day (M-F)
· 3-day (M/W/F)
St. Mary's Preschool Curriculum
Full S.T.E.A.M Ahead!
This engaging educational approach helps our students begin to see how all things in life and in school relate to each other. Using science, technology, engineering, arts, and math helps guide our students in peer discussion, critical thinking, student inquiry, and problem-solving.
Not only do our students use STEAM on a daily basis within their classrooms, but they also visit each preschool and pre-k classroom to participate in a specific STEAM activity during Full STEAM Ahead. This helps our students work collaboratively with peers and is another fantastic way for each teacher to work with every child.
Small Groups & Individualized Instruction
We are so fortunate to have such small class sizes at St. Mary's! The teachers have the opportunity to really get to know their students well because of our small size. Teachers are able to offer whole group, small group, and individualized instruction.
During whole group time, the instruction is mostly teacher-led. In small groups, peers work together while the teacher acts as a facilitator who guides their learning. You may see this in their craft day and cooking day activities.
During individualized instruction, a teacher or a teacher's assistant can tailor an activity to meet an individual student's needs. Teachers are able to provide a challenge to those students who are ready for extension activities or work towards strengthening a student's skills while they pursue a specific goal.
More St. Mary's Preschool Curriculum
Through manipulatives, tactile experiences and activities using games, stories, and puppets, preschoolers develop an awareness of written matter/print in everyday surroundings and its many uses, develop an awareness of the structure of print, develop phonemic awareness, and develop the fine motor skills and strokes used in writing.
St. Mary’s Preschool social studies curriculum focuses on the awareness of the child as an individual, as a member of a family unit, as a member of their school and of a wider community through a variety of units of study. It also focuses on the development of those emotional and social skills that enable the young child to function independently within social settings.
Preschoolers will learn interpersonal, social skills essential to interacting with others, such as the “give and take” of being part of a group and the need to sometimes delay or defer his or her own immediate desires, given the demands of the group. These goals mark the beginning development of an individual who is independent and competent, able to assume responsibility for his or her actions within the context of the group.
Preschoolers have hands-on experiences using dramatic play, puppets, books, puzzles, games, costumes and activities to become aware of differences and similarities in our culture and the culture of others around the world. Learning takes place through thematic units, books, teacher-led activities, music, art, and language.
St. Mary’s Preschool science curriculum is a concrete approach to learning the fundamental concepts of science. Children are given many opportunities for systematic observation and hands-on investigation of both the living and physical world.
The goals of the science curriculum ask children to describe key physical characteristics, needs and basic life cycle of plants and animals. They are also asked to demonstrate how to use a variety of everyday tools. Building on these experiences, children can progress from describing and explaining what is observed to making predictions based on these observations.
St. Mary’s Preschool math curriculum is built upon the child’s natural curiosity and desire to touch, examine and manipulate the objects they find around them. Experiences are provided using concrete objects and pictures for the child to recognize similarities and differences, classify objects and shapes, recognize and create patterns in a sequence of objects, and make comparisons of objects using simple measurement skills.
Children are given small groups of objects to quantify, to count and to demonstrate a basic understanding of addition and subtraction as “putting together” and “taking away”. Children are moved from the concrete to the symbolic stage of representing the concepts using mathematical language such as “more than”, “less than” ”longer” “shorter”, number words and last numerical symbols.
Fine arts focus not only on producing art but also on examining and appreciating examples of various art forms. The use of various media and techniques provides rich opportunities for sensory exploration and manipulation, as well as the development of fine motor skills.
In addition, through painting and drawing, children make their first attempts at graphic representation, a precursor to writing. The exploration of works of art provides practice in focusing attention on visual detail, important for developing skill in discriminating visual differences in objects, images, print, and letters, as well as appreciating basic elements of art. The further examination and discussion of works of art also afford rich opportunities for language development.
St. Mary’s Preschool Physical Education Curriculum is based on developing perceptual motor skills.
Perceptual-motor and coordination skills, and related movement activities extend and refine motions of body image and the body’s capabilities. It also provides opportunities for enhancing time, space, and language concepts, as well as social development when activities are carried out with others.
The child is given activities to stop and start movement according to a signal, maintain balance, move through space with or without obstacles, throw and kick objects, and move cooperatively with others, through a variety of tasks or traditional childhood games. The child also has opportunities to use the body to interpret music and perform pantomimes.
Through weekly chapel, our students are growing in faith and character. In Lower Chapel, classes act out Bible stories as led by Father Mark from St. Mary's Episcopal Church.