Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten
The Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten programs at Lansdowne Friends School include classes for three- and four-year-old Pre-Kindergarten students and five- and six-year-old Kindergarten students.
In these classes we seek to provide an age appropriate setting which fosters the social, emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual development of each child. A high teacher/child ratio contributes to a safe, supportive, relaxed environment in which each child can be nurtured. As children interact with their peers and explore their environment, they develop decision-making skills, increasing independence and self-confidence, and an awareness and understanding of self.
Development of each child as an individual and as part of a group is encouraged through: stories, drama, music, art, cooking, use of manipulative materials, trips and thematic studies. Each child’s creativity and self-expression are encouraged. As children progress through the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes, new challenges build on previous experiences, to further their skill development.
Morning Meeting gives the class the opportunity to sit, learn to listen to each other, and work as a group. Expectations for participation in circle time change as the listening skills of the children grow. By Kindergarten, Morning Meeting includes a time of silence and activities that prepare children for participation in Meeting for Worship with the rest of the school in the Meeting house.
Our language arts program is designed to instill a life-long love of writing and reading in each of our students. We begin in the Pre-Kindergarten classes where individualized instruction in a language-rich environment provides children who are ready the opportunity to progress into reading and writing at their own pace. Walk into each of these classrooms and you will see written labels on many surfaces meant to familiarize children with the print representations of words commonly used in their classroom. You will also see student writing and student responses that have been dictated to teachers in response to the morning meeting, math or thematic studies. Students take part in a daily calendar routine as part of Morning Meeting which gives students a chance to learn to listen to each other and strengthen oral expression skills. Students in our youngest classes keep journals. They also enjoy listening to books read aloud by teachers, library staff and students in the oldest class.
Teachers of our Pre-Kindergarten classes believe that language and literacy development encompass listening, speaking, writing and reading skills. Teachers in this grade support language and literacy development through talking and interacting with children and providing many opportunities throughout the day for students to practice language skills. Our teachers also provide a classroom environment that is rich in print. Pre-Kindergarten teachers at LFS understand that literacy learning occurs throughout the day and they develop lessons and opportunities for literacy development as a part of all classroom experiences and activities.
The Kindergarten classroom is designed to foster a love of reading and writing as well as independent skills. Teacher-created print materials serve as signposts for students, associating print with common classroom words, while encouraging students to take responsibility for negotiating their day independently. Labels tell students where materials are to be stored, a daily schedule lets students know what to expect next, and reproductions of favorite songs and poems give all students, those who are already reading and those who are preparing to read, an opportunity to connect favorite verses with printed text. The classroom is filled with books, students peruse texts, teachers read to them and each student visits the school library regularly.
Teachers in the classroom love words and delight in children's ability to use words themselves, and they share this love through bulletin boards, finely tuned author and genre studies and an enthusiasm for books that is contagious.
Teachers further encourage the development of children's own voices by engaging them in dialogue, allowing them to share their work, giving them choice in reading and writing, and displaying their own words throughout their classroom environment.
Students in the Kindergarten class use books and writing across all program areas, they record observations, keep journals and write stories and reflections to learning.
We encourage children to see mathematical relationships in the world around us. Students explore math concepts, patterns, and operations through the use of a variety of concrete materials. Our goal is to have students who can apply mathematical understanding both in and out of the math classroom.
Throughout the school the curriculum centers on themes in which children are encouraged to explore, make discoveries, and formulate questions. Themes vary during the course of the year. In Pre-Primary, themes progress from those centered around home and family to more global issues. Language, science, social awareness, math, music, and art are integrated into the curriculum thematically.
In addition to their classroom activities, Pre-Kindergarten students enjoy shop, Spanish, music, physical education, and library classes. Kindergarten students take part in shop, music, physical education, library, art and Spanish.