Constructive play, rich conversation, meaningful experiences, and good books provide the foundation for learning and literacy in the Nursery School. On the playground and in classrooms, teachers support children in taking initiative, developing confidence in their own abilities, and respecting the abilities of others. St. Patrick’s Nursery School creates opportunities for growth and an excitement about learning so that children will confidently and eagerly out into their expanding world and then into Lower School.
Home Visits by Teachers
Well before the children arrive in their classrooms, teachers set the stage for a successful transition from home to school by visiting each child at home. Establishing and nurturing a strong connection between parents and teachers is essential if children and families are to become comfortable in their new school-home.
Once school begins, teachers work to create a feeling of community and responsibility among their children by providing opportunities to learn in a group setting and to work and play as effective members of a supportive community. Learning to follow classroom routines and rules, to resolve conflicts appropriately, and to use materials purposefully are essential pieces of a child’s first school experiences.
Promoting Exceptional Literacy
Teachers promote literacy – both written and oral – by recognizing and encouraging children’s efforts and progress toward literacy and by making books and print central in their classrooms. Play and other self-selected activities within the classroom also provide exciting opportunities to learn and experiment with writing, mathematical and spatial concepts, nature and science, and creative expression through a variety of art media.
Hands-on Science Learning
Through a spiraled approach that builds familiarity as it adds complexity each year, St. Patrick’s science teachers engage our students in hands-on learning beginning in Nursery School. Our youngest investigators observe and touch and ask questions – lots of questions. They might feel jelly-like frog eggs, watch as tadpoles grow day-by-day into toads, predict a winner in a race of three different liquids to the bottom of a tilted cookie sheet, or engage in water play to see which objects sink and which float.
Music and physical education by specialist teachers are part of the weekly routine in Nursery School. The vocal, instrumental, and movement experiences that are part of twice-weekly music classes help students acquire a basic understanding of rhythm, pitch, dynamics, and tempo. Small-group physical education classes allow children to refine their gross motor skills. For details click the links to music and physical education.