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Vertically Aligned Play-based Curriculum

Emergent Reading Program
Our Emergent Reading Program is a schoolwide program that allows teachers to work with children as a group and individually on pre-reading and pre-writing skills using the techniques of:

•  Shared Reading

•  Guided Reading

•  Storytelling

•  Guided Writing

•  Big books, read-along and pair-it books, audio books and other activities are used to enhance the reading experience. 


Our twos and threes class use ZooPhonics in addition to our schoolwide vertically aligned curriculum. In the younger classes storytelling gives each child an opportunity to be an author and the rest of the class to be an audience. Story webs are also used in the younger classes to help understand the concept of reading (who, what, did you like the story, etc.).

Heggerty Phonics

Our PreK And Kindergarten classrooms utilize the Heggerty Phonics program and Handwriting Without Tears in addition to the vertically aligned whole-school curriculum.  In Pre-k classrooms journals are kept in which children practice writing the alphabet, numbers and their names.  Special attention is focused on fine-motor activities that will help with proper pencil grip. In Kindergarten classrooms students become authors by creating, illustrating and publishing their own stories.



Music and Movement

Children will attend music class once a week for thirty minutes.  Our wonderful music teacher leads the children in learning songs that revolve around our themes and seasons. During class, kids get to play and learn about different instruments and hear a variety of music and musical styles. Movement and motions to the songs, including ASL, are incorporated.

Science and Nature Exploration
Our grounds at St. Richards provide ample learning opportunities. The minute you step into our beautiful landscapes, you can feel the allure and curiosity of nature. We visit our gardens daily. Nature exploration gives the young child building blocks for later scientific discovery. Having the opportunity to observe, explore, and discover in a natural setting gives the child invaluable knowledge based on their own experiences. Understanding life cycles, comparing the possible uses of different soils, sands and surfaces, discovering the complexity and uniqueness present in nature all create a foundation from which to later extrapolate new theories and ideas

Social and Self-Help Skills
At St. Richard's, the children learn how to interact socially throughout the daily activities and imaginary play. They learn problem solving skills while working through a difficult task.  They learn negotiation skills with other children and teachers in all activites.  They learn manners at the snack table and lunch table.  They learn patience while waiting and empathy when they have hurt someone or someone is just sad and needs space.  The teachers work with each child to learn self control over irrational impulses and how to express themselves properly when angry.  Community skills,  such as sharing, taking turns and how to treat others and the classroom belongings with respect are learned as they help with clean up or work together on group projects.  The teachers work with the children to learn conflict resolution, a complicated skill that will help them all through life.   They work with each child  whenever a disagreement occurs with another child that can not be easily resolved.

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