High Scope Curriculum
We focus on High Scope Curriculum. Our teachers are as active and involved as children in the classroom. They thoughtfully provide materials, plan activities, and talk with children in ways that both support and challenge what children are observing and thinking. Activities are both child-initiated — built upon children’s natural curiosity — and developmentally appropriate, that is, matched to children’s current and emerging abilities. We call this approach active participatory learning — a process in which teachers and students are partners in shaping the learning experience
Our Emergent Reading Program 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
• Guided Writing
• Big books, read-along and pair-it books, audio books and other activities are used to enhance the reading experience.
Storytelling gives each child an opportunity to be an author and the rest of the class to be an audience.
Story webs are used in the younger classes to help understand the concept of reading (who, what, did you like the story, etc.).
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.
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.