Early Childhood Division
The Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) program consists of four classes of 18 students. Each class has a mixed grouping of three and four-year-olds with one lead teacher and one teaching associate. Pre-K students spend half of their day in an English class, and half of their day in a Chinese class.
The Pre-K practices a holistic approach to learning. Equal emphasis is placed on language, cognitive, physical, artistic, social, and emotional development. Play is recognized as an important part of learning in Pre-K, and all children have the opportunity for child-directed, open-ended play on a daily basis.
Chinese and English faculty work closely to design a fun and engaging program where learning in one language complements learning in the other language. The curriculum is organized around integrated units of study that include elements of math, literacy, music, social and emotional learning and science. Because of our dual language approach, we put great emphasis on the development of early literacy skills including pre-reading, pre-writing, listening, speaking, phonemic awareness and alphabetic knowledge. In all classes students have the opportunity to learn in whole group, small group and individualized settings.
In the Chinese classes, the focus is on language development through speaking and listening. Teachers present the language to students through songs, poems, chants, stories and games that provide repetition and practice. Teachers begin to introduce some Chinese characters, including students’ names, the numbers and vocabulary tied to units of study. Cultural celebrations are also an important part of the Chinese curriculum.
Arts integration is another important component of the Pre-K program. We have two dedicated teachers who work with students on a weekly basis to provide creative and enriching art experiences. We offer Chinese music and movement and visual art. The Arts philosophy in the Pre-K is focused on creative expression, exposure to important musical or art concepts, and sensorial exploration.
“Teach to the strengths of the student”
—Analects of Confucius
While differentiated teaching is perceived as a modern development in pedagogy, Confucius was a proponent of the concept millennia ago.