EARLY CHILDHOOD CURRICULUM
The purpose of the Early Childhood Program in a Catholic school is to provide a nurturing and unique learning environment which is designed to take advantage of the child’s sensitive years between the ages of three and five, including his/her religious development.
The Teacher will provide this by:
- Providing a caring, rich and safe environment, thereby building security in the child about his/her environment and the adults around him/her.
- Viewing each child as unique with an individual developmental pattern.
- Presenting a sequential approach to learning–each child will be encouraged in the areas of cognitive language (receptive/expressive), fine and gross motor, social/emotional and self-help skill development.
- Providing ample manipulative interactive toys, thereby aiding and maximizing the child’s natural ability to observe, explore, discover and create.
- Providing ample opportunities for free choice of activities and social interactions — the child will enhance his/her self-esteem and build positive feelings towards himself / herself and learning.
- Providing a variety of experiences in the fine arts and performing arts — the child will explore and develop his/her creativity.
- Ensuring a balance of teacher-directed and child-directed activities which will foster problem-solving and intellectual stimulation.
- Helping the child to develop age-appropriate personal practices that encourage independence and result in good physical health.
- Re-directing the child to more appropriate behavior through adult modeling and guidance, thus developing problem-solving skills and self control.
- Making the child’s experience of school an enjoyable and affirmative one, thereby creating a self-motivated and independent learner.
- Establishing and maintaining frequent contact with the child’s parents/family/significant others, thereby encouraging shared decision-making and participation.
Educational research indicates that the early years are the most crucial for learning and that the environment of these years permanently affects the child’s total development and personality. Therefore, any effective education program must begin with the young child.
The whole process of educating the kindergarten child is a synthesis of what is best in curriculum design. It must not be conceived as a series of individual pieces, but as a whole, having its impact on the total human being.
Kindergarten helps the transition from home to school. It is just a beginning. It is notfirst grade. Provided with a variety of opportunities, the child acts with his social and natural environment in order to build a foundation for later learning.
The broad goals set for kindergarten takes into consideration the unique learning styles of a child, varying conceptual levels and the need for effective, as well as cognitive and psycho-motor development. A program based on such goals will enable the child to develop an awareness, wonder and joy through their relationship with God and the universe.
To help students develop as independent persons, who will view education as a lifetime pursuit of learning, growth and enjoyment, with an eye always focused on their eternal destiny.
IMPLEMENTATION OF GOAL:
The student will:
- Be part of a school where academic excellence is a tradition and spiritual formation integral to curriculum design.
- Acquire a greater capacity to achieve independently and competently personal and stated goals.
- Grow in personal responsibility for the successful completion of tasks.
- View motivation as a necessary ingredient for success in developing his/her academic potential, talents and gifts.
- Develop skills in processes, research, independent learning, critical and logical thinking and creative problem solving.
- Grow in commitment to a sense of social responsibility based on Catholic Christian ideals.
- Become increasingly concerned with his/her affective as well as cognitive growth.
- Learn the Church’s teachings in order to develop a mature and integrated understanding of sexuality for the purpose of forming a moral person who is conscious of the dignity of each human being.
- Become aware of the soul’s call and need for aesthetic and spiritual pursuits, through formal and informal prayer, retreats, frequenting the Sacraments, religious instruction, parent and teacher witness and belonging to St. Paul’s Community of Faith.
- Understand that the highest pursuit in life is his/her own sanctification.