Academics
Early Childhood

Beginners (Threes & Pre-K)

A program for children just beginning their academic journey.


It all begins with the child. At Country School we view three, four and five year olds as competent, capable and driven by an innate curiosity to make meaning and seek connection. Through hands-on experiences and focused lessons, our intentionally designed program cultivates each child’s expanding knowledge and love of learning. Time is spent in these formative years developing character, acquiring skills, cultivating creativity, encouraging initiative and pursuing passions. 

Beginners Curriculum

List of 9 items.

  • + Language Arts

    The Beginners’ Language Arts curriculum supports the development of emerging literacy skills, particularly oral language. Literacy develops in young children when they have opportunities to communicate and become engaged members of a classroom. Beginners experience language through authentic and meaningful interactions designed to accommodate varying developmental levels. Students experience a print-rich environment that cultivates interest in language and words. With teacher modeling through charts, stories, songs, poetry and messages, students are supported and encouraged to dictate stories as well as to form, draw, copy and trace letters of the alphabet. They learn to be part of a respectful audience by listening to their peers share personal items, anecdotes and stories. Oral language is further developed when students generate thoughtful questions and answers related to literature and suggested topics. To build the underpinnings of beginning reading skills, children develop an ear for discriminating sounds through rhyme and alliteration, and by exploring letter sounds and symbols through games and direct instruction. Children also listen to a daily interactive read-aloud, which supports vocabulary development and comprehension skills.
  • + Mathematics

    The Beginners mathematics curriculum draws upon the child’s natural curiosity about the world. Teachers design lessons for children to explore mathematical concepts and skills through relevant and meaningful activities. Using hands-on manipulatives, games and real-life experiences, children are introduced to and explore the concepts of numeracy, geometry, measurement and algebraic thinking. Problem-solving and reasoning skills are developed through questions intended to spark conversation among the children.
  • + Science

    Children are born scientists, driven by their curiosity to explore and discover. They learn through direct experiences in which they can form ideas, test them, see the results, revise their ideas and try again. In the Exploratory Lab, children interact with blocks, ramps, sand, water and wind. They are encouraged to experiment, notice cause and effect, and problem solve. In this way, a foundational understanding of the concepts of force, motion and gravity evolves. Children are introduced to various substances. They observe, question, hypothesize and learn to classify materials by state of matter: solid, liquid or gas. An understanding of the natural world is formed with direct observation and hands-on experiences. Children observing mealworms and caterpillars over time are introduced to the concept of metamorphosis. By interacting and caring for the variety of animals and plants in our building, children begin to understand the needs of living things.
     
  • + Social Studies

    Social studies in the Beginners’ classroom is designed to foster an inclusive learning community where children develop a sense of self and an awareness of others. Teachers facilitate this growth through read-aloud, discussions and collaborative projects. The children explore the workings of their school environment to gain an understanding of their place in the broader campus community. 
  • + World Languages

    Beginners are introduced to Spanish words and phrases in meaningful and contextual ways through interactive and joyful lessons that include songs, books, games, role-play and conversation.
  • + Dramatics

    Dramatics begins in the Early Childhood Program with a variety of activities that encourage self-expression, character observation and improvisation. Puppet shows, theatrical adaptations of favorite stories and other age-appropriate, group-based activities that respond to the classroom moment help students to make deep connections to curriculum and to their personal learning.
  • + Music and Movement

    Early Childhood music and movement builds upon each child’s natural music ability. Beginners play with words, sounds and different ways to move. Song games with a part for each child give the students practice in basic rhythm skills and ear training. Children sing, chant, play games, dance, and move to classical and folk music. 
     
  • + Visual Arts

    The Beginners art program promotes exploration and discovery through
    the use of various media such as clay, wire, string and paint as well as natural objects and recycled materials. Art is integrated into all curricular areas and value is placed on the process of the child’s experience. In the classroom, children have opportunities to rediscover familiar materials as they encounter them in new contexts and in concert with their peers. The voice of the child, their questions, collaborations and ideas lead these material explorations.
  • + Physical Education

    In a nurturing, positive environment, Beginners receive guidance in developing a basic understanding of gross movement concepts and manipulative skills. The program emphasizes the acquisition of gross-motor skills and basic body management skills. Strength building, balance, coordination, team-work, jumping, hopping and skipping
    are emphasized throughout the year.


Beginners 3 Schedule


Beginnners 3
Mon.
Tues.
Wed.
Thurs.
Friday
5 mornings
8:15 –12   
8:15 – 12
8:15 -12
8:15 – 12
8:15 – 12
Optional Connections
12 – 2:50
12 – 2:50
No Connections
12– 2:50
12 – 2:50
Optional Extended Day
2:50 – 5:30
2:50 – 5:30
12 – 5:30
2:50 – 5:30
2:50 – 5:30

Beginners 3 Sample Schedule

8:15 – 8:45     Arrival
8:45 – 9:00     Morning Meeting

9:00 – 10:00   Half group specials in Motor, Spanish, Music or Science; Small group Language Arts, Mathematics, Art, Nature, *Groups switch on the half hour
 
10:00 – 11:00  Workperiod
11:00 – 11:45  Snack and Recess
11:45 – 12:00  Read aloud
12:00                 Dismissal 

Our program has a variety of opportunities to extend your child’s day through our PLUS PROGRAM, including before and after school programs. 

View the full SCHOOL DAY SCHEDULE

 

Beginners Pre-K Schedule

Beginners Pre-K
Mon.  
Tues. 
Wed.
Thurs.
Fri.
5 mornings
8:15 – 12
8:15 – 12
8:15 -12
8:15 – 12
8:15 – 12
Two full days on either Mon. & Thurs. or Tues. & Fri.
12 – 2:50
 
12 – 2:50
 
No full day
12 – 2:50
 
12 - 2:50 
Optional Connections
12 – 2:50
12 – 2:50
No Connections
12– 2:50
12– 2:50
Optional Extended Day
2:50 – 5:30
2:50 – 5:30
12 – 5:30
2:50 – 5:30
2:50 – 5:30
 
Beginners Pre-K Sample Schedule
 
8:15 – 8:40      Arrival
8:40 – 9:00      Morning Meeting

9:00 – 10:00    Half group specials in Motor, Spanish, Music, Science, Materials; Small group Language Arts, Mathematics, Storytelling, Art, Nature lessons; *Groups switch on the half hour
 
10:00 – 11:00   Workperiod
11:00 – 11:45   Snack and Recess
11:45 – 12:00   Read aloud
12:00                 Transition to Full Day or Dismissal
12:10 – 12:45   Lunch
12:45 – 1:15     Read aloud and Quiet Time
1:15 – 2:15       Integrated project work or small group lessons
2:15 – 2:45       Recess
2:50                    Dismissal