A Better Standard for Early Childhood
When young learners see education as a place to experiment, create, construct, and connect, they develop a more expansive mindset. They experience education as a path of discovery, understanding, wonder, and joy.
These ideas are grounded in the Reggio Emilia inspired, project-based teaching and learning practiced at King School, a private school for early childhood education. We encourage our PreKindergarten (starting at age 3) and Kindergarten learners to collaboratively explore intentionally created vibrant classroom spaces where children are actively engaged in the process of learning from the earliest ages.
Project Learning and the Foundations for Self-Discovery
King uses a project-based teaching and learning approach in our PreKindergarten and Kindergarten classrooms to support the developmental range of our students as part of our private early childhood education program.
King’s teachers carefully design learning opportunities by listening to students’ ideas and questions and then creating the corresponding curriculum that allows young students to ask questions, gather data, make models, develop hypotheses, and teach others about their learning.
Academic emphasis areas include language, early literacy development, math, and science. Our teaching teams carefully curate the materials used in our classrooms. Children are encouraged to express their understanding of the world through a multitude of resources, including art supplies, building blocks, pencil and paper, and the tools of a scientist.
“We believe that curiosity is a natural ability that children bring to their learning – we encourage students to ask questions, make discoveries, think critically, analyze and solve problems, be good listeners, and have fun being involved in the dynamic process of learning. We value every child and build strong, safe classroom communities where exploration and discovery leads to mastery. ”
— Dr. Sandy Lizaire-Duff, Head of Lower School
When our youngest learners enter King classrooms at age three or four, they arrive as naturally curious and full of wonder and joy.
As they learn about problems and topics of interest to them, students interact with primary sources and share their knowledge through culminating projects and demonstration. They develop a deeper understanding of the value of learning, the importance of asking questions, and the value of research and inquiry to learn more about the world and about themselves.
Kindergarten students and their teachers take research in project work to new heights, as they look across the King campus to understand more about themselves and their school community.
Project studies include problems and topics of interest to children; students interact with primary sources and share their knowledge through culminating projects and demonstration.
Through project work, children are encouraged to be academic risk takers in a safe, secure environment. Within the context of a familiar, accepting classroom, they also try new activities such as acting in a play or standing in front of a group to perform a song. They learn that making a mistake is acceptable and part of the learning process. Children gain an awareness and appreciation of other people, both within our classroom and in the larger school community.
Students are empowered by their natural curiosity in King's new Reggio-inspired Early Childhood program
The child-centric approach is evident in the setup of the classroom itself. In the shadow of the forest construction, children have access to activities that serve as vehicles for skill development including a watercolor station, a sewing machine corner, a light laboratory, and a cozy library nook. The setting allows children to practice fine and gross motor skills through creative expression.
Lower School in Action
Read more about Grade One Students Study Butterfly Metamorphosis
Did you know that there are over 300 species of butterflies in Uganda? First grade students learned about the butterfly as part of their global studies curriculum. In a netted pavilion, the class observed the metamorphosis of butterflies over two weeks, beginning with tiny caterpillars.
Read more about Lower School Hosts Grandparents and Special Friends Day
More than 250 grandparents and special friends from all corners of the world and all regions of the United States logged on to their computer screens and tablets to experience a day-in-the-life of Lower School students.
Read more about Grade 4 Students Send Letters to Pen Pals in Spain
As Jackson Rosen '29 jotted down some of his favorite things for his pen pal, Rodrigo, he exclaimed, "I have so many things I want to share, I don't know which ones to pick!" Using a template, Grade 4 students wrote about themselves in Spanish for their pen pals in Malaga, Spain. They shared some of their favorite things, such as their favorite animal, sports, food, color, and celebrations.
Read more about Grade 2 Students Participate in Eritrean Coffee Ceremony
Grade 2 students participated in a traditional coffee ceremony with the family of King Student Zerai Asefaw '32, whose heritage is from Eritrea. Zerai's grandmother, Neghesty Negusse, was joined by Zerai's father, Dr. Senai Asefaw P'32, to demonstrate each step of the coffee ceremony process, sharing their cultural traditions with the classroom.
Read more about Grade 5 Students Explore Morocco
As part of King's global education initiative, grade 5 students have been exploring Morocco. Students were introduced to various resources such as books, articles, videos, and photos to begin developing an understanding of the North African country's rich cultural heritage.
Read more about Hungry? Prekindergarten students have opened Rainbow Castle restaurant
Prekindergarten students are budding entrepreneurs at King School. As part of imagining and creating a restaurant, they researched their questions: "What kinds of restaurants are there?, Where do they get their food?, and Who works at a restaurant?"
Read more about Grade 5 King School students discover ancient China
"What I like most is that we can pick a topic that we want to learn more about," says Alivia Posta. "When our class started studying ancient China, the first thing that came to mind was their art. I made a connection because I love art and Chinese civilization was one of the first places to make art and pottery," she reports.
Read more about Grade 3 students are inspired to advocate for change
Guided by their teacher, Ellen Eagleton, grade 3 students are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about and empathetic to social issues in the world. Adom Bedu-Addo is inspired by César Chávez because "people would still be treated like slaves on farms" without Chávez's advocacy on behalf of farmworkers. "People can now have freedom, though there is more work to be done to have people treated equally," Adom adds.
Read more about Art, identity, and self expression in King Lower School
How do I express who I am through art? King students in grades 4 and 5 confront this challenge, developing self-expression as well as technical drawing skills. Art and Design Faculty Debbie DePouli reflects that "with the turmoil and uncertainty of our current times, the art studio is a place for students to hone their creativity, while having a safe outlet to process their experiences and emotions."
Read more about Lollipop or apple? Grade 1 students learn about nutrition.
Curious to learn about nutrition and making good food choices, grade 1 students researched to become familiar with terms such as proteins and carbohydrates and to understand the difference between a fruit and a vegetable. "Eating broccoli and green beans gives you vitamins and eating chicken gives you protein," reported Tyler Oudsema.