Early Childhood

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 about what school can offer them. 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.

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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

 

PreKindergarten

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

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.

Early childhood students

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.

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Early Childhood Overview - Coffee and Conversation from 11/3/20

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Lower School in Action

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.

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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." 

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Grade 5 students performed Playing Gods! Stories from Greek Mythology

"I've been looking forward to being a part of this since pre-K," states grade 5 student Eden Weisel. "We are learning about ancient civilizations. It has been amazing to be able to act out Greek myths and bring these stories to life." Eden plays Demeter, daughter of Persephone. "It is a story about the power of a mother's love for her child," she adds.

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