Country Day's Primary School (PreK3-4 and Kindergarten) creates a positive, caring space for our students to grow and learn. Our early childhood teachers understand that children have a tremendous capacity for understanding. They are creative, curious, and learn best through play. We encourage and nurture social and emotional growth by implementing activities and planning experiences that are both developmentally appropriate and challenging. With these opportunities, our students are encouraged to play, explore, build, create, discover, and grow. We also believe that each child is unique- our teachers differentiate their instruction to accommodate these differences. We are dedicated to the education and well-being of the whole child.
In Pre-Kindergarten, letters and sounds are introduced. Other phonological awareness elements that are taught are rhyming, syllables, phoneme substitution, and blending of sounds to form words. Listening comprehension is also taught, along with sequencing, parts of a book, story elements, prediction, and story retelling. Fine motor skills for letter formation are developed using manipulatives, sensory tables, and tracing activities.
Building a solid reading foundation is critical to success in all content areas. Kindergarten classes utilize both Spalding Phonics and SuperKids Reading. SuperKids introduces reading skills using relatable characters that will learn and grow with the children through second grade. The program provides a specific and systematic framework that focuses on skills through increasingly complex text. There is an emphasis on basic phonics, vocabulary, sight words, comprehension, concept knowledge and connecting to text. Students are introduced to multiple literary genres with SuperKids. The program teaches reading strategies in small groups and encourages critical thinking. SuperKids offers an online component that allows students to access learning games, songs, and stories at home.
The Pre-Kindergarten Math program consists of hands-on discovery and exploration using concrete manipulatives. The focus is on number sense, counting strategies, sorting, graphing, creating/extending patterns, problem solving through story problems, shapes, composing/decomposing numbers, comparison of quantity, measurement, making sets and introduction to addition/subtraction concepts.
In Kindergarten, Singapore Math emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving. Students begin with concrete manipulatives and move towards abstract numerical understanding. Pictorial representation is a crucial part of this program that helps students develop strong conceptual understanding. Essential math skills are also part of the program to ensure that our students are fluent in addition and subtraction. The focus areas are number sense, counting strategies, sorting, graphing, creating/extending patterns, problem solving through story problems, shapes, composing/decomposing numbers, comparison of quantity, measurement, making sets, skip counting, tallying, place value, estimation, addition and subtraction.
Physical Education: Country Day's daily Dynamic Physical Education program gives students the opportunity to participate in various activities that improve general physical fitness, fine and gross motor skills, team work, and sportsmanship while having fun.
Fine Arts: Primary School Fine Arts classes engage students in process art, which focuses on the process rather than the product, and theater arts, where students learn about self expression through play. Teacher-directed Fine Arts lessons teach basic art skills and techniques and allow students the opportunity to explore a variety of art supplies and strengthen gross and fine motor skills.
Library Study: By hearing stories read and told, checking out books, learning to use the library, and making book-related crafts, children have many opportunities to discover new worlds through books and develop a passion for reading.
Music: Primary students are introduced to music concepts such as steadybeat, note family, same and different patterns, loud and soft, and tempo. Music concepts are learned through playing instruments, movement, singing, games, and dramatic play.
Spanish: Spanish is taught through Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS), an input-based approach to teaching language that focuses on the systematic instruction of vocabulary in a highly comprehensible, personalized, and contextualized manner. Students learn the Spanish language through gestures, acting, and repetition and acquire grammar and vocabulary through context clues and games.
Technology Literacy: Through engaging and fun, site-specific enrichment programs, our youngest learners get to choose from a wide variety of interactive learning activities designed to strengthen cognitive skills like spatial navigation, memory, perception and reasoning.
Experiential learning is a critical part of the educational experience at Country Day. Each year, students engage in exciting learning opportunities. Primary School students can expect these fun, educational experiences:
Pre-K3: Farm Field Trip, Safari Field Trip
Pre-K4: Farm Field Trip, Zoo Field Trip, Zippity Zoo Program
Kindergarten: Fire Station Field Trip, Caroling at Nursing Homes