Ages 3-6: Preschool / Kindergarten
Structure of the Program
The GSCM Preprimary program serves children ages 3-6 (Preschool and Kindergarten). There are three self-contained preprimary classroom environments each with a full-time Montessori directress and a full-time assistant. Preschool dismissal is at 11:30am each day. Extended hours for preschool (11:30-3:00pm) are available. Extended-day preschoolers transition to the Holy Family house for lunch, rest, and afternoon activities. Two of the morning Montessori assistants supervise and coordinate this experience. Kindergarten children remain with their directress for the afternoon and engage in enrichment curriculum. The directress serves as the catechist for the preprimary level and leads atrium lessons integrated with the curriculum.
The prepared environment for the preprimary program is in the main school building on the lower level. Three self-contained classroom environments offer a full complement of Montessori materials including a classroom atrium for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. All preprimary environments have a direct access to the outdoors to engage children in play and work with nature.
Who is the PrePrimary child?
The preprimary child is at the end of the first plane of development called infancy. This is a stage of tremendous growth and change. The child is a sensorial child and learns primarily through activity and absorption of the environment. The preprimary child desires purposeful movement and refinement of senses. Montessori deduced that the preprimary child has an absorbent mind allowing him/her to learn and acquire skills in a seemingly effortless manner. Language explodes during this time as the child develops a vast working vocabulary and begins to decode, spell, and read. The preprimary child desires independence, both physical and psychosocial. The desire to “DO IT MYSELF” is strong as the child begins to transition away from reliance on adults for self-care and build both competence and confidence.
Elements of GSCM’s PrePrimary Curriculum
Small, light-weight furniture
Freedom of movement
Large and fine motor development
Developing order, concentration, coordination, independence
Color, shape, dimension, form, sound, touch, smell
Vast array of sensorial materials
Phonological awareness and refinement
Concrete to abstract
Rich, attractive manipulatives
Maps, flags, pictures, models
Connection to nature (gardening, plant and animal studies)
Integrated Art and Music
Skills work (drawing, cutting, gluing, etc.)
Expressive art (chalk, pencils, markers, clay, paint, etc.)
Artist study and formal art experience in Kindergarten
Music and movement
Songs and stories
There is in the child a special kind of sensitivity which leads him to absorb everything about him, and it is this work of observing and absorbing that alone enables him to adapt himself to life. He does it in virtue of an unconscious power that exists in childhood…