PrePrimary Program

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. 

Prepared Environment

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

Child-sized equipment

Freedom of movement

Multi-age–Peer engagement 

Practical Life

Large and fine motor development

“Real-world” work 

Food preparation 

Developing order, concentration, coordination, independence 


Color, shape, dimension, form, sound, touch, smell

Vast array of sensorial materials

Classification works 


Sandpaper letters

Moveable alphabet 

Precise vocabulary 

Phonological awareness and refinement 


Concrete to abstract

Rich, attractive manipulatives 


Decimal System

Bead work 

Mathematical operations 

Fact memorization

Cultural Studies

Maps, flags, pictures, models

Connection to nature (gardening, plant and animal studies)


Seasonal celebrations 

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…
-Maria Montessori